Saturday, February 21, 2004

Electing a President

The present manner in which a president is elected - popular vote determining electors - is not specified in the Constitution. The Constitution speaks only of electors. See Article II, Section 1, Clause 3 of the Constitution. The present manner began in 1872.

Forty-eight of the states are an all-or-nothing basis. The candidate with the most popular votes in the state receive all of the electors available in that state. (The number of electors is equal to the number of people in the congressional delegation.) Two states, Maine and Nebraska, allocate electors based upon the votes cast.

With Nader joining the race seeming all but certain, it looks like there will be three choices on the ballots.

There were 21 elections in the "pre-popular-vote" era, and 31 elections since. Seven of the elections in the early era had only two candidates; and only 6 in the present era. Clearly, having only two choices is not the norm.

Interestingly, the third parties have been overwhelming what would be labeled today as "liberal." More on this later ... no time now.

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