US Election System
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« on: January 16, 2018, 12:43:05 am »

I am not a US citizen.
since the 2016 US election I got interested in the election process quite a lot and I read about the electoral voting system, the states etc...
I still have some questions which I was not able to find a clear answer on the web:

1. The electoral vote: I generally understand how the electoral system works, however, I do not understand what is the scenario on which a one candidate can win the electoral election and the other candidate can win the "Popular Vote". In the 2016 election I heard several times that while Trump won the electoral votes, Clinton won the popular vote
2. What are the "Toss up states"? and what is their significant during the election?

Thanks
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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2018, 01:37:10 am »

1. Structurally, this can happen because a) Most states (all except Maine and Nebraska) award all of the electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote in their state and b) states with smaller populations are overrepresented in the electoral college. The latter is because the number of electors for each state is 2 (the number of senators) + the number of representatives (which are proportional to population.) Therefore, by winning a large number of smaller states, a candidate can end up with a majority of electors even though they may have fewer total votes.

2. The "swing states," as they are more commonly called, are states that don't reliably vote for the president from a particular party. For instance, California and New York can be expected to vote for the Democratic candidate while Texas and Georgia can be expected to vote for the Republican candidate. Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio (the three largest and probably most frequently mentioned of the swing states) have a more even split between Republicans and Democrats and therefore can "swing" from one party to another from election to election. Other states often considered swing states include Virginia, North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Hampshire and Colorado.
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« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2018, 01:50:23 pm »

1. Structurally, this can happen because a) Most states (all except Maine and Nebraska) award all of the electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote in their state and b) states with smaller populations are overrepresented in the electoral college. The latter is because the number of electors for each state is 2 (the number of senators) + the number of representatives (which are proportional to population.) Therefore, by winning a large number of smaller states, a candidate can end up with a majority of electors even though they may have fewer total votes.

2. The "swing states," as they are more commonly called, are states that don't reliably vote for the president from a particular party. For instance, California and New York can be expected to vote for the Democratic candidate while Texas and Georgia can be expected to vote for the Republican candidate. Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio (the three largest and probably most frequently mentioned of the swing states) have a more even split between Republicans and Democrats and therefore can "swing" from one party to another from election to election. Other states often considered swing states include Virginia, North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Hampshire and Colorado.

Great explanation.  I would add that California has 36,000,000 citizens plus another 11,000,000 illegal immigrants totaling 47,000,000.  Without getting into a complicated analysis of that.  California desperately needs illegal immigrants to harvest their extremely vast crops, and to work off the books as nannys, gardeners, maids, and other labor intensive jobs.  Additionally, people tend to move to California when they are drug addicts and want a banquet of all the drugs they want.  SO, when someone like Trump comes along threatening to enforce the already existing immigration and drug laws, the people of California go nuts - and do whatever they can to prevent that.  For instance, in California and a few other states that all voted for Hillary, they decided to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes.  Without debating the medicinal benefits of marijuana, lets just assume that marijuana has legitimate medicinal use.   In that case, like all other medicines, it should be a controlled substance because it has effects on the brain, and on pain.  It' obviously not just some inert harmless substance.  But then they decided to legalize it for recreational use.. which contradicts it's classification as being a medication.  Honestly, I'm glad that things like marijuana and lotteries get legalized, because they are virtually a tax upon stupid people. 

With that said, Trump KNEW that he had zero chance of winning California, so he never wasted any of his time or money campaigning there the presidential election.  California is a very corrupt state, and carry's 55 of the 538 total electoral votes in the country.  Therefore, any election that a democrat won by less than 55 electoral votes was determined by crazy California.  That means that JFK and Jimmy Carter would never have been president if not for crooked California.  In fact, in the case of John F. Kennedy, we now know that he did NOT win Illinois, and therefore his election was illegitimate. 

