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Source: (consider it) Thread: US election aftermath
mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Alt Wally:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Any notion that there's a "mandate" of any sort, even within one of those subsets, is simply not warranted. To get any sort of majority you really have to get very sub-sub group: "white rural evangelical men in the Bible belt".

Trump won the majority of counties in the United States as highlighted in this map.
But counties don't vote, people do. The constituent pieces of a country are its people. The majority of counties in this country are all but empty, actually.

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Alt Wally

Cardinal Ximinez
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quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
According to these exit poll results, Clinton won the majority of votes of those earning $50K or less.

Thanks, that's an interesting infographic. Looks like he got the majority of $50,000 to $90,000. It's interesting that the upper brackets are almost evenly split.
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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
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quote:
Originally posted by Alt Wally:
Clinton certainly won the largest and most prosperous counties.

Here in the largest county in the country, Los Angeles County, almost 25% of the people under 18 live below the federal poverty line -- which of course being a national benchmark does not take into account how freakin' expensive it is to live here. Tell me again about our prosperity.

quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
Ruth, you were clearly inspired by Hilary Clinton's campaign.

I was not. I found her specific references to the future of young girls very moving. But as I am an ultra-liberal pacifist, I wasn't inspired by the centrist hawk.

quote:
That does not, however, appear to have been the general experience of white women according to the CAWP (Centre for American Women and Politics) at Rutgers, as I earlier reported:
Yeah, I read it the first time. It's opinion, not fact.

quote:
What I'm asking you is why you think most white women reacted differently to yourself.
What cliffdweller said.

And about the white women who did vote for Trump -- plenty of them are to one degree or another sexist and/or racist, or at least willing to tolerate sexism and racism in their tribal loyalty to the Republican party, no matter how shitty the candidate is.

quote:
On a different point, I don't think it sexist to point to the judicial treatment of young black men, who seem to be more exposed than their sisters? Nor is it unfair to show concern for the situation of poor young white men who have been denied the work opportunities available to their fathers and grandfathers. It is not unfair and pragmatically advisable for candidates to show concern for their blighted aspirations. Not a few mothers would say amen to that.
It is sexist to say that because she made special and very appropriate pleas to female votes and discussed girls' futures, she doesn't care about men. And you have ignored the link I posted about what she said about the mass incarceration of black men in April 2015.

You also don't seem to have been paying attention to the economic plan she put forward that was in fact intended to create economic opportunities for all sorts of people who aspirations have been blighted. Of course, the white working class wasn't either, being too busy chanting "lock her up!" or too uninformed to realize Trump can't bring back jobs from China that have actually been lost to mechanization.

quote:
In democratic politics it is advisable to make as wide a democratic appeal as possible.
Oh really? Is that how Trump won the presidency? Is failing to do so how Clinton won the popular vote?
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Alt Wally

Cardinal Ximinez
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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
Here in the largest county in the country, Los Angeles County, almost 25% of the people under 18 live below the federal poverty line -- which of course being a national benchmark does not take into account how freakin' expensive it is to live here. Tell me again about our prosperity.

RuthW, I did a quick google search for median household income and it appears Los Angeles County is slightly above national average. Similar for San Benardino and Riverside. Orange and Ventura appear to be well above the national average. I would not be surprised if California as a whole fits this pattern, with many around the median and several well above it.

Donald Trump did not win the areas of the country that are economically advantaged, that's outlined in the Washington Post.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Alt Wally:
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
Here in the largest county in the country, Los Angeles County, almost 25% of the people under 18 live below the federal poverty line -- which of course being a national benchmark does not take into account how freakin' expensive it is to live here. Tell me again about our prosperity.

RuthW, I did a quick google search for median household income and it appears Los Angeles County is slightly above national average. Similar for San Benardino and Riverside. Orange and Ventura appear to be well above the national average. I would not be surprised if California as a whole fits this pattern, with many around the median and several well above it.

Now do a google search of housing prices/ rents in L.A. county compared with the rest of the nation and get back to me.

Ruth's analysis was spot on. Median income has to find the midpoint between that 25% below the poverty line and those living in Bel Air/ Beverly Hills/ San Marino/ Malibu/ Flintridge. Within a few miles from my home is the largest concentration of homeless in the country-- more than 5000 living on the streets in a few square blocks. In addition to Skid Row, the suburb where I serve had more than 600 at our last homeless census--it's even higher in other suburbs.

It's a very very diverse county.

[ 01. December 2016, 04:49: Message edited by: cliffdweller ]

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Alt Wally

Cardinal Ximinez
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Now do a google search of housing prices/ rents in L.A. county compared with the rest of the nation and get back to me.

This map indicates to me there is diversity of income levels in Los Angeles County spread across the various neighborhoods, with many above and below the national median. Housing prices being 50% above the national average which is what google reports back tells me there is a concentration of wealth in Los Angeles County (same with Seattle, Honolulu, San Francisco, etc.) that can support such prices, even if that wealth is not evenly distributed within the county. The Washington Post article indicates that the areas of concentrated wealth on both coasts went to Clinton, and the fact that Clinton lost with the support of the most economically advantaged sections of the country is unprecedented.
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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Alt Wally:
Housing prices being 50% above the national average which is what google reports back tells me there is a concentration of wealth in Los Angeles County (same with Seattle, Honolulu, San Francisco, etc.) that can support such prices,

Well, no. There is a concentration of people that can. Yes, there are rich pockets, but there are a lot of homes designed for single families that house multiple families, flats that are well over design capacity. The LA area is the part of the America with which I am most familiar and there are large amounts of poor and low income people.

