Monday, November 03, 2008

One Man One Vote?

Everyone living in America, and perhaps the rest of the world too, is probably totally fed up by now with every TV news program showing those red-state blue-state election maps time after time after time. So here, for today's Maps on Monday feature, are two more maps, showing the US presidential election from slightly different perspectives.

The first map, courtesy of the New York Times, illustrates how the Electoral College system for presidential elections really works. It shows each state re-sized in proportion to the relative influence of the individual voters who live there. The numbers indicate the total delegates to the Electoral College from each state, and how many eligible voters a single delegate from each state represents.


Far from being a one man one vote system, the chart shows that a vote in Rhode Island counts for about twice as much as a vote in California, and a vote in Washington DC is worth three times a vote in Florida. Hmmm.

And here we have one projected outcome for tomorrow's election, courtesy of Frontloading HQ, using the familiar reds and blues in various hues, but now the each state has been re-sized in proportion to the number of Electoral College delegates it has.


This maps firmly places my prolifically blogging friends in New Mexico into their true insignificance, but also, unfortunately, demonstrates the huge power of my Californian and New York blogging friends in a way that is sure to go to their heads.

Have a good day tomorrow. And if you have a vote, use it wisely.

10 comments:

MachineAge said...

Great maps but re blogging power doesn't your map set indicate that bloggers have MORE relevance in New Mexico and esp. Wyoming? Assuming that where you blog makes some difference to who it influences (for example, if you are blogging about local issues), changing one person's mind in Wyoming makes a lot more difference voting-wise than doing the same in California.

Tillerman said...

Absolutely right Greg. In general, as the first map shows, individual voters in small population states have a proportionately greater influence in the electoral college than voters in large states.

But the second map shows that states with large populations such as New York and California have, overall, much more sway in the electoral college. And, for that matter, densely populated states such as New Jersey and Massachusetts are more important than you might think by looking at the conventional red state blue state map

MachineAge said...

True, too bad the state's influence in the electoral college is inversely proportional to the influence of my vote. Whether, as a Laser sailer, that makes moving to Wyoming worthwhile is another question!

Team Gherkin said...

USA? One Man-One Vote? Democracy?

What a JOKE! :(

Zen said...

What REALLY matters is thankfully it will be over tomorrow, the crap can stop!

Zen said...

Then the big question will be if Edward will move his boat!

Pat said...

Even more powerful than changing someone's mind in a state with few voters per elector is changing minds when that state is a "swing" state given that the system is all or nothing; a few swing voters can deliver a state's entire tally. New Mexico is one of those states that frequently "swings", and its choice typically wins the presidential election.

Thank goodness, at least, that we're not limited to "one man, one boat". Instead, in a traditionally politically "colorful" state such as New Mexico, the nautical ethic is "Boat early and Boat often". Not to mention, "Make your boat count" and "Don't forget the cemetery boats".
On another tack...
"I may not appreciate your boat, but I will defend your right to sail her."

tillerman said...

Nice quotes Pat. I like the one from Joseph P. Kennedy, "Don't buy a single boat more than necessary."

SFBayLaser said...

I think you left out a key element of the Electoral College system - that in all but a couple of states it is "winner take all". Imagine what the map might look like if all delegates to the Electoral College were selected proportionally... Perhaps the end result would be the same, but candidates might also be forced to actually campaign in states like, say, California (instead of just using us as an ATM!).

Greg and Kris said...

thanks for putting this one up; great find

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