Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Omaha Stakes

Maine and Nebraska are the only two states that allow the electoral votes to be split and awarded to different candidates. Two votes go to the overall winner, but additioanl votes are awarded by Congressional district. Maine has four votes and two congressional districts, both expected to vote Democratic. No split is likely. Nebraska has five votes and three congressional districts. Nebraska's Second Congressional District consists of the city of Omaha. It is possibly "in play" this time around. If Obama wins Omaha, he can get one of Nebraska's 5 electoral votes.

This matters because some scenarios play out to a tie in the electoral college. Kerry received 252 EV. Obama needs 18 more EV than Kerry to win. Iowa (7) is probably in the bag, as Obama has been leading by double-digits for a while there in most polls. That means Obama needs to find 11 more EV to win with 270. Possibilities to win with 270 are any of the following: Ohio (20); Virginia (13); Colorado (9) + New Mexico (5) [=14]; Colorado (9) + Nevada (5) [= 14]; Missouri (11); and Indiana (11).

Scenarios for a tie with 269: New Mexico(5) + Nevada (5) = (10); Colorado (9) + New Mexico (5), but losing New Hampshire [14-4=10]; Colorado (9) + Nevada (5), but losing New Hampshire [14-4=10]; Ohio (20), but losing Minnesota (10) [20-10=10]; Ohio (20), but losing Wisconsin (10) [20-10=10].

Such a tie throws the decision to the H of R. The voting rule is that each state has one vote (so 50 votes, not 435). Given electoral trends, we might expect that H of R to vote Democratic, but it is not 100% certain. The new Congress votes, not the current one. Also, it may matter who won the popular vote. The current congress has 26 states controlled by Dems, the rest controlled by the GOP or split. A majority (26) is needed to elect, so we're barely there today.

Also, seven states have only one representative (VT, DE, AK, MT, ND, SD, WY). Where that representative is of a different party than the state's national preference, that person may be very concerned about voting. Four states fit that category: Red states with at-large Democrats: North Dakota, South Dakota, and probably Alaska (3). Blue states with at-large Republicans: Delaware (1). It is not sure how the split delegations would go. Very messy.

So if Obama wins Omaha, it could be huge.


bell curve said...

The +CO +NM -NH possibility is the most worrying to me. This is one of the reasons I want a landslide victory from Obama. No fuss, no muss.

Dr. Strangelove said...

I just have to say, I love the title of this post.

Also, a fascinating analysis that I have read nowhere else. The Green Papers might be interested in in this!

Anonymous said...

To make every vote in every state politically relevant and equal in presidential elections, support the National Popular Vote bill.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). The bill would take effect only when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

So there would never be a tie in the electoral vote, because the compact always represents a bloc consisting of a majority of the electoral votes. Thus, an election for President would never be thrown into the House of Representatives (with each state casting one vote) and an election for Vice President would never be thrown into the Senate (with each Senator casting one vote).

The National Popular Vote bill has been approved by 21 legislative chambers (one house in CO, AR, ME, NC, and WA, and two houses in MD, IL, HI, CA, MA, NJ, RI, and VT). It has been enacted into law in Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These states have 50 (19%) of the 270 electoral votes needed to bring this legislation into effect.



Dr. Strangelove said...

I am a big fan of the "National Popular Vote" bill that susan refers to! We have discussed that proposal on this blog for a couple of years now, most recently in Shh... It's a Revolution. Pass it on" in July, and going back to, CALIFORNIA PASSES NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE in 2006.

The Law Talking Guy said...

NPV is the way to go, absolutely. But it's not the law yet.