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Dave W.
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quote:
Originally posted by Alt Wally:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Now do a google search of housing prices/ rents in L.A. county compared with the rest of the nation and get back to me.

This map indicates to me there is diversity of income levels in Los Angeles County spread across the various neighborhoods, with many above and below the national median. Housing prices being 50% above the national average which is what google reports back tells me there is a concentration of wealth in Los Angeles County (same with Seattle, Honolulu, San Francisco, etc.) that can support such prices, even if that wealth is not evenly distributed within the county. The Washington Post article indicates that the areas of concentrated wealth on both coasts went to Clinton, and the fact that Clinton lost with the support of the most economically advantaged sections of the country is unprecedented.
"Unprecedented"? Who won the west coast and the northeast in 2000 and 2004?
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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
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Sky-high housing prices mean a lot of people are paying half their income or even more in rent. You need to make over $30 an hour to afford the average LA apartment. Minimum wage is $10. I make roughly $24, at a decent job in a slightly cheaper city, and the only reason I can afford to live in my neighborhood and also save for retirement is because I've been in my apartment over 20 years and for some unknown but blessed reason my rent increases have not kept up with the market. (My guess is the elderly landlady doesn't know what the place is worth and I'll be screwed after she dies.)

The point is, it is not just rich people in LA who make this county go blue. The graph cited above measures prosperity by GDP. It doesn't mean the people here share all that prosperity. The US GDP is huge, but there are still plenty of people in poverty. Same with the country's largest county. 20% of the people in my city live in poverty. That's a hell of a lot of poor people, and that's just the very poor - the tranche of folks just above them are not experiencing prosperity.

So when we're supposed to forgive poor people in other parts of the country for voting for a completely unqualified gasbag who doesn't believe in the principles of our democracy - no. Not going to happen, not on my end. Poor people where I live managed on the whole to figure out what a despicable asshole he is.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Alt Wally:
Housing prices being 50% above the national average which is what google reports back tells me there is a concentration of wealth in Los Angeles County (same with Seattle, Honolulu, San Francisco, etc.) that can support such prices,

Well, no. There is a concentration of people that can. Yes, there are rich pockets, but there are a lot of homes designed for single families that house multiple families, flats that are well over design capacity. The LA area is the part of the America with which I am most familiar and there are large amounts of poor and low income people.
Yes. You can't just jump from "rents are higher in LA" to "therefore people in LA must be wealthy to afford them." For some people, yes-- as I said, there are pockets of significant wealth-- mostly on the Westside. But (particularly in central and eastern LA) there are pockets of extreme poverty. As a lifelong LA resident, the 25% figure Ruth cites sounds about right to me. Higher rents do not automatically equal greater wealth, in many cases higher rents just mean those below the poverty line have an even greater struggle to make ends meet-- which was the point I thought would be obvious when I suggested you look at that. Which is why, as I noted in my post above, we have a greater concentration of homeless persons-- as well as whole families living in substandard conditions (e.g. not-up-to-code garage conversions).

[ 01. December 2016, 14:38: Message edited by: cliffdweller ]

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cliffdweller
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I focused more on rent rather than housing prices per se, since most lower income persons in LA are renters-- having been priced out of the housing market.

But there are huge inequities there as well, as noted by billionaire Warren Buffet. California property taxes are tied to the value of the property at time of purchase, not the current value or financial circumstances of the owner.

This means that for the home Buffet purchased in the 1970s in tony, upscale Laguna Beach, currently valued in excess of $4 million, Buffet pays only $2000 annually in property taxes. In contrast, a small 2-bedroom condo in less tony Santa Ana or Anaheim would cost at least $600,000-- with an annual tax of $6,000-- 3x what Buffet pays. We are subsidizing old wealth with new (relative) wealth-- someone born to poverty working the way up the ladder to home ownership is subsidizing services to older, often inherited wealth.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
someone born to poverty working the way up the ladder to home ownership is subsidizing services to older, often inherited wealth.

In the Panama Papers scandal, there were relatively few American found to be investing offshore in those papers is because the US is inordinately friendly to the rich. The US is a tax haven.

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Crœsos
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Well this [PDF] is interesting:

quote:
We believe there is additional information concerning the Russian Government and the U.S. election that should be declassified and released to the public. We are conveying specifics through classified channels.
The signatories are all the Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee except Diane Feinstein. According to The Guardian Feinstein did sign the classified version of the letter. Also according The Guardian "this is the first declassification request by eight senators in at least twelve years".

So apparently there's something these senators think the American public needs to know, and that the need to know it is of greater importance than whatever justified the information being classified in the first place.

I expect much rampant speculation.

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Brenda Clough
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An exhaustive analysis of what happened in the election now that the dust has settled a little.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Alt Wally

Cardinal Ximinez
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quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
"Unprecedented"? Who won the west coast and the northeast in 2000 and 2004?

The part that appears to be unprecedented is the fact that Clinton carried counties that are responsible for about 65% of U.S. economic output, and still lost. We are seeing a first. The concentration of wealth in the coastal areas has accelerated since 2004. Presumably this economic disparity, if it continues, could continue to have unexpected consequences. I think that is a lesson of this election.

