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View Full Version : Gary Johnson Question about Electoral college and argument of throwing away your vote




robertwerden
10-11-2012, 08:40 AM
With only about 500,000 votes in the last election for the Libertarian party and the possibility to get all the Ron Paul supporters to vote for the libertarian candidate this go around being close to 4 million potential votes. Would the results of 4 mil votes automatically give electoral votes to the libertarian candidate?

It was my understanding that the electors where already selected by the 2 parties, and they would be required to vote along party lines.

So my point being, even if we have a 4 million + popular vote for Gary Johnson, we are really not affecting the electoral college results, therefore we are not really throwing away our vote, and the protest vote will definitely be noticed and give credibility to a 3rd party in the next election.

Did I make sense in my statement?

DeMintConservative
10-11-2012, 03:56 PM
To get electoral votes, a candidate must win the plurality of the votes in a state (or ME and NE congressional districts).

Historically, 3rd party voting doesn't translate to future elections. George Wallace won 5 states and 10 million votes. John Anderson won 7% of the vote. Ross Perot won 19% of the popular vote and 20 million votes. It has no staying power.

This election comes down to voting for Obama if you want to reward his presidency or voting for Romney if you arent' happy with the direction of the country. The rest is totally meaningless, short or long-term.

sailingaway
10-11-2012, 03:58 PM
In CA we are getting people to sign up as electors, but for them to be 'used' Rons' write in would have to win the state. In many other states electors were already picked. Some already are Ron Paul supporters, but some states bind them to the state winner. Others don't. etc.

brandon
10-11-2012, 04:00 PM
Nope, didn't really make sense.

ZakB
10-11-2012, 05:13 PM
I have to disagree with Demint's conclusion that voting third party is meaningless. The reason that Third parties don't have staying power is that the Two major parties pay attention when a third party gets a huge percentage and adopts some of that parties platform in the next election. ie the progressive party and Communist party were mostly absorbed by the Democrats, after Ross Perot we were actually serious about a balanced budget for a little while, the green party got everybody talking about global warming (now called climate change for some reason) etc. Third parties are important because they can put new issues into focus that otherwise might not be addressed.
Winning need not be an endgame. Ron Paul didn't win and yet a lot of people are talking about ending the Fed. If Gary Johnson and/or Ron Paul write-ins get a large percentage of the vote, say 5%, then I would find it hard to believe that a liberty minded candidate doesn't get a nomination next time.

DeMintConservative
10-11-2012, 05:47 PM
Seems to me it was more like the Communists who took over the Democrats.

Budgetary consolidation began with Bush Sr. (one of the most underrated modern presidents from a conservative perspective) in 1990 and the Budget Enforcement Act (the deal he cut with the Democrats). Structural spending (adjusting for the economic cycle) started declining for the first time in decades and once the economy took off, topline numbers for the deficit receded. But Bush basically threw the re-election away to cut that deal with the democrats: and the only goal of that deal was closing the budget deficit. After 1992 and before 1994, Clinton's policies didn't show any particular concern about the deficit. And Perot campaigned mostly on the free-trade agreements: and the 90s were actually the golden era for those same agreements in American policies. And the Republicans didn't pick a populist outside in 96: the nomination went for a guy who was the polar opposite of that, blue blood long-time Senator Bob Dole.

I think you have causality messed up on Nader. He got a good result because environmentalism and global warming - and green parties - became a cause célèbre in the 90s and early 00s, not the other way around. It was pretty much a global fad: the German Green Party became a government party in '98. The next Dem nominee was a stiff millionaire from Massachussets, not exactly a Nader clone either and environment was of no importance in the following election.

Poll after poll shows Glen Johnson getting more votes from Obama than Romney. I think Johnson supporters will always be much harder to get by the GOP than the swing centrist Obama voters. Unless you change the party platform radically in some issues and alienate a much larger amount of current Republican voters sending them to the Democrats.

surf
10-15-2012, 10:41 AM
This election comes down to voting for Obama if you want to reward his presidency or voting for Romney if you arent' happy with the direction of the country. The rest is totally meaningless, short or long-term.such is the problem with a "two" party system if you have no balls.

couldn't disagree more with the assessment of a Romney vote. this sounds like some mindless-drivel i would here Dana Bash or Chris Wallace say (no personal offense intended).

a vote for Gary Johnson is a vote that says fu to the current one-party big-government system.

a vote for Romney is a vote for status-quo. it doesn't say "i'm unhappy with the direction of this country." what it says is, "i'm dumb enough to vote for a tiny-marginal change in booty collection methods."

