By on November 10, 2016

Trump and Clinton, Image: Image: By Donald Trump August 19, 2015 (cropped).jpg: BU Rob13Hillary Clinton by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg: Gage [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Oh, come on. Don’t be mad. You knew I was gonna bait you a little bit this week with political stuff, right?

As I was reading the dozens and dozens of posts from my friends and frienemies on the Bookface yesterday, I couldn’t help notice all the discussion about the “popular vote” vs. the “electoral vote.” Depending on which side of the aisle you sit, I’m sure you have opinions about which one is more relevant. However, automakers play the popular vs. electoral game all the time, every day of the year.

What do I mean? Well, let me try to explain it in the context of both the election and the automotive game, and see if it makes sense.

In the general election, the vast majority of the states don’t matter in the end game. In fact, 37 of the 50 states this year were so easily predicted and determined that within minutes of the polls’ closing time, they can be called for one of the candidates. While a couple of states were in play this year that have not been in the the last two elections (namely Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania), the candidates were both smart enough to ignore states that they had no chance of winning.

Could Trump have picked up a few votes by campaigning hard in California, Illinois, or New York? Might Hillary have done a little better in the Deep South if she had made some stops in Mississippi or Alabama? Sure, in both cases. Would it have made any difference in the Electoral College vote? Not a bit. And while winning the popular vote is a “nice to have,” they don’t give out the Presidency for it. Trump winning by 65-35 margins in the South is no different than Clinton winning 65-35 in California — there’s just as many electoral votes to be had there. The population numbers aren’t quite the same, though, which is what can lead to a candidate dominating the electoral map and losing the popular vote, as we saw this cycle.

What on Earth does this have to do with cars, you may ask? So glad that you did!

All of the automakers have staked out the grounds where they feel they can win, otherwise known as categories. BMW wins in entry-level luxury. Ford owns trucks in America, and small cars around the globe. Hyundai is doing comparably well with small and mid-sized sedans.

Sometimes it’s not categories of cars, but rather categories of customers. Nissan has been building its sales on the backs of sub-prime customers. Chevrolet does very well in the rural parts of the country. Lexus does well with virtue-signalling suburbanites. Subaru…wait, that ended badly last time we discussed Subaru stereotypes around here. Never mind.

But what happens when car companies start to go outside their categories — when they try to expand the map? It often doesn’t go particularly well. Nissan struggles with truck sales. GM has some very good cars, but nobody seems interested in buying anything other than their trucks. Mazda can compete with the 3, but the 6 has always been a sales dog, no matter how good the magazines always seem to think that it is. Sure, they add additional sales units by competing in these extra categories, but their overall profitability can be greatly damaged.

That’s why very few automakers tend to try to sell outside their well-defined categories with any real sense of urgency. Just like trying to expand the map in a presidential race to a state you have no chance to win, investing a good deal of money in research and development into a car that will never sell particularly well is a death sentence for an automaker. It’s why we can sit here in America and beg all day for Mercedes to bring over its new pickup or A/B class cars or for Audi to ship us some S1 inventory, and it will never, ever happen (well, maybe the pickup might happen. Maybe).

With the possible exception of Toyota and Volkswagen, most automakers have no interest in winning the global popular vote. They’d rather sell what they sell, win their electoral votes, and not worry about trying to do the most volume. Nobody would accuse BMW of not being successful (or Hyundai, or Nissan, for that matter), but they’ll never try to win a volume race in America, because sales volume for an OEM doesn’t always equal profitability.

Now, what’s Trump going to do about Ford’s production in Mexico? How will the markets react to a Trump presidency?

I guess we’ll all find out together, won’t we?

[Image: By Donald Trump August 19, 2015 (cropped).jpg: BU Rob13, Hillary Clinton by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg: Gage [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

126 Comments on “Bark’s Bites: The Popular Vote Doesn’t Matter...”


  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    “Oh, come on. Don’t be mad. You knew I was gonna bait you a little bit this week with political stuff, right?”

    And the question is why?

  • avatar
    bryanska

    Fun, innocuous take. I like it.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Three paragraphs in, I was ready with a blowtorch comment about how you have your own damn blog for this crap. And then…

    Nice troll – it worked. And you’re more or less right. Sometimes a manufacturer really tries to shift its ground, but it takes a decade or more and may or may not work in the end. Right now we’re watching Buick try.

    The one big exception is the steady march upmarket of the Japanese makers in the ’70s and ’80s. And that was driven by desperation for minimally competent product in the face of the garbage Detroit was putting out. The Koreans are trying to replicate it in the current, more competitive market and having a really hard time.

    • 0 avatar
      la834

      > The one big exception is the steady march upmarket of the Japanese
      > makers in the ’70s and ’80s. And that was driven by desperation for minimally
      > competent product in the face of the garbage Detroit was putting out.