In regards to Los Angeles County, I don't believe I anywhere stated that it is uniformly or even majority high income. I'm simply saying it has a concentration of wealth, and is one of the types of counties Clinton carried. Looking at the LA times neighborhood income map, it appears to me Los Angeles has roughly the same number of neighborhoods with median family income above $90,000 as it does below $40,000. That to me indicates both a concentration of wealth, as well as significant numbers of haves and have nots with a wide disparity between them.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Alt Wally:
In regards to Los Angeles County, I don't believe I anywhere stated that it is uniformly or even majority high income. I'm simply saying it has a concentration of wealth, and is one of the types of counties Clinton carried. Looking at the LA times neighborhood income map, it appears to me Los Angeles has roughly the same number of neighborhoods with median family income above $90,000 as it does below $40,000. That to me indicates both a concentration of wealth, as well as significant numbers of haves and have nots with a wide disparity between them.

Yes, that's precisely what Ruth and I have been saying. But of course, as is usually the case with urban poverty, the lower income neighborhoods are significantly denser/ more populous than the high income neighborhoods. So the implication that only wealthy west coasters voted for Clinton just isn't warranted.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Dave W.
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quote:
Originally posted by Alt Wally:
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
"Unprecedented"? Who won the west coast and the northeast in 2000 and 2004?

The part that appears to be unprecedented is the fact that Clinton carried counties that are responsible for about 65% of U.S. economic output, and still lost. We are seeing a first. The concentration of wealth in the coastal areas has accelerated since 2004. Presumably this economic disparity, if it continues, could continue to have unexpected consequences. I think that is a lesson of this election.
But that's where most of the population is! They're responsible for a lot of economic output primarily because they have a lot of people, not because they're simply full of rich people.

You seem determined to try to find some interpretation, however strained, which makes the Democrats out to be the party of the rich elite. But acreage doesn't vote, counties don't vote - people do. And the exit polls I linked to before show the only income ranges the Democrats won were below $50k.

This is hardly new - check out these plots of party identification by income quintile, 2000-2009 (from here), and see how Democratic ID falls with income and Republican ID rises. Same story in similar plots for Democratic presidential vote by income quintile, 1980-2000.

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lilBuddha
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Clinton lost, in part, due to the over-representation of areas low in population, IIRC. It seems that the electoral college, instead of being balanced, skews towards empty space.
If I understand it correctly.

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Kwesi
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After lilBuddha above:

Bias in the electoral college is conventionally understood as the difference between the outcome in the college and the popular vote. Consequently, the critical factor is not the distribution of the vote between urban, suburban and rural locations, but the efficiency of the vote distribution between states. The bias towards the Republicans and Democrats has varied over time, though the winner has almost always won in both the college and in the popular vote. At present, however, the system is biased towards the Republicans, which seems to have become critical in closely-fought contests, occasioning the defeat of the more popular Democrats, Al Gore and Hilary Clinton. Clearly, the credibility of the system will come into question increasingly if the more popular candidate regularly loses in the college.

As I pointed out earlier, however, one has to bear in mind the rules under which elections are conducted because they affect the campaign strategies of the parties and voting behaviour. One cannot, therefore, assume that Gore and Clinton would have won if their contests had been based on the outcome of the popular vote. Trump, for example, would have fought more vigorously in the heavily-populated blue states, especially in California. In many ways, however, the discussion is academic because one cannot see how practically the system could be reformed.

More reformable, however, is access to the electoral register and the opportunity to vote. The Southern states in particular make voter registration and voting difficult and restrictive. The number of registration offices are minimal and their hours of opening limited to conventional office hours. Similarly, polling stations there are fewer and close earlier than elsewhere. Action by a liberal Supreme Court (if ever!) interpreting the Voting Rights Acts more astringently could produce progress in these matters. The outcome, of course, is likely to advantage the Democrats in terms of the popular vote but increase the Republican bias in the college.

I don’t know the answer, but how many congressional districts having Republican Congressmen (women) voted for Hilary Clinton? That could have consequences for the first half of Trump’s first term.

The issue of urban, suburban and rural locations is more important in terms of power within states, as the more conservative rural areas tend to be over-represented in their legislatures, which has important consequences for the decennial re-districting process for the U.S. Congress.

It all goes to show that the USA has had great difficulty in becoming a democracy even in the most conventional sense of equal opportunity of access to the ballot.

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Erik
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Following on from lilBuddha's post about the electoral college being biased towards empty space...

If I understand correctly, the number of electoral college votes assigned to each state was originally based on the population of those areas. Has the number of electoral votes a state has ever been altered to reflect changes in population?

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Kwesi
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Yes, because the number of House seats awarded to a state is re-calculated every ten years on a population basis. There is, however, a bias towards the smaller states due to each state having two senators. (The number of college votes equals the combined number of Representatives and Senators it has).
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Lamb Chopped
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As a reminder from stuff way upthread by now--

The bias in the electoral college (and Congress) was intentional to avoid having low-population states overwhelmed. Without this intentionally-created bias certain states (notably the farming ones, but also islands and Alaska) would have basically no voice. I mean, do you really want a U.S. ruled almost wholly by Texas, Florida, and California? (stop and think about that combo, if you know the cultures--it'd make for some REALLY interesting fights in Congress, as well as some odd alliances)

That's what you'd get if you did everything by population alone.

And I love California (my native state) but I don't imagine for a moment they are saints enough to refrain from pushing their particular interests through at the expense of the rest of the country. Nor any state, really.

