I have said before that I am no fan of the electoral college and that statement would stand irrespective of the results of the 2000 presidential election. Unlike Unqualified Offerings, I am more of a small-d democrat than a small-r republican.
One of the most exasperating things about the electoral college is that different states can allocate their electoral votes differently. Nowadays, Maine and Nebraska give 2 electoral votes each to the winner of the popular vote in the state while the other electoral votes in these states are divided based on who wins the individual congressional districts in the state. All the other states have a winner-take-all system in which the winner of the popular vote in the state gets all the electoral votes of the state. This results in a close election (by popular votes) looking lopsided in terms of electoral votes.
This year, there is a ballot initiative in Colorado that will change how Colorado’s 9 electoral votes are allocated. Amendment 36 will allocate the electoral votes in proportion to the popular vote. Given current opinion polls, the passage of the amendment could mean Colorado dividing its electoral votes 5-4 for the two Presidential candidates this year. However, there might be legal issues involved in applying this rule to this year’s election.
I was wondering how previous elections would have turned out if all the states had the same rules as Maine and Nebraska. I found a website which applies the Maine-Nebraska District Plan to all elections since 1968. I decided to do similar calculations to see the results if the proposed Colorado plan had been adopted in all states in 1968. The table below shows the results:
|Year||Actual Result||ME-NE Method||CO Method|
Caveat: I used the voting data tabulated by Jeff Sagarin. If there is any error there, it might have affected my Colorado proportional plan calculations as well.
The details of how the electoral votes would be apportioned in Colorado if the amendment passes can be found in subsections 3 and 4 of Amendment 36.