Working Poor
10-15-2012, 04:43 PM
I have heard that voting does assign money from the public fund for elections if this is true than it will help libertarians in the future to get more votes this season because they will get more public money for campaigning.

CaptLouAlbano
10-16-2012, 05:19 AM
I hate to burst your bubble, but there is absolutely nothing that indicates that Johnson is going to get 4 million votes. His fundraising is only marginally better than Barr's (which indicates no significant growth in hard support), and polling that includes 3rd party candidates shows the third party candidates polling pretty much where they were in 08. There was one pollster on TV yesterday saying that his polling shows that most people who have a third party candidate as their first choice have Romney as their second choice, which would indicate to me that these are Johnson & Goode supporters as opposed to Stein supporters. What was also mentioned is that typically a decent chunk of that third party support will gravitate to one of the two major candidates come election day, particularly in swing states.

All of this info, plus the historical record, would lead me to conclude that this year Johnson should consider himself lucky if he can better Barr's 2008 total.

surf
10-16-2012, 10:09 AM
I hate to burst your bubble....

All of this info, plus the historical record, would lead me to conclude that this year Johnson should consider himself lucky if he can better Barr's 2008 total.
Barr was a mistake i'd rather write-off than use for comparison purposes. that said, i wrote in RP last time and felt good about my vote. i'll check the box by Johnson's name and feel good about my vote again.

my bubble won't be burst unless Johnson does worse than Barr did. it'll deflate a bit if Johnson doesn't do significantly better than sideshow Bob. i'm hoping a bunch of us will choose liberty and peace over dictators and war.

CaptLouAlbano
10-17-2012, 07:15 AM
Barr was a mistake i'd rather write-off than use for comparison purposes. that said, i wrote in RP last time and felt good about my vote. i'll check the box by Johnson's name and feel good about my vote again.

Ok then use the rest for comparison if you would like to:

Badnarik '04 - 397,265
Browne '00 - 384,431
Browne '96 - 485,759
Marrou '92 - 290,087
Paul '88 - 431,750
Bergland '84 - 228,111
Clark '80 - 921,128
MacBride '76 - 172,553
Hospers '72 - 3,674

Clark is an anomaly in LP history. His campaign had a lot of self funding from his VP Koch, so they were able to run some TV ads unlike the other candidates. Barr has actually performed the best of all the LP candidates (again with the exception of Clark), more than likely due to the fact that he had some name recognition from his time in the House. Anyway, whatever benchmark is set for Johnson, it is a far cry from the 4 million votes that was suggested in the first post in the thread.

At the end of the day, the fact is that only about 1-2% of voters will select any third party candidate. It is only with rare exceptions (Nader, Anderson, Perot, Wallace, Thurmond) that they have any real bearing on the results.

DeMintConservative
10-17-2012, 11:52 AM
such is the problem with a "two" party system if you have no balls.

couldn't disagree more with the assessment of a Romney vote. this sounds like some mindless-drivel i would here Dana Bash or Chris Wallace say (no personal offense intended).

a vote for Gary Johnson is a vote that says fu to the current one-party big-government system.

a vote for Romney is a vote for status-quo. it doesn't say "i'm unhappy with the direction of this country." what it says is, "i'm dumb enough to vote for a tiny-marginal change in booty collection methods."

I don't have a problem with the 2-party system. I have no idea why people have a problem with it. Is there any evidence whatsoever that multi-party systems - that exist in continental Europe and South America - do somehow promote less statist policy solutions? How would it be an improvement?

Plus, the 2 party system is a feature, not a bug. It's a consequence of the FPTP system. It's been in place since the Revolutionary War.

I'm perfectly fine with voting for marginal gains. I believe that's what politics is all about. Minimizing the loss. People who believe otherwise are Marxists by heart - they still don't know yet. Why should I give away those marginal gains? There's no upside in that. None whatsoever.

If Obama is re-elected, that would mean his agenda, his unprecedented interventionist administration, the economic dirigisme, the federal government spending over 25% of the GDP, the stimuluses and Obamacare, etc, will be vindicated. There's no other way of putting it. He'll have a carte blanche to proceed with it and rightly so. There's a difference between the incumbent and the challenger in elections, like it or not.

CaptLouAlbano
10-17-2012, 11:55 AM
Correct me if I am wrong, but aren't most of the "multi-party system" countries lacking of a primary system?

DeMintConservative
10-17-2012, 12:03 PM
It depends. Some have primary systems to elect the party leader, PM or President candidate, although all I can think of are closed primaries. For example, there's an ongoing primary to elect the new UMP leader in France (that will be the de facto opposition leader and the next presidential candidate).

We lacked a primary system till the progressives imposed it upon us, btw.