Presentation on theme: "5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 1 Learning Objectives Trace the history of the electoral college. Describe the role of the electoral."— Presentation transcript:
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 1 Learning Objectives Trace the history of the electoral college. Describe the role of the electoral college in the presidential election process. Evaluate the electoral college, assessing the validity of arguments offered by its critics and its defenders. Describe and assess proposals for reforming the electoral college. Assess the likelihood of electoral college reform.
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 2 Key Terms Electoral College Electors Political Legitimacy Winner-Take-All Election System Small State Bias Direct Popular Election
5/4/2015Political Science Module Developed by PQE 3 LAST TOPIC… The Electoral College Article II, Section 1 Clause 3 12 th Amendment
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 4 True or False? The candidate with the most votes is elected president. Answer: Depends. Ask Al Gore.
5/4/ The 2000 Election The Popular Vote Al Gore50,996,039 George W. Bush 50,456,141 The Electoral Vote George W. Bush271 Al Gore267 Oh yeah… I love the Electoral College!
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 6 Historical Background The framers of the Constitution disagreed on how to elect a president—congressional selection or direct popular election. The electoral college was a compromise, combining features of both approaches *Role of President was/is so important, most framers thought that the people could not be trusted to elect President DIRECTLY (mob rule)
For Example… 7 Presidential Candidate Promise – I will open up these two buildings and you can take out whatever you want! Fort Knox Fed. Res NY Manhattan
Why issue? Used to store a large portion of United States official gold reserves and occasionally other precious items belonging or entrusted to the federal governmentgold reserves federal government Ex: Manhattan - holds most of the US and in fact the world's supply of gold. 5/4/ Fort Knox Fed. Res NY Manhattan
because it ensures that the States have a role in selecting the president. 9 The Electoral College and Federalism The electoral college also reflects the federal nature of the Constitution Def: a system of government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and constituent political units (such as states or provinces).
Let’s take a intro look as to how this works…works 5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 10
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 11 State Electoral Votes Texas: 32 House members (32 districts) plus 2 senators = 34 electoral votes Total: 435 House members plus 100 senators plus 3 electors for the District of Columbia = 538 electoral votes Each state is entitled to as many electoral votes as the sum of its representation in the U.S. House and Senate
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 12 Review Question North Carolina has 13 U.S. representatives. How many electoral votes does the state have?
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 13 Answer North Carolina has 15 electoral votes. The formula is the number of U.S. senators, which is two for each state, plus the number of U.S. representatives = 15.
5/4/ Electors Def: Individuals selected in each state to officially cast that state’s electoral votes. Framers anticipated that electors would be state leaders who would exercise good judgment.
5/4/ Electors Today, party leaders select competing slates of electors who are typically long-time party activists. Electors almost always vote for their party’s candidates (not law – but “penalized”)
Electoral Map (2008) and (2012) 5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 16 OBAMA McCAIN # of Electors can change
17 PA 2008 and 2012 Electors: 21, pledged to Barack Obama and Joe Biden: Lynne Abraham Philadelphia County Christopher Lewis Chester County John S. Brenner York County Valerie McDonald-Roberts Allegheny County Eileen Connell Dauphin County Thomas McMahon Berks County Kathi Cozzone Chester County Robert Mellow Lackawanna County John K. Fetterman Allegheny County Michael A. Nutter Philadelphia County William George Cumberland County Corey D. O'Brien Lackawanna County Patrick Gillespie Delaware County Josh Shapiro Montgomery County J. Richard Gray Lancaster County Jack Wagner Allegheny County Franco Harris Allegheny County Michael J. Washo Lackawanna County George Hartwick Dauphin County Wendell Young, IV Montgomery County Daylin Leach Montgomery County Electors: 20, pledged to Barack Obama and Joe Biden Mark L. Alderman Montgomery County Cindy M. Bass Philadelphia County Richard Bloomingdale Dauphin County C. Kim Bracey York County James R. Burn, Jr. Allegheny County Jay Costa Allegheny County Frank Dermody Allegheny County Rich Fitzgerald Allegheny County Penny Gerber Montgomery County Amanda Green Hawkins Allegheny County Vincent J. Hughes Philadelphia County Susan Golden Jacobson Philadelphia County Clifford B. Levine Allegheny County Robert McCord Montgomery County Michael Nutter Philadelphia County Lazar M. Palnick Allegheny County Roxanne G. Pauline Lackawanna County Jose Rosado Lehigh County Cynthia D. Shapira Allegheny County Josh Shapiro Montgomery County
Michael A. Nutter Philadelphia County 5/4/ House of Representatives to Currently serves as a member and Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. Current Mayor of Philadelphia. Previous member of the Philadelphia City Council from the 4th district, and has served as the 52nd Ward Democratic Leader since 1990 Josh Shapiro Montgomery County
Electoral Map (2012) 5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 19 OBAMA McCAIN
5/4/ Selection of Electors All but two states use a winner-take- all statewide election system ex: If Candidate A gets the most votes in a state, Candidate A gets the whole slate of electors.