      It was also largely a result of the “voluntary” import quotas on Japanese exports to the U.S. in effect at the time. Since they weren’t allowed to sell any more cars, the only way to increase profits was to make more money on each car they sell. And the highest profit margins are made on the most expensive cars. So Toyota created Lexus, Honda created Acura, and Nissan brought forth Infiniti. Thus the ultimate effect of the import quotas intended to help Detroit find it’s way back was instead of the Japanese just cribbing sales from Chevies and Fords, now they also beating up on Lincoln and Cadillac too, as well as decimating the mid-price American brands like Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Mercury.

  • avatar
    ajla

    If Trump creates a regulatory environment where affordable V8s and naturally-aspirated V6 cars can exist again then I might vote for him next time.

    Edit: and V10s and V12s. Although those will be less affordable.

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    Mercedes seems to actually be serious about the commercial market, so we might see that truck. The rest of it, I get. That’s why I’m not that distraught that FCA dropped the Dart and the 200. THey didn’t even deserve to be on the ballot. ;)

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I’d also extend the analogy to parties ignoring certain voter blocks that have been very reliable for them in the past to letting a certain model in a segment wither on the vine (ie Ford Taurus through the early/mid 00s). Or abandoning a model altogether (Ford with Ranger, Panthers)

    Question for the B&B: who is currently complacent, and about what model?

    Subaru Loyaleists (get it?) hate the larger new Outback but it’s selling to a larger audience.

    Toyota geeks driving the company’s 1990s cars (guess who) complain about lack of triple door seals but the Camry/Corolla seem to still be on top of their game in terms of sales and reliability (if not interior quality).

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “Subaru Loyaleists (get it?) hate the larger new Outback but it’s selling to a larger audience.”

      One could say they have a Legacy of being un-Imprezzed, particularly if they’re BRATS living in Tribeca.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Toyota is completely complacent and cruising on reputation.

        I bought a used Toyota (made in this decade), paid the premium, I don’t think that it is demonstrably any better screwed together than its competition. Could have gotten lower miles/better optioned for the same money with a different badge on it.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          PrincipalDan it’s a 2nd gen Highlander correct?

          I’d say long term durability of major components (engine/transmission/suspension) as well as stuff like the electrical system and interior/exterior trim is where that CUV will shine relative to its peers (Traverse, Explorer, etc) as the miles wear on. Sure it’s not quite that same head and shoulders above and beyond like they used to be in the good old ’90s cars, but still very solid and overall worth the premium in long term ownership scenarios.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @gtemnhkh, yes – 2010 Highlander less than 100,000 miles. Driver’s side visor dangling, won stay in the up position – covered by a special extended warranty just on the sun visors, will be fixed before Thanksgiving. Broke right at the start of a long family vacation to California. (grrrrrrrrrrr)

            Driver’s side door panel armrest has a broken clip that makes it shift out of your way if you try to rest your arm on it (I’ll have them look at it when they do my recalls).

            Radio antenna broke off leaving part of the stud inside the fender. Waiting on a buddy to come back from vacation to borrow an extractor set. Stud is pot metal, where it mates is copper – hard against soft, not good.

            Drivers side window power lift mechanism came apart inside the door. Had to take the door apart to put a bolt back in. (Thankfully was not charged.)

            TPM system freaks out whenever the temp drops below 30 degrees, doesn’t matter that all 4 tires are dead on the same pressure and a little bit OVER the recommended pressure.

            Sometimes have to jiggle the 3.5 mm jack to get the aftermarket Bluetooth to play through the stereo.

            During Thanksgiving Break I’m going to have all the recalls done that weren’t done previously. Wiring harness in the steering column, improperly lubricated power window switches that could cause a fire, and reprogramming of the computer that Toyota made mandatory after the unintended acceleration debacle.

            Personally all the “trim” crap and little issues I would have expected out of a Traverse.

            Mechanically it has been dead nuts reliable, but having to move a sun visor out of your way for a roughly 1200 mile round trip will sour any man pretty quickly.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Sometimes have to jiggle the 3.5 mm jack to get the aftermarket Bluetooth to play through the stereo.”

            If you’re using the 3.5mm jack, you are NOT using Bluetooth. Bluetooth is wireless.

            I would suggest A) Use a very mild abrasive to clean the oxidation off of the 3.5mm plug (a possible but unlikely fix); B) Replace the cable running from phone to the AUX jack in the car. Those wires are extremely thin and extremely easy to break, especially if you’re using a bargain-basement cable. If you can wiggle the wire and make the audio come and go, the fault is NOT in the car itself.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Hmm that definitely sounds pretty darn disappointing. The only (indirect) experience I have is exclusively with the gen 1s and that seemed to be unanimously positive. Fiance’s parents first Toyota that they held onto until 2013 was a Highlander Limited that they ran up to 170k before trading it in. It finally got a CEL for a minor EVAP leak (I suspect a vacuum line disconnected under-hood during a servicing) as they were about to sell, and I think the transmission or transfer case had a leaky seal at one point later on in life(?). That was it in 8 years+170k miles, not too shabby.

