Thursday, June 05, 2008

They're getting it wrong...again

Everyone remembers how the electoral college works, right? When a presidential candidate wins a state - by one vote or one million votes, all of that state's electors vote for that candidate. The number of electors is awarded in proportion to population, so heavily populated states like California, New York, Texas, etc. play a much larger role in the outcome than Montana or the Dakotas.

Sorry for the elementary refresher, but someone needs to remind Howard Dean and the Democrats how this thing works.

Obama finally cemented the nomination yesterday, winning the contest designed to pick a popular loser. You see, the Democrats don't award delegates like the electoral college awards electors - they give each candidate an amount of delegates proportional to the popular vote received in each state, or occasionally by district. So even though Obama performed poorly in every big, populous state that Dems need to carry in order to win the general election, he's the nominee!

Had the Democrats awarded their delegates winner-take-all by state, like the Republicans do, Hillary would have sewn up the nomination weeks ago. Had Florida and Michigan played by the rules, and not been punished by having their delegate count halved, they would have broken for Hillary (according to polls) and she would have won the election.

Instead, the Dems managed to nominate someone who lost California, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Florida, Michigan, and possibly Texas. For the first time in history, the nominee lost a state (West Virginia) by 40 points. (He lost two states by 30 points - also a record.)

But wait, isn't that why the Dems have hundreds of superdelegates? Party insiders who know what it takes to win an election, whose sole reason for existence is to pick the most electable candidate in a close vote? Well, they're all afraid of going against the 'will of the people', although it's debatable which of the Dems won the popular vote anyway.

Call me crazy, but if I have the chance to send one of two teams to a winner-take-all tournament, I'm going to send the one with the most wins, not the one with the best ratio of points for to points against. The Republicans figured this out long ago, and so we saw McCain assume the mantle in April instead of fighting a protracted battle against the forgettable Mitt Romney.

I'm not bitter. I would have voted for McCain either way, and the Democrats' choice makes it easier for him to win. It's just amazing to see so many smart people arrive at the same bad decision.


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