This Year, It’s Important That You Vote, Even in the 38 States that Don’t Matter

12 Swing States

There’s an opportunity this year, one that has only been available one other time in the last few decades. This year, the race looks so close that there’s a decent chance that the person who wins the popular vote may not win the election due to the antiquated Electoral College. For this reason and others, it’s imperative that everyone who has the ability to vote should do so.

Of course, there are other obvious reasons. There are state and local elections that need your input. There are ballot measures that deserve attention. There’s the simple responsibility that every American has to exercise the right that our forefathers earned for us. Still, the most important reason this year is the opportunity to make it close regardless of who wins. The closer the election is, the better the chance that we can finally rid ourselves of the silliness of the Electoral College.

There was a time when it made sense. The idea was to keep the power with the states, to prevent larger states from having an unfair sway on the election. Today, it has the wrong effect. Today, there are at most 12 states who have a say over who the next President will be. If you aren’t in one of the swing states, your vote for President has zero impact on the outcome. In a country that is based around equal rights, the Electoral College gives individuals in swing states a more valuable vote than those in locked-in states.

You can see the effects. The candidates have no need to spend time in Oklahoma or California. They don’t have to share their messages there or in any of the 38 locked-in states. They don’t have to listen to the people in these states. They have to gear their policies and promises strictly around what the people in the 12 swing states want to hear.

This is wrong.

Even if you’re in California, Oklahoma, or any of the other states that “don’t matter”, it’s important that you still vote for the candidate you want to see. You may not be able to affect the outcome, but the more that people vote, the more important it will be that we change the law. It won’t be easy. Amendments never are. It can, however, happen. You can help.

Vote.

Mathematically, Santorum Has Easier Road to Beat Obama than Romney

Barack Obama

Something has been really weird about this GOP primary season. It’s easy to understand why the Republican Establishment has supported Mitt Romney from the start based upon their support of previous moderates like John McCain and Bob Dole. What hasn’t been as clear is why the Obama campaign team has been working on helping Romney get the nomination through their actions (or lack of actions in many cases).

Conventional wisdom would say that it would serve the Obama campaign to prolong the GOP primary season for as long as possible, allowing the candidates to soften up each other through attacks and drain the money that will eventually be pointed at Obama. The fact that they have not started to attack frontrunner Romney in full force in hopes of casting doubts on his abilities and extending the race has been viewed as a mistake by many analysts.

It has not been a mistake. They simply noticed something that the Republican Establishment, mainstream media, and GOP voters hadn’t: Rick Santorum is more popular than Romney in swing states.

Despite public perception, the winner of the presidential election is determined by a relatively-small number of states. Fourteen states are solidly Democrat and have voted such in nearly every election since 1988. Nineteen states are solidly Republican, with Indiana being the only one that Obama was able to pull in 2008. The other 17 states are up for grabs.

Among those are Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, Iowa, and Minnesota. Assuming that Santorum wins Ohio and Pennsylvania, these are states that Obama won in 2008 that would more likely swing to Santorum (Pennsylvania is guaranteed) than they would to Romney. Romney brings New Mexico, Nevada, and Michigan.

Romney’s victory in Florida is the toss up, but Marco Rubio as the Vice President for either candidate will help win that state regardless of whether it’s Romney or Santorum. If anything, Romney might make the mistake of bringing on a more conservative VP, giving Florida to the Democrats again.

If Santorum wins the Republican states and pulls the five above plus Florida, he would only need to win the right-leaning Indiana (which Obama won in 2008) OR one of the three other swing states that George W. Bush won in 2004 (Virginia, North Carolina, or Nevada) to defeat Obama in November. Romney’s road to the White House would require more unlikely victories to become a reality.

In that scenario for Santorum, it would very likely be another case as with George W. Bush where he would receive fewer votes overall but would win the right states to take the presidency.

Mathematically speaking, Santorum is the tougher candidate against Obama. The Republican Establishment has failed once again at basic math.