            I think gen 2 (2008+) caught the worst of interior cost cutting, which coincides with the 6th gen (07-11) Camry which is pretty universally panned for the same thing. Definitely sounds like cheap materials rather than poor assembly by the folks down in Princeton IN (or is yours a J VIN?)

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Built in Indiana (so I can tell my Dad to STFU about buying “foreign” as long as Americans work.)

          • 0 avatar
            PenguinBoy

            “Personally all the “trim” crap and little issues I would have expected out of a Traverse.”

            I wouldn’t expect this many problems out of a Traverse.

            My employer has a small fleet of Traverses that anyone can sign out to travel on company business, and which I have my share of seat time in. Most of these are approaching 200,000 km by now. They get mostly highway use, but are driven over rough, unpaved, muddy roads more they I expect most Traverses are. They are also driven long distances in harsh Winter weather. Pool vehicle use is probably almost, but not quite, as rough as rental car use.

            The only issues I’ve personally seen on these are faulty HVAC blend doors, and vibration due to bent or out of balance wheels after people hit a bump or hole too hard. Other than that, they are still solid and tight, everything fits and everything works.

            The Traverse isn’t my cup of tea as I have no need for something this big and personally prefer smaller, lighter vehicles with manual gearboxes, but it’s perfectly competent at what it sets out to do. And I wouldn’t have any reservations about long term ownership due to reliability concerns.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Penguinboy, for what it’s worth the early series of Lambdas are known for transmission wave plate issues (factory extended the warranty to 120k miles), and the 3.6L earned a reputation for stretching timing chains. The latter I suspect is at least partially due to the long oil change interval (10k miles) that the factory recommended which was later amended to 7.5k, and many traditional Gm buyers cheaping out and not using Dexos approved synthetic oil. This ain’t your dad’s 3800 OHV!

            I do find Lambdas supremely comfy and quiet cars, however their limited ground clearance and primitive AWD system would at that point leave me questioning why I wouldn’t just buy a Sienna AWD and get even more utility with the same capability.

          • 0 avatar
            PenguinBoy

            @gtemnykh

            Good point on the minivan and I agree that most folks with Lambdas would be better served by a van. These things are basically slightly less useful minivans for people in denial about needing a van. That said, I have driven a Lambda through a fairly large snowdrift where the combination of good Winter tires and slip and grip AWD was able to keep me from getting stuck. I doubt either the tires or the minimially capable AWD would have been sufficient on their own, but then again, an AWD Sienna with the same tires likely would have worked just as well.

            I’m not aware of any powertrain issues with any of our Traverses, but they are all newer than circa 2011 so any tranmission issues with the earlier cars were likely sorted by then. The cars are serviced regularly, so the oil is likely changed at reasonable intervals with the recommended sythetic oil.

            My own choice for a Winter roadtrip / get the the trailhead vehicle is a Subaru Forester, but for me this choice is driven by sensible size, good AWD system, decent resale value, and availability of a manual transmission with AWD, heated seats, and a sunroof. Despite the “J” VIN I have no illusions about a Subaru having better long term reliability than a Lambda. Then again, the rest of my current fleet is made in the UK, so you have some idea where reliablity sits in my personal priorities ;)

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @Vulpine, oh thank you, you who knows more than the rest of us.

            It’s an AFTERMARKET Bluetooth. It plugs into the 3.5 mm jack but the phone is wirelessly connected to the Belkin Bluetooth unit I bought. The Toyota stereo is intelligent enough that it “knows” when something is plugged into the jack. If you hit the “AUX/CD” button and the stereo doesn’t detect something plugged in, the button does nothing. Jiggle it a little, suddenly the stereo acknowledges the presence of the jack.

            Does it happen every time? No. Does it happen with any predictability? No.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Again I say, check your cable. Just because it’s a Belkin device doesn’t mean it’s perfect. I spent over 40 years in the electronics industry; most of the issues I ran into had the simplest fixes… but the owners of the devices, whatever they were, refused to admit the problem was NOT where they thought it was.

      • 0 avatar
        John Marks

        Well played, sir.

        Well played.

        I believe that Subaru is the small-size car company best positioned for long-term survival.

        The rest (Volvo, Fiat, Alfa, etc.): Not so much.

        jm

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      That’s a great question and should have been a QOTD (the one thing I really miss from the Dougbot). It’s surprisingly hard; the problem with cars isn’t usually complacency but poor planning.