5/4/ Selection of Electors Maine (4) and Nebraska (5) award electors based on the statewide vote and the vote in each of the state’s congressional districts. What about a split? no majority ** the statewide winners have consistently swept all of the state’s districts. Consequently, neither state has ever split its electoral votes.
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 22 Voters and Electors – How does it work…? 1) A Texan who votes for Bush in November Really voting for a slate of electors pledged to cast the state’s electoral votes for Bush.
5/4/ The Real Election 2 ) In December, the electors gather in their respective state capitols to cast ballots for president and vice president.
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 24 The Real Election 3) In January, Congress convenes, opens the ballots received from each state, and announces the official outcome. See here
5/4/ So, why do I even vote (does my vote count?) Let’s take a look at three states… AlaskaCalifornia North Carolina
5/4/ What does these numbers mean for the candidates? As a matter of campaign strategy spend more time and money campaigning in the BIG states rather than SMALL states. As a result – residents of big states tend to get more attention in presidential elections (so small states may feel left out and unimportant). YET IN REALITY, EACH INDIVIDUAL VOTER HAS LESS INFLUENCE IN A BIG STATE THAN IN A SMALL STATE
5/4/ What if no one receives a majority? To win, a candidate needs a majority, that is, 270 (1/2 of ) electoral votes. If no candidate has a majority, the House selects the president from among the three presidential candidates with the most electoral votes. Each state delegation has one vote. The Senate selects the vice president from the top two vice-presidential candidates.
5/4/ Criticisms of the Electoral College The popular vote winner may lose the presidency (Bush and Gore ) Electors may vote for persons other than their party’s presidential and vice presidential candidates (not legally bound but…) If no candidate receives a majority, Congress will pick the president and vice president.
5/4/ Do we really need the Electoral College? The proponents of the electoral college believe that it conveys legitimacy to the winner in most closely fought presidential elections. For example, Bill Clinton won 69 percent of the electoral vote in 1992 despite capturing only 43 % of the popular vote. The electoral college gave Clinton the appearance of the majority support necessary to be an effective president.
Political Science Module Developed by PQE 30 But don’t forget Florida The 2000 election demonstrated that the electoral college can sometimes undermine a president’s legitimacy. Because of the electoral college, the outcome of the national presidential election was in doubt for more than a month even though one candidate enjoyed a clear popular vote plurality nationwide. The U.S. Supreme Court eventually determined the outcome of the election by halting the vote count in Florida.
