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May 27, 2004 12:45 pm

Read the Constitution

I hope this won’t make me sound like a fan of George W. Bush, but here goes anyway. I am sick of columnists and others reminding us that Al Gore won the"popular vote.” It’s irrelevant! (See Maureen Dowd for an example.) If the national popular vote had mattered, Bush could have run up his margins in Texas and his other safe states. But he didn’t because it would have been wasted time and money. Why? Because the Constitution set up the Electoral College. For the benefit of the Gore fans, what counts is how many state electoral votes a candidate wins, not how many votes cast by citizens. You get a state’s electoral votes even if you win the state’s popular vote by a margin of one. The Gore fans’ nattering is equivalent to claiming your team really won the World Series because although it lost four games, it scored more runs overall than the other team. Give it up, Gore fans. You’re only showing your ignorance.

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Jonathan Dresner - 5/27/2004

Moreover, the electoral college win was more a judicial than electoral function: given the margin of error in the voting, Florida was a tie, and awarding it to either of them was pretty much discretionary.

And some of us think the "winner-take-all" states should grow up and join the proportional vote crowd.

David Gross - 5/27/2004

1) I think it's the case that a few states proportionally allocate their electors rather than having a winner-take-all system.

2) Perhaps the "Gore fans" aren't being ignorant of how the U.S. presidential election mechanics work, but are merely reminding people that the Dubya Squad had a less-than-popular mandate.