      Here are some suggestions:

      Acura ILX -developed too cheaply, meaning too much Civic and not enough Acura
      Audi A5/S5 – new coupe without new styling defeats the reason people buy coupes
      BMW 3-Series – obviously designed around lease price points and has lost all specialness
      Cadillac Escalade – all bluster, no luxury, still rides like a truck and has Impala interior materials
      Hyundai Sonata – this generation is phoned in
      Toyota Corolla – coasting on rear-seat room and a reputation for reliability
      Toyota Yaris – same as above, minus the rear-seat room

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    Here is a definition as to the purpose of the electoral college, I think its long past time to abolish it.

    “The electoral college consists of 538 electors, and of those, a candidate needs 270 votes to become president. Although the Founding Fathers wanted the people to have a say, there was concern that a charismatic tyrant could manipulate public opinion and come into power. Alexander Hamilton briefly addressed these concerns in the Federalist Papers. The idea was that the electors would be a group of people who would ensure that a qualified person would become president.”

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Support it in your state (unless you are in one that has already adopted it). It would retain the Electoral College, but force the electors to abide by the national popular vote.

      Right now, we don’t have a system where electors are a check on popular passions. Instead, the only function of electors is to increase the value of rural votes and reduce the value of urban ones. That’s arguably consistent with the intent of the rest of the Constitution (which reflects a belief that rural landowners were the most virtuous citizens) but it’s certainly not democratic.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Well, if you’re forcing electors to abide by the popular vote, then I don’t see the sense in what you’re proposing. Easier to just count the votes, and whoever wins, wins.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Because it’s the easiest way from here to there. It doesn’t require a constitutional amendment at either the federal or state levels, just passage by state legislatures in states with at least 270 EVs. States with 165 EVs have already adopted it.

          http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/

          • 0 avatar
            Rick T.

            And potentially turn every precinct in America into a little Florida chasing a few more votes? No thanks!

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            As someone whose vote is largely ignored in presidential elections (because I’m from a big non-swing state), I’d love to feel like my vote was being chased.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      “…there was concern that a charismatic tyrant could manipulate public opinion and come into power.”

      And yet here we are.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      The unintended consequence here is this will increase the cost of elections. Instead of chasing 10 states you now have to chase every vote. You had better have some sort of campaign finance reform as part of this. Also, It is impossible to know how this or 2000 would have turned out as both campaigns would have been run radically different were they running based on winning the popular vote.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    “While a couple of states were in play this year that have not been in the the last two elections (namely Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania), the candidates were both smart enough to ignore states that they had no chance of winning.”

    And there’s my problem with the Electoral College – not that the popular vote winner can lose (it could have well been Trump who got more votes but lost), but that candidates can write off entire parts of the country as locked up, and not give them a moment of face time. In all practicality, it means that if you’re, say, a Democrat in Texas, or a Republican in California, you might as well write in Bark M.

    That affects the down-ballot races, making one-party domination of any given state far easier.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Living in NM I had no qualms about voting for Gary Johnson – not enough electoral votes to matter.

      I was just keeping my fingers crossed that the Libertarian Party would hit 5% so they’d have to decide what to do when offered Federal Funding (which is in many ways antithetical to their core beliefs.)

      Edit: Libertarians did hit more than 3% nationwide but less than 4%.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Johnson definitely did better in New Mexico than anywhere else, probably because of name recognition / favorite son status.

        But I don’t think the overwhelming majority of voters are even remotely comfortable with libertarianism.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I don’t think people are scared of libertarianism, but Johnson was a horrible candidate, Ron Paul he is not. Every interview that he had quickly devolved to him talking about legalizing Weed, ignoring his otherwise completely leftist establishment beliefs. Anyone that wanted libertarianism went for Trump, audit the fed, set term limits, state rights over federal, liberal social stances and intelligent financial plans.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Trump doesn’t really care about social issues and I think he’ll be happy to throw a bone to social conservatives by taking their positions. His choice of Pence, who is about as hard-core a social conservative as you’ll find anywhere, was an early signal of that.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Pence is his insurance plan.

            Trump has publicly supported LGBT and this is undeniable, Never seen any other candidate hold up a rainbow flag at his rally. Support Marijuana legalization? Check

            How about his voters? Pretty high number of dems went for him, in one state he won 40% of dem vote, highest AA and Hispanic vote for a republican in how long? Won less white votes than Romney did in 2012. Won more white women than Hillary did.

            Simply put, without Pence he couldn’t win the hard right, he couldn’t win the NeverTrump evangelists. Trump is left of center socially, that is more than evident.

            You certainly can’t make a case that Hillary was socially liberal, she has been against gay marriage up until she ran in 2008, notably Wikileaks showed that she privately still was against it.

            Of course we all know now that the NeverTrump movement was spearheaded by RINOs that feared their money flow would be stopped, no different than the dems.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Hummer I’m reading your posts and nodding my head. Particularly the jabs at Jeb and other repub primary candidates that the GOPe pathetically tried to prop up with millions of dollars. Likewise agree that Johnson did more to destroy Ron Paul’s legacy than anything, he’s an idiot (IMO).

