Today marks seventeen full days remaining until Election Day, seventeen days until one of the biggest elections in American history. Will America choose Obama, or will they choose Romney? Will Obama get another four years, or is Romney going to get a chance to fix things (or screw them up again), and we’ll call Obama back in 2016?
This is the math post.
Let’s face it, half (if not more than that) of the arguments in this election are simply throwing around numbers. And that can get confusing…but today, let’s focus on the math of the Electoral College.
Math plays a huge part in elections, whether or not it’s simple math. Political math has a huge effect in the electoral college, and that’s why I want to focus on it. The electoral college is the single biggest factor in American general elections as it is the body which directly elects the president. The next post in the series will discuss whether or not the electoral college has much use in today’s elections.
Back to math. Since the last post, I have not felt compelled to make any changes to the electoral map. Thus, we’ll be using this as our base map:
Well, that just might not be the case. Why?
Enter the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, or NPVIC—an agreement between several states in America. These states (and their number of electoral votes) are California (55), Illinois (20), New Jersey (14), Washington (12), Massachusetts (11), Maryland (10), Hawaii (4), Vermont (3), and—although it’s really not a state—the District of Columbia (3).
These eight states and D.C. total up to have 132 electoral votes, just under half of what’s needed to win the general election by electoral college (270 votes out of 538). So, anything big like this will have a huge effect on the election.
And this is when Obama should get scared out of his wits.
The NPVIC agreement basically says that these states, even though their states may swing for Obama or Romney, they will cast their electoral votes for whoever wins the popular votes nationally. I’ve said since Romney officially became the Republican nominee (and for quite a while before that) that Romney might manage win the popular vote…and if this happens, this could certainly be one of the largest Electoral College upsets in American history, perhaps rivaling the 2000 Gore-Bush fiasco.
Even worse, ALL of these states are strong blue states that may end up helping Romney.
And this is when the math comes in. Using this new math, if Romney wins the popular vote, Obama basically gets a nice “screw you” from the Electoral College. Why? Well, this happens:
That being said, this year’s election may not be in such great shape for Obama as one would expect, given the “winner take all” system for the eight states and D.C. If I were an Obama campaign adviser, I’d focus not so heavily now on the electoral votes of the swing states, but rather on the popular vote of the entire nation.
For the first time, it could actually mean something.