5/4/ Proposals for Reform Eliminate electors but still count electoral votes. Ex: If President Obama wins PA by the popular vote, then he would AUTOMATICALLY receive PA’s 20 electoral votes Advantage – Know right away & No human electoral vote (which could change from people’s vote)
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 32 Proposals for Reform Select electors based on the proportion of the vote each candidate gets in each state. This way, a candidate who come in second place in a state with 45% of the popular vote would receive 45% of the electoral votes from that state, instead of 0%. Advantage - would greatly increase voter turnout and the representation of all parties in a state. It would also encourage candidates to campaign in all states rather than just those that are competitive.
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 33 Proposals for Reform Select electors by congressional districts with two electors chosen at large in each state. – This method divides electoral votes by district, allocating one vote to each district and using the remaining two as a bonus for the statewide popular vote winner Disadvantage - would actually make candidates attention even more tunneled. There are normally anywhere from competitive swing states in any given election. – However, with this method, candidates would rather shift their focuses to competitive districts, the number of which would be small enough to further reduce the reach of presidential campaigns, promises and attention.
34 Proposals for Reform Choose the president by direct popular election (Eliminate Electoral College). – This method would abolish the Electoral College and require each person to cast one vote for the candidate of their choice. – The candidate who receives the most votes nationwide would win the election, with or without a majority of the votes PROBLEM - Well over half of the population lives east of the Mississippi river so in a popular vote they would overwhelm the rest of the country and there would be no reason for Californians to even go to the polls.
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 35 Critique of the Reforms Critics attack some reforms for not going far enough. Critics attack other reforms because of the danger that they would produce unintended bad consequences. Too many elections decided by Congress.
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 36 Will Reform Happen? Amending the Constitution is not easy. – The bill must pass both houses of the legislature, by a two-thirds majority in each. Once the bill has passed both houses, it goes on to the states. – This is the route taken by all current amendments Small states would be opposed to reform because they benefit from the current system.
5/4/2015 Wednesday Test Format – 60 points Matching, Multiple Choice, and Completion *Review Sheet 37
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 38 Review Question If Michigan has 8 House of Representative members, how many Electoral Votes do they have total?
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 39 Answer If Michigan has 8 House of Representative members, how many Electoral Votes do they have total? 10 Electoral Votes = (8 H of R + 2 Senators)
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 40 Review Question Who are electors?
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 41 Answer They are individuals selected in each state to officially cast that state’s electoral votes. Electors are typically long-time party activists who are selected by their state party organization as a reward for their loyalty to the party. In most states, electors are officially pledged to support their party’s presidential and vice presidential candidates.
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 42 Review Question In all but 2 states, d oes it matter whether a candidate carries a state by a few votes or a lot of votes?
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 43 Answer No. A candidate receives all of a state’s electoral votes whether the candidate carries the state by one vote or a million votes. In every state except Nebraska and Maine, the race is winner take all.
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 44 Think About it… 1) Pretend you are explaining to your grandparents or little 8 year old sibling about the Electoral College. How would you explain it to them (in terms they can understand) or make an illustration? 2) Do you favor or oppose replacing the electoral college with a different system for selecting a president? Why or Why not?
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 45 Review Question What is the small state bias?
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 46 Answer The electoral college has a small state bias because every state gets at least three electoral votes regardless of its population. As a result, small states such as Alaska, Wyoming, and South Dakota enjoy a greater percentage of electoral votes than they would merit based strictly on population.
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 47 Review Question Why would most Cuban American political leaders likely oppose replacing the electoral college with direct popular election?
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 48 Answer The electoral college gives Cuban Americans a disproportionate influence in national politics because of their concentration in the state of Florida, a state with a sizable number of electoral votes that is closely divided politically. Candidates for president cannot afford to ignore the political concerns of Cuban Americans because of their role in Florida elections.
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 49 Discussion Question Why didn’t the 2000 election trigger a major effort to reform the electoral college?
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 50 Discussion Question How does the electoral college impact candidate strategy in presidential election campaigns?
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 51 Political Legitimacy Political legitimacy is the popular acceptance of a government and its officials as rightful authorities in the exercise of power.
5/4/2015 Political Science Module Developed by PQE 52