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel J

      It just moves the problem. Then all the campaigning would be done in the most populous states.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Possible, but given that three of the most populous states were given absolutely no coverage at all, how’s that fair to the people who live there?

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Why? Each vote would be worth the same, whether in a big or small state. It might move campaigning to bigger cities, just because it’s cheaper and less time-consuming to reach more votes that way, but not all cities are in big states.

        Currently, we have a situation where the votes of citizens in states that are both big and non-swing are more or less totally worthless. Swing-state votes are the most powerful, and small-state votes have more power than big-state ones. Every vote should be worth the same amount.

    • 0 avatar
      fincar1

      Lose the Electoral College, and all campaigning will be done in NYC, Chicago, and a few other large, heavily populated areas, and thinly-populated areas of the country will see even less of national candidates than they do now.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    I’d be fine getting rid of the Electoral College, but the same reasons for getting rid of the EC would also be there for getting rid of the Senate.

    A Senator from Vermont or Rhode Island has the same power as Senator from Texas, despite representing millions of less people. So a collection of small states can overwhelm the actual majority of voters.
    We were founded as a Republic, not a pure Democracy. It’s set up that way for a reason.

    A more “democratic” system would just be something like the House of Representatives with no Senate.

    I could see myself getting more upset at the results if there was a large disparity between the popular vote and the EC, but if there was no Electoral College, people would simply campaign much differently and the results would not necessarily be the same.

    I’ve even heard some reports that Utah is still counting and Trump may be projected the popular vote winner.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The difference is that effectively getting rid of the Electoral College doesn’t require a constitutional amendment, so it’s a whole lot easier.

      • 0 avatar
        whitworth

        Getting rid of the Electoral College absolutely means a Constitutional Amendment.

        A good compromise that individual states could do themselves would be something like Maine currently has where the state awards the Electoral Votes based on how the individual district votes. So it’s not all or nothing.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Actually getting rid of it does require a constitutional amendment.

          *Effectively* getting rid of it, as I said, just requires states with at least 270 EVs to change their method of appointing electors. They will appoint electors representing the candidate who won the national popular vote, rather than the popular vote in the individual state. No federal constitutional amendment is needed for that, and I don’t think a state constitutional amendment is needed either in any states.

          • 0 avatar
            whitworth

            I would say awarding a state’s Electoral votes based on the national result and NOT the way the actual people in the state voted is about the most undemocratic thing you could propose.

            Terrible idea.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            This is a national election and the democratic result would be whatever the national electorate votes for.

            All we accomplish with the Electoral College is to say that some states are more equal than others. A Wyoming voter has four times as much power in the presidential election as a California voter. That’s deeply undemocratic.

            And it seems even more so when you realize that the main reason the system was set up that way was to preserve slavery.

        • 0 avatar
          56BelAire

          I think split electoral votes in each state would be the fairest system. It would be very interesting if someone who had time on their hands would map out how this election would have gone it that were the case. I am guessing Trump would have won be even more.

          California and NY hold too much sway in presidential elections because the rural/conservative parts of the states are overwhelmed by the big city vote. Illinois is the same way. If you look at a county wide election maps of those states you will see solid red areas in northern California and in upstate NY. Illinois is almost solid red except for Chicago metro area. How do you think conservative voters feel in those states? They have no voice in presidential elections.

          If all states went to district by district electoral voting I don’t see how a Democrat could ever win.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The Electoral College is designed in the same fashion as Congress – with equal representation for all states (Senate), plus popular representation for all states (House).

    If you eliminate the Electoral College, then you should also eliminate the Senate. Arguably, then, you should eliminate the states, and simply divide the country up into tribal county governments.

    Bicameral government wasn’t invented in the US, and it isn’t perfect, but it’s the best system there is. It also allows third parties to gain a foothold by focusing on certain regions.

    Ironically, under the current electoral college system your vote actually counts more than in a popular system. If you’re in a battleground state like I am (PA), your vote really can swing the state toward your candidate.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      “Ironically, under the current electoral college system your vote actually counts more than in a popular system.”

      IF

      you live in a swing state or a small state.

      If you live in a big state that’s not swingy, then your vote is worth much less than it would be under a popular system. Going down the list by population, that describes CA, TX, NY, IL, GA, NJ, AZ, WA, MA. Together those nine states make up more than 40% of the nation’s population, and the votes of all their citizens are pretty much worthless in a presidential election.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        @dal20402: The states you cite also comprise 38% (206 of 538) of the Electoral College. Their effect seems to match their population.

        Those states don’t swing much in elections, so if your concern is for people who vote contrary to the normal state bias, then they need to move to a swing state.

        Under a popular voting system, your contrary vote will always lose – whether it’s nationally or locally. The Electoral College at least permits some contrary votes to have some influence in some districts.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          38.3% of the electoral vote for 43.3% of the population… I think you’re proving my point.