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barrea
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Why don't they just have a simple voting system like over here UK. the person with the most vote wins?

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Lamb Chopped
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That's a joke, right? You didn't see my last post?

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
The bias in the electoral college (and Congress) was intentional to avoid having low-population states overwhelmed. Without this intentionally-created bias certain states (notably the farming ones, but also islands and Alaska) would have basically no voice.

A reminder that when LC says "no voice", she means "a voice proportional to population". As always, the reason why some constituencies need to be given a disproportionate amount of power in a given political system is left vague, other than some stereotypes about urban corruption and rural virtue.

quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
I mean, do you really want a U.S. ruled almost wholly by Texas, Florida, and California? (stop and think about that combo, if you know the cultures--it'd make for some REALLY interesting fights in Congress, as well as some odd alliances)

That's what you'd get if you did everything by population alone.

And I love California (my native state) but I don't imagine for a moment they are saints enough to refrain from pushing their particular interests through at the expense of the rest of the country.

Yeah, like that.

Like many things about the U.S. Constitution, the electoral college wasn't some coherent, philosophically necessary system dictated by overall structure of the rest of the Constitutional order, it was an ad hoc compromise designed to fit the political expediencies of the day. In this case, the expediencies were a sweetener for the slave-intensive states of the South and an acknowledgement of the political realities of decentralized, state-based centers of political power. But it should be remembered that it was controversial even in its day. James Madison (sometimes known as the "Father of the Constitution") preferred a direct, national election for the President. Others proposed that the President be selected by Congress. The electoral college was, as I said earlier, an ad hoc compromise rather than any philosophically necessary system.

Still, when you advocate for something other than "whoever gets the most votes wins", I think the onus on you is to provide a more substantial case for minority rule than "those bastards in populous states can't be trusted". It's not very far from there to Why the South Must Prevail [PDF].

[ 02. December 2016, 17:15: Message edited by: Crœsos ]

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:

That's what you'd get if you did everything by population alone.

But what you get now is the majority held hostage to isolated ignorance. That the shift is in the reverse is not a better thing.

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Crœsos
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From an article discussing the electoral college:

quote:
Some will defend the Electoral College on the grounds that it requires presidential candidates to pay more attention to small states. But there is little reason to give small states, already overrepresented somewhat in the House and massively overrepresented in the Senate, yet another thumb on the scale. Besides, if it were a good idea in theory, it doesn’t work in practice. As Ari Berman of The Nation observes, “94 percent of campaign visits and money went to just 12 states.” To defend the Electoral College on the grounds that it broadens the scope of presidential campaigning is truly perverse.


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Golden Key
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# 1468

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Would a compromise of one electoral vote for each state work?

I have a cold, so that may well not make much sense. I lean towards getting rid of the EC, even though I don't generally like to mess around too much with what the founding guys set up. Except for human rights issues...and this, arguably, could be one.

But if we need the EC for checks and balances, would one electoral vote per state do that? All states would be equal. Though we could still wind up in the current popular/electoral situation.

We could have each state's popular winner automatically be their electoral choice. But states currently do their own thing. There'd be a huge fuss over states' rights.

Any changes would take a long time to put together, approve, and implement. Probably wouldn't be done for the next presidential election.

what a mess. [Frown]

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Would a compromise of one electoral vote for each state work?

That's not really a compromise; that's lurching further in the direction of overrepresentation of small states.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
As a reminder from stuff way upthread by now--

The bias in the electoral college (and Congress) was intentional to avoid having low-population states overwhelmed. Without this intentionally-created bias certain states (notably the farming ones, but also islands and Alaska) would have basically no voice. I mean, do you really want a U.S. ruled almost wholly by Texas, Florida, and California? (stop and think about that combo, if you know the cultures--it'd make for some REALLY interesting fights in Congress, as well as some odd alliances)

Time to give up the experiment. The left coast, or at least the west half of the left coast states, would make an awesome sovereign nation. Where do I sign?

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Would a compromise of one electoral vote for each state work?

As mousethief already pointed out, it wouldn't.

Allow me to propose a counter-compromise: each state has a number of electoral votes equal to the number of U.S. citizens over the age of eighteen residing within its borders and these votes are divided up as per the preferences of those same citizens. [Big Grin]

quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
But if we need the EC for checks and balances, . . .

That's rather begging the question, isn't it? Does the electoral college contribute in any significant way to the American system of checks and balances? I don't see that it does. Is the lack of such a system in every other election conducted in the U.S. evidence that tyranny is nigh? Quite frankly, the fact that no other election (in the U.S. or elsewhere) is conducted in this manner speaks volumes against all the pragmatic "reasons" advanced for the electoral college.

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cliffdweller
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# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Would a compromise of one electoral vote for each state work?

As mousethief already pointed out, it wouldn't.

Allow me to propose a counter-compromise: each state has a number of electoral votes equal to the number of U.S. citizens over the age of eighteen residing within its borders and these votes are divided up as per the preferences of those same citizens. [Big Grin]

quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
But if we need the EC for checks and balances, . . .

That's rather begging the question, isn't it? Does the electoral college contribute in any significant way to the American system of checks and balances? I don't see that it does. Is the lack of such a system in every other election conducted in the U.S. evidence that tyranny is nigh? Quite frankly, the fact that no other election (in the U.S. or elsewhere) is conducted in this manner speaks volumes against all the pragmatic "reasons" advanced for the electoral college.

