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Topic: US elections always close in the popular vote

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  1. #1

    US elections always close in the popular vote

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    Doing some casual research about the accuracy of polls in US presidential elections, I ran across more than one site listing the results of the popular vote in presidential elections. I was surprised: in most cases, the race was close, with one candidate usually getting only a very few million more votes than the other, and often only a few thousand:

    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781450.html

    (You have to scroll half-way down this site to see the popular vote results.)

    The Kennedy\Nixon election result surprised me the most. I've read reports about how voters were greatly influenced by the debates, and JFK's good looks, etc. Apparently they weren't all that influenced. Kennedy only won by about 100,000 votes.

    Regardless, it seems as though the history of the results shows that the population has been split roughly in half between the left and right for a long time.

  2. #2

    Re: US elections always close in the popular vote

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Johnson
    Regardless, it seems as though the history of the results shows that the population has been split roughly in half between the left and right for a long time.
    Yep. But with so much airtime to fill, the 24-hour news stations have to have something dramatic to say....

  3. #3

    Re: US elections always close in the popular vote

    Thinking about the history of these results makes me believe all the more strongly that the Electoral College needs to be dissolved, and the election based on the popular vote. If close elections were better recognized as close, officials might be less tempted to see their election as a mandate, and for voters to feel so hopeless.

    But then, I'd like other changes, too: the ability of the public to demand a recall of the president if more that a third of the population voted for it, and the removal of the presidents ability to pardon anyone before a conviction.

    Wouldn't this last suggestion be seen as good by both sides? (Topic drift, yes...)

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