          Meanwhile, WY, VT, DC, AK, ND, SD, DE, and MT have 1.72% of the population and 4.46% of the EVs. And I’d happily move to the right place in either MT (Missoula or Bozeman) or WY (Jackson) if there were a job for me, but there isn’t.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          At least Nebraska does it reasonably. It’s five votes are not locked to any one candidate as a whole. If other states would do this, we might see some interesting shifts that would better balance urban areas and rural areas.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Nebraska’s system is only a trivial improvement over the existing system, because you still have those two extra EVs for the winner, and you have two extra EVs whether you are Wyoming with half a million people or California with 30 million.

    • 0 avatar

      The electoral system also gives small groups (geographic, ethnic, industrial) a voice in the process. New Hampshire gets a say and isn’t drowned out by the many millions of people in California. Jews, who represent a tiny fraction of the total electorate, happen to be concentrated in New York, Florida, Illinois and California, all big electoral states, and have large enough populations in those states to swing an election. There are similar factors at play in appealing to black voters – particularly because the Democrats’ chances of electing a U.S. president are so dependent on getting 85%+ of the black vote and big turnout of black voters.

      The electoral college means that national politicians have to appeal (pander?) to farmers in Iowa as well as hair braiders in Toledo.

  • avatar
    Troggie42

    “Subaru…wait, that ended badly last time we discussed Subaru stereotypes around here. Never mind.”

    Careful, Bark, the Subaru Ambassadors™ might come out of the woodwork and praise their cars at you in exchange for T-Shirts!

  • avatar

    I think that the founding fathers were wise in being wary of direct democracy, so the executive, judiciary and, at least originally, the upper house of the legislature were not put in office by direct elections. Presidential candidates have the Electoral College to deal with, federal judges are appointed by the executive and confirmed by the legislatures and U.S. senators were originally appointed by their respective state legislatures.

    Pure democracy is a dangerous thing, but at the same time the founders wanted to vest most of the power in the people.

    The founding fathers gave disproportionate power to the directly elected House of Representatives, with geographic representation (unlike in some parliamentary systems where legislators are elected at large) baked in the cake and elections more frequent than that of the president and now the senate too. That means a Representative has to be seen as more loyal to his or her constituents than to their party because you can vote directly against him next time around.

    We don’t have “three coequal” branches of government. The people here are sovereign and our Representatives are theoretically more powerful than the executive and judiciary. The House can impeach a president and a federal judge.

    Of course now that a Republican is in office we’ll hear concerns about an “imperial presidency”, ignoring Mr. Obama’s pen and phone, but I think that most of the problems with too much power vested in presidents of either party could have been handled if Congress had exerted the constitutional powers that it already has.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Correct. There won’t be any ‘imperial presidency’, because Congress and the Supreme Court exists as checks, with the power to impeach as a last resort.

      Moreover, Trump’s opponents forget the fact that he doesn’t need the money or power that the Presidency provides. He doesn’t need to be President to define his value in life. In contrast, Mrs Clinton’s personal value seems to be directly tied to power – something made clear in Bill Clinton’s speech about her at the convention.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    There’s still a chance, albeit a slim one, that Trump will lose. Just because he’s won the electoral votes doesn’t mean that ALL those votes will go to him. According to the counts, a mere 20 choosing to either abstain or vote opposite their ‘state’ would put Ms. Clinton in office.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      In theory, yes.

      In reality, I’m trying to figure out why this is even being trotted out. In the history of US Presidential elections (1796-2016) there have been “faithless electors” (the term for such a move). That number is definitely less than 10 in 220 years.

      And, if I remember the procedure correctly, once the electors have voted the totals are turned over to the House of Representatives for acceptance and certification. The same House that has been clearly in Republican hands for a decade now, and will continue that way due to statewide gerrymandering for the foreseeable future.

      And I think everyone here knows the odds of the Republican House voting to accept the Republican candidate’s win overturned by the Electoral College and given to the Democratic candidate.

      I’d prefer to bet on something more of a sure thing. Like the return of the Edsel. Or Oldsmobile. Or Desoto.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        I never said it was probable, merely possible and even then not very. After all, the “faithless” could go the other way and cement Mr. Trump’s victory even stronger.

        The simple point is that the “relief valve” does exist and could–not would, but could–upset things as they stand today. I can promise you this, though; once they do, whenever it happens, you can almost guarantee that the Electoral College will be dissolved and from then on all elections will be by popular vote exclusively.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I don’t understand how every post here has ignored that Trump is predicted to win the popular vote, it’s not completely tallied up yet and the states that are left are Red.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      This is not correct. The last votes to come in are typically stragglers in West Coast vote-by-mail states and expats, both of which heavily favor Democrats. Hillary will win the popular vote and her margin will likely be significantly higher than it is now.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        That’s simply incorrect
        https://www.google.com/amp/townhall.com/tipsheet/christinerousselle/2016/11/10/plot-twist-cnn-now-saying-that-donald-trump-won-the-popular-vote-n2244077%3Famp%3Dtrue?client=safari

        CNN Screen capture
        https://i.sli.mg/YRWUSQ.png

        They still haven’t called Michigan yet,

      • 0 avatar
        56BelAire

        Total popular vote right now has Hillary up by about 350K.

