Friday, November 9, 2012

California > Florida + Ohio

Why didn't California get more attention during the election? It's the most powerful state in the most powerful country in the history of the world.  We heard much about the swing states: Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Iowa, Nevada, Wisconsin, Colorado, North Carolina and even puny New Hampshire.

Look at how many times the candidates visited each of these states (in order):

State# of Campaign VisitsVisit was for Fundraising
New Hampshire482

REALLY, New Hampshire's 4 electoral votes are worth more visits than California's 55?  Of course the real reason they come to California was for our money.  Only 9 visits to California were not related to fundraising.

If the 55 electoral votes from California were split into Obama's California and Romney's California, it would be two powerful states with 33 and 22 electoral votes respectively.  Florida has 29 and Ohio has 18 electoral votes.  Both states are a New Hampshire (4 electoral votes) size smaller then California's split states!

WAIT!!!  You might think this is just a Republican ploy to get more electoral votes.  Problem is that the swing in 44 electoral votes (-22 for Democrats and +22 for Republicans) would not have changed the results in any of the elections over the last 50 years (I got tired of looking after 1960).

2012 Obama wins by at least 68
2008 Obama wins by 192
2004 Bush wins anyways
2000 Bush wins anyways
1996 Clinton wins by 220
1992 Clinton wins by 202
Republicans took the state in 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988 so Democrats would have benefited
1964 Johnson wins by 434
1960 Kennedy would have picked up extra votes

What Exactly am I Proposing?

End the winner-takes-all allocation of electoral votes in California, switching to a proportional allocation.

Some might argue that this deviates from the original intention of the founding fathers.  They wanted to avoid the problems of selecting a president by popular vote.  The reality is that what we have today is pretty close to selecting by popular vote.  The only difference is some of the problems outlined above.  Either way, the U.S. Constitution grants the states the rights to determine how to allocate their electoral votes, so this would be totally constitutional.  This is a state's rights issue, not a national one.

So why do it?

Reason #1: Focus Attention on California During the Campaign

Did you find yourself scratching your head about debating over coal or automobile manufacturing?  These might be important issues, but what about California's issues?

Reason #2: Increase Voter Participation

California had about 51% turnout for registered voters while the swing states had 78%.  Fewer Californians registered to vote (77% of eligible voters) compared to swing states (84%).  The difference is around 5 million fewer Californian voters.  Talk about voter suppression.  The first time my son voted, he was excited until he realized that his vote didn't matter.  I'm sure the 5 million feel the same way.

Reason #3: Keep California in the Game

Due to the later time zone, sometimes the election is decided before the polls in California even close.  The news showed long lines at the polls.  When I voted, there was no line.  I would love to see Californians rushing to the polls, engaged in the election.

So what can you do about it?

Sign this petition:


Why use  Aren't they a liberal organization? is associated with which is considered liberal, but the intent and strategy is to be non-partisan.  It was used by a couple of high school girls to petition the Presidential Debate Commission for female moderators.  It worked for them, maybe it will work for us.  If there is a better petition organization, then by all means lets use it.  There are already many like-minded, fair voting organizations that might be better suited to align with.

Do I have to give my email to when I sign the petition?  A good strategy is to have multiple email addresses for various purposes.  I created a unique email address specifically for this cause:  It's already been spammed by  Let me know if yours gets spammed.

Sources of Information:

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