One more thing which gets ignored is 3rd party candidates.  The best example of that was the election of George H.W. Bush vs Bill Clinton.  Although the electoral votes make it look like Clinton easily beat Bush Sr.  That is not true.  3rd party candidate Ross Perot got a huge number of votes that would have otherwise gone to Bush.  Perot effectively split the republican votes between himself and Bush.  If Perot was not on the ballot, Bush would have won that election EASILY. 

If Republicans were smart, they would fund black and female 3rd party candidates to split the democratic votes. 

A final comment.. all politicians are power mad, deceptive, two-faced, control freaks.  If they were not, they would not even get on the ballots.  The USA is screwed.  There is no way Trump will make America Great Again.  Trump will keep the USA going strong for a couple of decades before it  fades into being just another country like all the rest - such as happened to England, Germany, Spain, Japan, Italy.. all of which used to be major super powers.   Very few people are aware that Italy ruled England 1600 years ago. 
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2018, 06:57:46 pm »

what do you mean politicians are power mad? it's their job to enforce and implement party policies. sometimes they have to compromise with the opposition and in those cases neither side gets satisfied. but i mean, at least the western politicians arent as power mad as Putin lol. that man is not looking out for the best of his country or the russian people.
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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2018, 02:10:50 pm »

what do you mean politicians are power mad? it's their job to enforce and implement party policies. sometimes they have to compromise with the opposition and in those cases neither side gets satisfied. but i mean, at least the western politicians arent as power mad as Putin lol. that man is not looking out for the best of his country or the russian people.

Actually Putin has done a miraculous job of bringing Russia back after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

There are some things that bother me about Putin if they are true.. such as helping out North Korea. 
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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2018, 09:45:34 pm »

Some other questions:
1. What is the meaning of "The house, the senate and the White house" in regards to US election?
2. What each of the above stands and responsible for?
3. How does the voting system affect it?
4. What does it mean in terms of "power distribution" between the DEMS and the GOP ?
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2018, 10:18:40 am »

1. "The House" refers to the House of Representatives

"Senate" refers to House of the Senate

White House refers to the President. 

The US system is based on the Parliamentary system but without peerage. 

2.  All 3 decide on laws.  The Senate also approves Presidential appointees. 

3. Only the President is elected through the Electoral College system.   Everyone else is directly elected by a majority of the vote.

4.  Could you be more specific? 
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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2018, 03:25:39 pm »

1. "The House" refers to the House of Representatives

"Senate" refers to House of the Senate

White House refers to the President. 

The US system is based on the Parliamentary system but without peerage. 

2.  All 3 decide on laws.  The Senate also approves Presidential appointees. 

3. Only the President is elected through the Electoral College system.   Everyone else is directly elected by a majority of the vote.

4.  Could you be more specific? 

I'm not clear on what the function of the House is... other than they have to initiate legislation.  The Senate has the last say before it goes to the president to either sign or reject.  President Reagan was famous for wanting a "Line Item Veto" where he could veto parts of a "finished" bill before signing it.  That will never happen because it would give too much power to the executive branch. 

The house and senate make up the useless "Legislative" branch.   There is also the "Judicial" branch (Supreme Court) which mainly determine if laws are constitutional or contradict the constitution. 
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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2018, 10:43:34 am »

Clinton got the LINE ITEM VETO for 2 years (96 - 98) before it was declared unconstitutional.

Republicans wanted it and Democrats fought to make it illegal. 
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2018, 02:20:00 pm »

Clinton got the LINE ITEM VETO for 2 years (96 - 98) before it was declared unconstitutional.

Republicans wanted it and Democrats fought to make it illegal. 

I didn't know that! 
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2018, 06:41:48 am »

I'm not clear on what the function of the House is... other than they have to initiate legislation.  The Senate has the last say before it goes to the president to either sign or reject. 

With the exception of appropriations, legislation can (and does) originate in either house. To say the Senate has the "last say" just isn't accurate. The purpose of the House is to be the primary representation of the people. This is why representatives are awarded relative to population with each representing a district.
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