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Coming Soon: No More Coming in Second and Winning the Presidency


Coming Soon: No More Coming in Second and Winning the Presidency

Ralph Nader

In the history of the United States, four presidential candidates who came in second in the popular vote were “elected” president (John Quincy Adams in 1824, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, Benjamin Harrison in 1888, and George W. Bush in 2000). This inversion of democratic elections was due to the fifty states’ winner-take-all laws and the absurdity of the Electoral College. To political observers in other democratic countries, the U.S. is the laughing stock for their failure to change this system that rejects the popular will.


Somebody help me out here. Please.
"Winner take all" compact between the States doesn't seem democratic - that is, following the popular vote - because a few thousand votes in a large state could throw all the electoral votes to a single candidate instead of being a neck by neck close race.
That's democratic?


It simply means that these states agree to vote for the winner of the National Popular Vote, regardless of the vote in any particular state, including their own.


I can think of no one better to give us these good news than Ralph Nader who has led the battle against the corporate state. I hope that this happens before the next Presidential election. Its time candidates of the 99% have a fair chance against those of the 1%.

“Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”
― Abraham Lincoln


I have a better idea - let the EC vote be divided in each state in the same proportion as the popular vote in each state - if Dems get 90% of the vote in NY, say, they get 90% of the EC votes - this way if a 3rd party makes a dent in the popular vote, they get some EC votes, too, as they should - this reflects the will of the populace in a much more tangible way than the method outlined by Nader - which, when all is said and done is still a winner takes all scenario ....


Thanks to you.


" . . an interstate compact, whereby states pass laws declaring that they will give all their electoral votes to the winner of that national popular vote for president." I think that the confusion may come from a typographical error - If "that popular vote", whose easiest reading seems to be "that state's popular vote" read "the popular vote", the reading might more easily be the national popular vote.

If the intended meaning is in fact "that state's", bushrodi's point seems correct. If the intended meaning is "the national popular vote" his or her point still seems all to reasonable, but fortunately the victim of an error in the article.


Suppose I am offered a choice from the two major parties of Candidate NoF'nway, or Candidate Notquiteasbad. Most likely I will lean toward a "party line" vote thinking it will give me the lesser of two evils.
Suppose a third party arrives on the scene with some significant popular support, Candidate TheguyIlike whose campaign more closely matches my values than either major party candidate.
In the article it says a 50k vote swing in Ohio could have given Kerry the Presidency over GWB despite a 3 million popular vote win, or a 200k Ohio swing could have erased Obama's 5 million popular vote win.
If Candidate 3rd takes my vote and 15% of the National vote from Candidate Notquiteasbad leaving him with 55% - 15% = 40% it seems to me that this idea gives the popular vote and the Presidency to Candidate NoF'nway with 45%. I might feel forced to vote to defeat the awful policys of NoF'nway by voting for Notquiteasbad instead of voting for TheguyIlike. If TheguyIlike does not win, then I need to be sure my vote does not vanish, but goes to my second and then my third choice so I don't get stuck with NoF'nway.


Ralph, I'd happily vote for you again.


One likely effect of this compact will be to help solidify duopoly exclusivity. As I recall, 3rd parties can qualify for funding benefits if they attain 5% of the vote. That 5% threshold will be harder to reach if there are no "safe" states. I was able to convince a number of my friends to vote for Stein here in Texas simply because a vote for Obama here was a guaranteed wasted vote which had no chance of affecting the outcome.

A second effect will be that campaigns will become a great deal more expensive, which will increase the money addiction and the power of the money-masters (and this too will help to squeeze out the little parties).

So it seems a bit ironic that Nader is advocating this, when his position previously was that there isn't much difference between the duopoly parties and where his own presidential runs would mostly likely have been hurt by this.