        California has Hillary up by over 2.5 million. Equals Trump up 2 million in the other 49 states combined.

        Safe to say if California seceded the Democrats would be crushed in future elections…….or if they adopted split electoral votes by county……or if it were split into 2 states, Northern California and Southern California.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          If Hillary had won, and passed amnesty, Texas would have went blue overnight. Have to remember California was red before Reagan passed amnesty. Of course if Hillary had won that would have been the least of our worries.

          But I would love to see California secede, that would turn into a 3rd world banana republic before the final articles of the constitution were finished.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The place with Silicon Valley, Hollywood, a good chunk of America’s billionaires, and the second-largest center of commerce on earth would turn into a banana republic? Sure…

            Every time an election like this happens, the feeling that has always been there on the West Coast that Cali, western Oregon, western Washington, and southwestern BC would make a pretty powerful independent country comes a bit further into the open. The West Coast doesn’t vote like the rest of the country, even when Democrats win.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Did you honesty just try to spin Hollywood as a successful part of California? The heart of the SJW?
            C’mon your better than that, I know it!!!
            I welcome them to try, if it turns out to succeed I’ll gladly eat my words.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            They make more money than God and are perhaps the single most powerful influence on culture in the world. Whether or not you like them as people (and I don’t, even though they are on the same side I am politically), they are undeniably successful and a major contributor to the California and US economies.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            But the ideology they promote – promotes reckless spending and ideas that result in a devolution of society(And I don’t say this lightly, these people literally have the mental capacity of a child). It’s not self sustaining, without the level headed people the system is only left with (paid) rioters that aren’t getting what they want, and a few people raking in massive salaries in government jobs.

            We literally have idiots like K. Perry or whoever promoting throwing over the government or developing a coup, how the hell are you going to do that after you’ve gotten rid of all of your guns you just voted to weaken. What the hell are you going to over throw? A god**** Burger King? As a KGB officer has pointed out, these people are so severely brainwashed that no level of reality exists in their minds. They are functional children.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            Lets look at this logically. First off, a “California Secession would likely prompt a similar response to that of Virginia. Just like the region that would eventually become West Virginia, much of California has little in common with the areas wanting to leave, so much so that there have already been movements to split the state into multiple states. This also highlights the fact that way back in 1861 it was decided that leaving the union was illegal and that said union was to be preserved by force if required. Not sure why Californians feel their departure would be handled any differently than South Carolina’s way back when.

            But lets say the US just lets it go. So is the region that would be left still viable? Do “Americans” still line up to see all those Avengers movies if Hollywood has voted to leave the country? Maybe, but maybe not and is the total economy of that new country still viable.

            This also ignores the fact that California is a net importer of energy. Would a Trump Administration be inclined to maybe regulate the sale of that energy to what is now a foreign nation less favorably than what they currently get? And what about companies like Tesla and other entities that would now be importing from a non-NAFTA nation. Companies would flee California in this case. All of this ignores practical things like defense. Yes, you could go small but a Military of any size is not cheap.

            My point is that California and the rest of the US are much better off with each other and California would have a tough go of it alone. Texas is better positioned (they are on their own power grid and what would be their primary export…oil would still be in demand in the rest of the US) but they would still have a tough go.

            This stupid “I’m taking my ball and going home” crap has got to stop.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            And what about that technology. What if the rest of the US treated Google/Apple/Amazon in a similar manner that China does. Not talking censorship here but lets say all those Apple patents were enforced a little less vigorously in the rest of the US? And would they consider relocating? I mean there is the real possibility corporate income taxes in the nation of California would be significantly higher than the 15 percent Trump is pushing. I know people are upset, but this just wouldn’t work.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I almost have hope society will stop devolving. Almost.

  • avatar
    TomHend

    I just want to say one thing, so don’t everybody get mad, Obama and Trump both did a wonderful thing, they beat and finished off the Bush Clinton Bush oligarchy and America will be better off because of it.

