[EM] 2000 Electoral College Minority Rule Math

Adam Tarr atarr at purdue.edu
Thu Jan 24 18:21:22 PST 2002

>Which future President election may produce 1860 type political timebomb 
>results ???

Well, if any election *should have* produced an explosion of outrage, it 
was 2000, right?  That was when the minority-victory scenario actually 
played out.  And of course there was such an outrage, but it was mostly 
directed at the specific results (demanding recounts in Florida, looking at 
the poorly designed ballots, etc) as oppose to the fundamental 
problems.  Hillary Clinton talked about abolishing the Electoral College a 
few weeks later, but that's the last I head of that.  The movement has lost 
momentum, and it's a shame.  The easy group to blame is the media.

It's also easy to lose focus on any one reform when you look at the 2000 
election, since ANY reasonable reform (and some unreasonable reforms like 
IRV) would have caused the election to swing the other way.

The one thing that the 1860 election had that the 2000 election lacked was 
an explosive issue that broke on regional lines.  Bush may have lost the 
popular vote, but at least he broke 40% in every region of the 
country.  While the Electoral College distorted and watered down the power 
of many people's votes in 2000, it didn't blatantly disenfranchise an 
entire region like the 1860 vote did.

- Adam Tarr

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