Yes.

It seems like the EC is established to "balance" power between populous urban areas and less populous rural areas (which conveniently also aligned with the balance between northern and southern slave states). The suggestion being that those rural areas are disadvantaged in ways that require special pleading to let their voices be heard.

And in some ways that might be true. Certainly the result of the election appear to suggest rural whites feel "unheard"-- and that there is some truth to that, given that the rest of the country, even the pollsters, didn't see Trump's victory coming. So we have a real minority with concerns and/or fears that are, at least in their minds, significant, and are not being addressed or even heard by the majority of Americans.

The question, though, is whether THIS minority is any more deserving of special pleading than any other minority group. Do rural whites need to be protected from urban diversity any more than racial, religious, or LGBT minorities need to be protected? By singling out just one "minority" group and giving it this special status we have made the marginalizing of all these other groups all the greater.

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Gee D
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The voting systems for Senate and the EC in the US, and the Senate here, give disproportionate weight to votes of those in smaller states. A referendum to amend the constitution here has to be passed by a majority of voters in a majority of states; again, that gives disproportionate weight to votes in smaller states. At least we can vote for the Senates - unlike Canada where Senators are appointed, and the House of Lords in the UK with a strange system combining those appointed for life with the remainder voted in by an extremely limited franchise.

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Lamb Chopped
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# 5528

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I'm going to sit on my temper real hard here.

Look, the premise of the United States is that we are not organized only as individuals, but as -- wait for it -- actual STATES. That is, communities of people whose geographical location causes them to share certain interests. And those interests are NOT purely slavery, thank-you-very-much. In fact, the least-populated states are just as much in the North or middle as in the South. More so, if you consider Texas and Florida to be in any way "South."

There is nothing wrong with shared interests. There is nothing wrong with seeking consideration for those shared interests on a federal level. That's why we have the United States, rather than 50 independent states. The intention was some sort of cooperation. And cooperation ought to flow more than one way.

It's damnably rude to characterize all of rural America as "ignorant." It also makes any reasonable discussion go right down the crapper. Rural America did not elect Donald Trump on its own. Some of rural America voted blue. Some of heavily-developed America voted red. And it isn't rural America that has him holed up in a tower right now, planning God-knows-what kind of shit.

If you want to get rid of the electoral college, I have one question for you: If this election had turned out the other way (and how I wish it did!), would you honestly still want the EC gone?

Times change. Killing the EC because you're pissed about two elections is silly. (Don't anyone tell me you're still angsting about Benjamin Harrison.)

If you're going to kill the thing, first figure out how you're going to handle fairness to places like Alaska.

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:

Look, the premise of the United States is that we are not organized only as individuals, but as -- wait for it -- actual STATES. That is, communities of people whose geographical location causes them to share certain interests.

And that made more sense in a time where it took days or months to communicate between areas.

quote:

The intention was some sort of cooperation. And cooperation ought to flow more than one way.

Being divided into states that seek to protect their POV, regardless of whether or not it is actually threatened, isn't conducive to cooperation.
quote:

It's damnably rude to characterize all of rural America as "ignorant."

I did not characterise all of rural America as ignorant. But I find it hard to find reasons people voted for Trump other than racism, misogyny, xenophobia and ignorance.
quote:

Rural America did not elect Donald Trump on its own.

This population density map is very similar to this voting map.

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cliffdweller
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# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
I'm going to sit on my temper real hard here.

I'm not sure how much of that is a response to my prior post and how much is others', but I'll respond/ take responsibility for my share as best I can:


quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:

Look, the premise of the United States is that we are not organized only as individuals, but as -- wait for it -- actual STATES. That is, communities of people whose geographical location causes them to share certain interests. And those interests are NOT purely slavery, thank-you-very-much. In fact, the least-populated states are just as much in the North or middle as in the South. More so, if you consider Texas and Florida to be in any way "South."

Sure. My comment about slavery was re the original compromise that led to the EC-- at least as I understand it. There is a lot that has been written speculating on why the founding fathers gave us this particular compromise, but it is clear at least that it was a compromise, and in fact, primarily a compromise between north and south. Of course, at the time of the constitution, slavery was legal in both north and south, and much of the country on both sides of Mason/Dixon was agricultural-- and more people lived in small towns than large cities. But... the plantation system with large numbers of slaves was more unique to the South, and that has been suggested as a rationale for the EC/differing interests.

None of which is really relevant today- as you rightly point out. I brought it up merely as a historical point when replaying the history, but failed to make that clear.


quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
It's damnably rude to characterize all of rural America as "ignorant." It also makes any reasonable discussion go right down the crapper.

Agreed. I'm not sure that argument has been made here, but it certainly has in the wider media.


quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Rural America did not elect Donald Trump on its own. Some of rural America voted blue. Some of heavily-developed America voted red. And it isn't rural America that has him holed up in a tower right now, planning God-knows-what kind of shit.

I'm having a hard time getting a handle on who DID elect Trump-- just as I did all thru the election. Which goes of course to the echo chamber effect. But the best I can see is that "rural white evangelical male" was the best predictor of being a Trump voter-- with at least three of the four needing to be in place to be an accurate assessment. So it certainly isn't "rural" alone, just as "white" isn't and neither is "evangelical". Similar to what I said earlier when it was laid at the feet of white women and/or evangelicals. And of course, there are outliers on both sides of that equation.

fwiw, the largest agricultural producer in the country is, as you no doubt know, blue-state California (although the San Joaquin valley is a red enclave within our blueness).


quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
There is nothing wrong with shared interests. There is nothing wrong with seeking consideration for those shared interests on a federal level. That's why we have the United States, rather than 50 independent states. The intention was some sort of cooperation. And cooperation ought to flow more than one way.

Sure. And both parties play that by cobbling together coalitions with shared interests. My question-- and it was purely off-the-cuff musing that may not bear up to scrutiny-- was whether the ONE particular "shared interest" being protected by the EC-- i.e. the shared interests of voters in less-populated vs more-populated areas-- need or should be protected any MORE than other sorts of shared interests-- e.g. the shared interests of racial minorities, or immigrants, or LGBT folks? Why does this ONE group need special protection?


quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:

If you want to get rid of the electoral college, I have one question for you: If this election had turned out the other way (and how I wish it did!), would you honestly still want the EC gone?

Certainly a fair question, and one that has been asked all along, as well it should. One I've asked myself.

And to be honest, I doubt I would feel as strongly about it if it weren't having this outcome, and particularly if we hadn't seen such a dramatic shift from the popular vote. We have all lost elections before, but this election was experienced differently by liberal voters in blue states because of the echo-chamber effect and the misleading predictions. We went into it so, well, cocky & sure of ourselves (which, of course, is one of many, many factors to blame in the whole mess) that we were blindsided by the result. Which then is amplified when we hear the results of the popular vote.

Really, it can probably best be described as the "five stages of grieving", and we're all at different stages. There was/is a lot of denial-- which is feeding conspiracy theories and possibly the calls for recounts/accusations of Russian tampering, etc. Then there's bargaining-- the EC debate probably comes under that. Not very many of us have gotten to "acceptance" yet. Perhaps we never will.

I was just sharing with a RL friend today that I haven't really figured out for myself what a healthy response to the election would look like. I am aware of this huge disconnect between my own experience and that of Trump voters-- that I don't get them, don't understand them, and am not hearing their voices represented in the media I consume. So, on the one hand, I feel a responsibility to read/listen more widely. Yet, otoh, that sort of wider conversation seems (for me personally) to only feed the unhealthy responses-- fear, anger, bitterness-- on my part. It just hasn't been healthy for my soul. But then (if I'm allowed a 3rd hand) I'm thinking about how to organize to protect/ advocate for the interests I'm concerned about-- the things that motivated my lefty vote in the first place. I'm still wrestling with all of that on a personal level, much less trying to think about what it should look like for the DNC or lefty voters as a whole.

So, your question is well-placed, but for me personally, just a drop in a bigger morass of soul-searching.

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Lamb Chopped
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# 5528

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It's not you, Cliffdweller. You have nuance and tend to see both sides.

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:

Look, the premise of the United States is that we are not organized only as individuals, but as -- wait for it -- actual STATES. That is, communities of people whose geographical location causes them to share certain interests.

And that made more sense in a time where it took days or months to communicate between areas.
Tell me, lilBuddha, are you an American? Because you don't seem to get the point of having states. Your problem appears to be, not so much with the electoral college, as with the concept of states per se.

You might want to go and do some thinking on why we bother with states at all, as opposed to countries who keep everything in a single population group.

Hint: States are NOT simply convenient administrative units. Nor are they gerrymandered district lines--their origins are more organic than that.

Which is why the EC takes notice of states and not merely individuals.

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Alt Wally

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quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
But that's where most of the population is! They're responsible for a lot of economic output primarily because they have a lot of people, not because they're simply full of rich people.

I don't really think it's either. There areas with high population, and high population density that have low economic output. I also don't think I've said anything along the lines of economic output being tied to the presence of a bunch of "rich people". Rather, what seems to be happening as evidenced in the Brookings Institution research, is the economic output is being shifted to a narrower slice of geography and that this is also creating a concentration of wealth. I don't think this is actually due to a population shift, rather it seems to be an economic shift. The shift being to technology and services focus and away from manufacturing. This has been going on for a while, and seems to have reached a tipping point in this election. The losers in the new economic climate seemed to have said they have had enough, and were willing to elect someone who in any other circumstances would be seemingly unelectable (and who it seems tried to do everything possible to ensure his own defeat).

quote:
You seem determined to try to find some interpretation, however strained, which makes the Democrats out to be the party of the rich elite. But acreage doesn't vote, counties don't vote - people do. And the exit polls I linked to before show the only income ranges the Democrats won were below $50k.

I really don't feel like I'm straining to find an interpretation here, I'm looking at the numbers (not that it matters, but I am a registered independent who did not vote for Trump or Clinton), so I also don't think I'm trying to advance anyone's agenda.

You did earlier point out in the exit poll data that my guess that Trump may have carried the sub $50k median income range was wrong. I did mention earlier I was surprised at how close the upper income brackets were in terms of the split between Trump and Clinton in that exit poll data. Where Trump did have the largest edge in the poll data you posted was in the $50 to $90k range, and that was really where his victory probably came from. In most other circumstances, those $50 to $90k range voters in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania would probably vote Democratic. That was the deciding factor.

quote:
This is hardly new - check out these plots of party identification by income quintile, 2000-2009 (from here), and see how Democratic ID falls with income and Republican ID rises. Same story in similar plots for Democratic presidential vote by income quintile, 1980-2000.

The plots are very interesting and seem to line up with the exit poll data you posted. You are correct about the falling and rising with the party affiliation graphs, but there is an interesting shift within the numbers. If you look at the third and fourth quintiles (income brackets probably normally considered middle class), you see the number who identify as Democrat started to dip, it appears around 2007/2008 as I make out the x axis. In the highest quintile, there has been a steady rise in those who identify as Democratic starting in around 2004. It's an interesting shift, and I think lines up with what I was saying earlier. In the who votes column charts you posted you can see the proportion of those who voted Democratic in 1980 that were in the highest income bracket was 35%, and it went up to 43% in 2000.

I really enjoyed looking the numbers you found, so thanks for posting them.

quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
If you want to get rid of the electoral college, I have one question for you: If this election had turned out the other way (and how I wish it did!), would you honestly still want the EC gone?

I think it’s fair to say that had the election gone to Clinton, there would not be a murmur about the electoral college. Whether we wish it gone or not, it is incredibly unlikely if not essentially impossible that it will be going away. If I were in the Clinton camp I would not waste time with sour grapes over this, I would try and figure out how a slam dunk was bricked.

One thing I do think should change, although I doubt will, is the nominating process.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:

You might want to go and do some thinking on why we bother with states at all, as opposed to countries who keep everything in a single population group.

The states are precisely administrative units. That is why they were developed.
No country is homogeneous. And yet many manage to have a more centralised government. I am suggesting that states are less necessary now than in the past.

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Lamb Chopped
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# 5528

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I repeat--are you an American? Because your bare assertion is remarkably unconvincing if not.

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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Either my statement has merit or it does not. If it does not, can you explain why it does not?

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Dave W.
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# 8765

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quote:
Originally posted by Alt Wally:
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
But that's where most of the population is! They're responsible for a lot of economic output primarily because they have a lot of people, not because they're simply full of rich people.

I don't really think it's either. There areas with high population, and high population density that have low economic output. I also don't think I've said anything along the lines of economic output being tied to the presence of a bunch of "rich people". Rather, what seems to be happening as evidenced in the Brookings Institution research, is the economic output is being shifted to a narrower slice of geography and that this is also creating a concentration of wealth.
No - from your own WaPo link:
quote:
But it's not the case that the counties Clinton won have grown richer at the expense of the rest of the country — they represent about the same share of the economy today as they did in 2000.
quote:
The losers in the new economic climate seemed to have said they have had enough, and were willing to elect someone who in any other circumstances would be seemingly unelectable (and who it seems tried to do everything possible to ensure his own defeat).

Only if the definition of "losers" somehow manages to exclude the people at the bottom of the income distribution, most of whom supported the Democratic candidate (as per usual.)
quote:
quote:
You seem determined to try to find some interpretation, however strained, which makes the Democrats out to be the party of the rich elite. But acreage doesn't vote, counties don't vote - people do. And the exit polls I linked to before show the only income ranges the Democrats won were below $50k.

I really don't feel like I'm straining to find an interpretation here, I'm looking at the numbers (not that it matters, but I am a registered independent who did not vote for Trump or Clinton), so I also don't think I'm trying to advance anyone's agenda.
A favored but unsupported theory doesn't necessarily have to be someone else's agenda, or even your own agenda. But if, after you find yourself surprised by facts that seem to contradict what your narrative would have lead you to expect, you then find yourself still looking for support in ever smaller features of the data, perhaps it's a sign that what you took to be useful view of what's going on isn't as helpfully explanatory as you thought it might be.
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Lamb Chopped
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# 5528

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Either my statement has merit or it does not. If it does not, can you explain why it does not?

I can and will, but not over this crappy wifi. Are you going to answer, or keep evading the question?

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Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Either my statement has merit or it does not. If it does not, can you explain why it does not?

I can and will, but not over this crappy wifi. Are you going to answer, or keep evading the question?
I don't do much in the way of direct biographical information. But I do not see how that matters to this bit of this discussion.

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Lamb Chopped
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Not American then. Right.

I'll make it as clear as I can.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Eutychus
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hosting/

Lamb Chopped, persisting in trying to elicit personal information from another Shipmate when they have already made it clear they don't want to divulge it qualifies as a personal attack from my perspective. Back off.

/hosting

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Kwesi
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ISTM the two-vote state element in the college is of no great importance, and has far as I am aware has not been decisive in determining the outcome of any presidential election, at least in recent times. It's a red herring.

Surely, more problematical in democratic terms is the composition of the Senate.

The democratic credentials of US institutions are also called into question by the Supreme Court, which exercises considerable political power but is unaccountable to the public for its decisions.

The US, in short, is a funny sort of democracy, aint it?

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Alt Wally

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quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
No - from your own WaPo link: But it's not the case that the counties Clinton won have grown richer at the expense of the rest of the country — they represent about the same share of the economy today as they did in 2000.



Right, but I don't believe that actually contradicts anything I've said. To quote the fuller section

This appears to be unprecedented, in the era of modern economic statistics, for a losing presidential candidate. The last candidate to win the popular vote but lose the electoral college, Democrat Al Gore in 2000, won counties that generated about 54 percent of the country's gross domestic product, the Brookings researchers calculated. That's true even though Gore won more than 100 more counties in 2000 than Clinton did in 2016. In between those elections, U.S. economic activity has grown increasingly concentrated in large, “superstar” metro areas, such as Silicon Valley and New York. But it's not the case that the counties Clinton won have grown richer at the expense of the rest of the country — they represent about the same share of the economy today as they did in 2000. Instead, it appears that, compared to Gore, Clinton was much more successful in winning over the most successful counties in a geographically unbalanced economy.

To sum up what the analysis is saying can be described this way

1. There is a long standing imbalance in the economy which is manifesting itself in an increasingly divided geography.
2. The imbalance is being further exacerbated by a concentration of the parts of the geography not just doing well, but doing really well.
3. Clinton took 100 fewer counties than Gore, but 10% more of the economic output of the country. This has never happened before.
4. To quote again "the Democratic base aligning more to that more concentrated modern economy, but a lot of votes and anger to be had in the rest of the country."

My own interpretation of the other numbers you posted is that

1. The lower income brackets remain solidly blue.
2. The middle tiers are dipping in blue affiliation.
3. The upper tier is rising as a blue demographic.

San Francisco might be a microcosm of this.

Overall, in light of this concentration, the electoral college now seems suddenly incredibly relevant for the foreseeable future.

quote:
Only if the definition of "losers" somehow manages to exclude the people at the bottom of the income distribution, most of whom supported the Democratic candidate (as per usual.)
My apologies for lack of clarity there. The economic losers whose interests are typically thought to be solidly blue, but that went red. A breaking point seems to have been reached in this election because they don't feel like their economic concerns were being addressed.

quote:
But if, after you find yourself surprised by facts that seem to contradict what your narrative would have lead you to expect, you then find yourself still looking for support in ever smaller features of the data, perhaps it's a sign that what you took to be useful view of what's going on isn't as helpfully explanatory as you thought it might be.

I have not seen the contradictory facts, but I am absolutely open to an alternate explanation of what's going on utilizing the data at hand. Focusing on the subsets of data would indeed be wrong, if done at the exclusion or without reference to the larger data set. The averages are important, but so are the deviations and outliers. They do not negate each other. Looking for the small changes in the overall picture helps you figure out the part we can't see, and that's what the model will look like going forward. I am quite curious to hear your interpretation of what happened, again based on what the data makes available to us.
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Dave W.
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# 8765

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quote:
Originally posted by Alt Wally:
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
No - from your own WaPo link: But it's not the case that the counties Clinton won have grown richer at the expense of the rest of the country — they represent about the same share of the economy today as they did in 2000.

Right, but I don't believe that actually contradicts anything I've said.
It contradicts this:
quote:
what seems to be happening as evidenced in the Brookings Institution research, is the economic output is being shifted to a narrower slice of geography and that this is also creating a concentration of wealth.
According to the WaPo article, those counties haven't grown relatively richer since 2000.

The problem may simply be incoherence in the WaPo article itself:
quote:
In between those elections, U.S. economic activity has grown increasingly concentrated in large, “superstar” metro areas, such as Silicon Valley and New York.
In what sense has economic activity grown increasingly concentrated if the counties in question have about the same share of the economy as before?

This whole WaPo/Brookings attempt to explain the results through the lens of county-level income seems dubious to me. The WaPo article seems to have no link to any Brookings publications on this, if there are any; I'd be reluctant to place a lot of weight on an article which contains apparently contradictory statements about what's supposed to be a key explanatory factor for which historical trends aren't presented. The article says Brookings researchers found this while "sifting the election returns"; without the context of any previous supporting analyses, it sounds suspiciously like data dredging.
quote:
My own interpretation of the other numbers you posted is that

1. The lower income brackets remain solidly blue.
2. The middle tiers are dipping in blue affiliation.
3. The upper tier is rising as a blue demographic.

I think the blue lines in the party ID graphs are remarkably steady - I highly doubt you could find any significant trends that would support this interpretation. (The only consistent trend over time that I see is an apparent shift in ID from Republican to independent, which seems to be common across all quintiles.)
quote:
quote:
But if, after you find yourself surprised by facts that seem to contradict what your narrative would have lead you to expect, you then find yourself still looking for support in ever smaller features of the data, perhaps it's a sign that what you took to be useful view of what's going on isn't as helpfully explanatory as you thought it might be.

I have not seen the contradictory facts,

I was referring to your surprise that Clinton won low income voters, a fact that contradicted what you said you expected.
quote:
[snip]
I am quite curious to hear your interpretation of what happened, again based on what the data makes available to us.

And if I had a compelling interpretation, I'd be happy to share it with you! Sadly, I haven't heard one yet. And if I had, I doubt it could be entirely based on "data" - certainly not just on things at the level of county wealth statistics. It would have to take into account such things as the fact people's preference for Trump over Clinton was better predicted by their belief that Obama is a Muslim than by their level of economic anxiety, the collapse of the Republican party establishment's role as gatekeeper to its own nomination process, and the Democratic party's own severe but different failures in that process.

The result of the election was decided by very thin margins in a few swing states. That suggests there are probably a large number of factors which could have made the difference if they had been slightly different; in such circumstances, it's probably not meaningful to point at any one of them and say "This explains it!"

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
ISTM the two-vote state element in the college is of no great importance, and has far as I am aware has not been decisive in determining the outcome of any presidential election, at least in recent times. It's a red herring.

[Confused] How is it NOT a factor in this election? Is this not precisely the reason that HIllary lost, despite being ahead more than 2 million votes in the overall tally?

--------------------
"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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