    Think about this, did Gore lose to Bush fair and square in hanging chad Florida or did Clinton steal the election for Bush? The goal was to make Hillary president right? She could not follow four or eight years of Gore let alone follow her husband. She needed to get her bonafides, The Democrats destroyed W to set the stage for the Dems plus W never fought back, I always thought that was strange, also Bush picked an old man with a bad heart for VP, not a likely torch carrier,and also Gore was paid off with huge amounts of Google stock, I think almost $1/2 billion and really has never been close with the Clintons since (OK they dragged Gore up on stage in Hillary’s campaign, but Gore was hardly heard from campaigning for Hillary or seen hanging out with Bill)

    This election was set up to be Jeb V Hillary, for a Hillary cakewalk all the GOP candidates were designed to peel off and throw support to Jeb, the two biggest Rubio and Cruz (you do not get elected in FL or TX without Bush approval) were frauds designed to get out the conservative base that other frauds like Fox News and Limbaugh always promote.

    Thankfully for us the Clintons and Bushes never saw Obama and Trump coming.

    (Full disclosure, I voted for Trump)

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Poor low energy Jeb!

      “Please clap”

      Everything they have said about Trump has been proven to be false over and over now. Why these people honestly believe they have a shred of credibility left I’ll never understand. The idiots in polling literally gave him a 1% chance in winning the primary, while the rest of the country that wasn’t sucking MSM teet knew otherwise they continued to spin the same result rhetoric.

      All that matters now is for Trump to do what he has set out to do, he is extremely intelligent. I was too young to remember Reagan, who I think Trump will surpass in success. My entire adult life has been lived under failed politicians that came to office for the money, clearly America wants change. He may fail, I have to be honest, but he’s the only chance we have at creating a true system of the people and by the people.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Nice thinking, but Darth Cheney wasn’t “picked” per se by W. He was sent by the Emperor to oversea their plans and keep Junior in line, not necessarily to sabotage a dynasty later. In fact you may not recall, but Cheney was originally brought in to pick the VP candidate. Somehow he picked himself.

    • 0 avatar
      whitworth

      “I just want to say one thing, so don’t everybody get mad, Obama and Trump both did a wonderful thing, they beat and finished off the Bush Clinton Bush oligarchy and America will be better off because of it.”

      Amen to that.

      Also, I honestly think a lot of our problems aren’t just about Left vs Right. The fact that the richest counties in America all surround Washington DC should tell you something.

      Washington DC is a ten mile square that is sucking this nation dry.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    Look, I know people on the left are disappointed and scared. I have had similar feelings at various time. I think people need to take a deep breath. Yes he is going to govern differently than you’d like. In 4 years you get to toss him if it doesn’t work. Thats America. Also understand that should your worse fears materialize (think internment camps or jailing opponents, etc) That i’d be right there with you fighting it.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      This is a great comment. I was certainly more anti-Trump than pro-Hillary, but since my preferred candidates didn’t make it (Warren; Jeb), it was like Sophie’s Choice.

      That said the sun came up Wednesday, and yesterday, and tomorrow….and we get to decide if President Trump deserves another term in four years.

      I do believe a lot of the bluster and unpleasantness of his personality and candidacy will be held in check as President. At least I pray so.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    “The Fraud of the Century, Rutherford B Hayes, Samuel J Tilden and the Stolen Election of 1876” is an account of Electoral College fraud that deprived Samuel Tilden of the Presidency. I doubt 2016 will ever measure up (or down) to the level of 1876.
    Tilden is notable also for participating in endowing a small library, today known as the New York Public Library. Take that, Andrew Carnegie.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    “Make Chrysler Great Again.” Oh I forgot its Fiat. “Fix It Again Tony.”

  • avatar
    mtmmo

    As a current Democrat who voted for Trump I’m not surprised that the majority of my fellow Dems are now whining about the Electoral College. My party has become too extreme so it’s only natural they don’t want states to have equal representation. Until we purge the Leftist extremists and move away from identity politics the Repubs will continue to increase their popularity.

    Since the Supreme Court is gone for the next 50 years and 23 Dem Senators (at least 9 in red states) come up for reelection in 2018 don’t be surprised if Trump and the Cons see a lot of bi-lateral support.

    Trump proved to be a tour-de-force dismantling both the Bush and Clinton political establishments. Now he’ll dismantle most of what Obama has done and likely only increase his popularity. This is what happens when you have a ‘change’ election and get outsmarted and outworked. I tip my hat to Kellyanne Conway for becoming the first female campaign manager to have her candidate win the Presidency.

    If my party doesn’t purge the Leftist extremists, return to real Liberalism, and debate the issues vs pushing identity politics we could actually see ‘Conservatism’ grow. A year ago I never thought that was even possible.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • dukeisduke: The intro made me think of the late, great Tom Hnatiw (RIP), who always famously said after a review of...
  • mcs: @CoastieLenn: Read the Car and Driver piece. There are a lot of flaws in their calculations and C&D outlines...
  • ajla: “researchers attempt to account for this by linking the time wasted during charging to potentially lost...
  • SCE to AUX: I did read that. Those are components of the Total Cost of Ownership, not pure operating cost. The...
  • mcs: @FreedMike: Actually, you don’t even need a garage. The charger or a weatherproof NEMA 14-50 RV outlet can...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber