Tag Archives: politics

Political Strategy Offered to Defeat ‘The Left’ in 2016

By Paul R. Hollrah

To be elected president or vice president of the United States requires a total of at least 270 votes in the Electoral College. Through the strategic spending of other people’s money, especially among minority populations in our major urban areas, Democrats have fashioned an electoral map that gives them a relatively firm base of 22 blue states with a combined total of 257 of the needed 270 electoral votes. Of the remaining 281 electoral votes, they only have to pick up 13 in order to elect a president and a vice president.

Editorial cartoon courtesy David Donar at http://politicalgraffiti.wordpress.com.

Editorial cartoon courtesy David Donar at http://politicalgraffiti.wordpress.com.

Republicans, on the other hand, have a firm base of 23 red states with a combined total of 191 electoral votes, leaving a total of six swing states… Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia… with a combined total of 90 electoral votes. In order for a Republican to win in 2016 and beyond, he/she must carry all 23 of the red states, plus at least five of the six swing states. They could afford to lose either Colorado’s nine electoral votes or Iowa’s six electoral votes, but not all 15. To lose both Colorado and Iowa, while carrying Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia, would leave them with a total of just 266 electoral votes, four short of an electoral majority. It appears to be a nearly-insurmountable obstacle for Republicans, but is it?

With a bit of foresight and strategic planning, Republicans could do a great deal between now and November 2016 to mitigate the Democrats’ electoral advantage. In a December 2012 column, Real Electoral College Reform, I analyzed what would happen to the political balance of power in the United States if all 50 states were to adopt the Maine-Nebraska method for allocating electoral votes.

In the Electoral College, each of the 50 states are allotted two at-large electoral votes, one for each of their two U.S. senators, and one vote for each of the state’s congressional districts. With the exception of Maine and Nebraska, the winner of the popular vote in each state takes all of the state’s electoral votes. In Maine and Nebraska, however, the candidate who wins the statewide popular vote is allotted that state’s two at-large electoral votes, while the remainder of the electoral votes are allocated based on the winner of the popular vote within each of the state’s congressional districts.

If the Maine-Nebraska formula had been in effect in all 50 states in 2012, and assuming that the vote for the presidential candidates of each party would roughly approximate the votes for the congressional candidates of the respective parties in each congressional district, Obama would have lost 115 of his 332 electoral votes to Mitt Romney in the 26 states, plus D.C., in which he won a majority of the popular vote. On the other hand, in the 24 red states carried by Romney-Ryan, they would have lost only 39 electoral votes to Obama-Biden.

The end result?  In 2012, instead of a 332 to 206 vote victory for Obama-Biden in the Electoral College, the Maine-Nebraska system would have produced a comfortable 282 to 256 vote victory for Romney-Ryan, an outcome that would have been far closer to expressing the will of the people than the present winner-take-all system.

To understand this phenomenon, one need only look at the county-by-county electoral map of the United States with the counties colored either red or blue. It is reflective of: a) the preference for Republican principles among a substantial majority of the people, and b) the overwhelming size of the vote for the Democratic “sugar daddy” in the inner city precincts. The electoral process is disproportionately skewed by the fact that, in the heavily-populated inner-city precincts, the vote is nearly always 95 percent to 110 percent for Democratic candidates, while in the suburbs and the rural areas the vote is nearly always within the 60-40 range, one party over the other.

If it is true that “all politics is local,” as the late House Speaker Tip O’Neill once remarked, then to replace the current winner-take-all system with the Maine-Nebraska electoral system would help to bring political decision-making much closer to the people because of the increased interest generated in local and congressional elections.

The Maine-Nebraska electoral system would deemphasize the key battleground states such as Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia and require candidates to campaign in all fifty states. As matters now stand, presidential candidates spend little time in states such as California, New York, Oklahoma and Texas because the outcome of presidential voting in those states is almost always a foregone conclusion. Had the Maine-Nebraska system been in place for the 2012 General Election, Obama would have found it necessary to defend the 15 votes that Romney could have won in California and the six votes he could have won in New York, while Romney could not have ignored the 12 electoral votes that Obama might have captured in Texas.

Liberals and Democrats are notorious for expressing appreciation for whatever they see as being most “democratic.” But is there a chance that Democrats in the bluest of blue states… such as California, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts and Oregon… would agree to such a reform once they figured out that the Maine-Nebraska system would cause them to lose a significant number of electoral votes to Republicans, and that the Maine-Nebraska system would all but guarantee that no Democrat could be elected president or vice president for many years to come? Among liberals and Democrats, when it come to a choice between what is best for the country and what is best for their party, the country will always come out on the “short end of the stick.”

Image above represents voting for president by county in 2012 presidential election (i.e., Red = Romney, Blue = Obama).

Image above represents voting for president by county in 2012 presidential election (i.e., Red = Romney, Blue = Obama).

So, while we cannot expect to ever see an electoral system in which all 50 states utilize the Maine-Nebraska formula, is there something that can be done now to level the playing field a bit? The answer is yes, and it can easily be accomplished in advance of the 2016 General Election. Here’s what must be done:

At the present time, there are 11 states with a total of 139 electoral votes that were carried by Barack Obama in 2012 which now have Republican governors. Of those 11 states, the states of Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin now enjoy Republican majorities in both houses of their legislatures. What this means is that, if the governors and legislative leaders in those five states understood what could be accomplished, they would take immediate steps to repeal the winner-take-all electoral system and adopt the Maine-Nebraska system. With Republican majorities in both houses of their legislatures, Democrats would be powerless to stop them.

Even if Democrats should win the popular vote in each of those five states in 2016, as they did in 2012, the Maine-Nebraska formula would create a much different scenario than the winner-take-all system:  Instead of winning all 29 of Florida’s electoral votes, Democrats would win 12 and Republicans would win 17; instead of winning all 16 of Michigan’s electoral votes, Democrats would win seven votes and Republicans would win nine; instead of winning all six of Nevada’s electoral votes, Democrats would win three and Republicans would win three; instead of winning all 18 of Ohio’s electoral votes, Democrats would win six and Republicans would win 12; and instead of winning all 10 of Wisconsin’s electoral votes, Democrats would win five and Republicans would win five.

Applying these totals to the expected blue state and red state totals, the Democrats’ expected advantage would increase from 257 electoral votes to 258, while the Republican disadvantage would move from 191 electoral votes to 237. As matters now stand, Democrats have to take only 13 (14 percent) of the 90 swing state votes while Republicans have to take 79 (8 percent) in order to win the presidency. On the other hand, if Republicans in those five states were to adopt the Maine-Nebraska system in the current legislative sessions, Democrats would have to take 12 (28 percent) of the remaining 43 swing state votes to win, while Republicans would have to take 33 (76 percent) of the remaining 43. Taking 76 percent of 43 votes is easier than taking 88 percent of 90 votes.

But what if many of the low-information Obama voters in Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin decide to stay home in November 2016, giving Republicans popular vote victories in all five states? After eight years of disastrous Obama-Biden-Clinton-style governance, it is a distinct possibility. Under that scenario, Republicans could put another 10 electoral votes in their column.  Democrats would have 248 electoral votes and Republicans 247 electoral votes before the 43 electoral votes of Colorado (9), Iowa (6), North Carolina (15) and Virginia (13) were won or lost. Democrats would have to win 22 (51 percent) of the remaining 43 swing state votes, while Republicans would have to win 23 (53 percent). The playing field would be substantially leveled.

However, in order to greatly increase their chances of victory, Republicans should not hesitate to target Minnesota, with 10 electoral votes; New Hampshire, with four electoral votes; New Mexico, with five electoral votes; and Pennsylvania, with 20 electoral votes… all winner-take-all states, and all states that Obama carried with less than 53 percent of the vote in 2012. After eight years of Obama-Biden, at least five percent of the good people in those four states should be anxious for a change.

In the meantime, those readers who live in the states of Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio and Michigan might wish to place copies of this analysis into the hands of their governors and their legislative leaders. With seven states utilizing the Maine-Nebraska system we may witness the  beginning of a trend as other blue states follow suit. The question is, do Republican leaders in Washington and in the state capitals have the political sense to recognize the advantage they enjoy? Given their past history, we know that they= are not always quick to act when political advantage falls into their laps.  t may be necessary to lean on them a bit.

Paul R. Hollrah is a resident of Oklahoma who writes from the perspective of a veteran conservative politico and retired corporate government relations executive whose life experience includes having served two terms as a member of the Electoral College. Even if you disagree with him, this piece will make you think long and hard.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

You’re Not Getting Any of My Chocolate!

I enjoy chocolate and politics, but I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. Therefore, I decided to share some history that combines the first two topics with the commercialized holiday instead of sharing my chocolate.

This illustration by cartoonist Clifford Berryman appeared in the Washington Evening Star on February 14, 1907, and depicts some Valentine’s Day surprises based on then-current political issues.

This illustration by cartoonist Clifford Berryman appeared in the Washington Evening Star Feb. 14, 1907, and depicted Valentine’s Day surprises based on then-current political issues.

An illustration by cartoonist Clifford Berryman appeared in the Washington Evening Star Feb. 14, 1907, and depicted Valentine’s Day surprises based on then-current political issues, including tariffs, congressional staff salaries and defense-related matters.

This illustration by cartoonist Clifford Berryman appeared in the Washington Evening Star on Feb. 14, 1912, and offers some humorous Valentine cards placing major political figures at the time in some positions once difficult to imagine.

This illustration by cartoonist Clifford Berryman appeared in the Washington Evening Star Feb. 14, 1912, and offers some humorous Valentine’s Day cards placing major political figures at the time in positions then difficult to imagine.

A second illustration by cartoonist Clifford Berryman appeared in the Washington Evening Star Feb. 14, 1912, and offered humorous Valentine’s Day cards placing major political figures at the time in positions then difficult to imagine. A look at the cards show topis that remain at issue today, including politicians who love themselves more than anything else, an out-of-control judiciary, campaign promises and even the word, insurgent, in 1912!

This illustration by cartoonist Clifford Berryman appeared in the Washington Evening Star on Feb. 14, 1917, and depicts Woodrow Wilson’s confirmed re-election coming in the form of a Valentine’s Day card.

This illustration by cartoonist Clifford Berryman appeared in the Washington Evening Star Feb. 14, 1917, and depicts Woodrow Wilson’s confirmed re-election coming in the form of a Valentine’s Day card.

A third illustration by cartoonist Clifford Berryman appeared in the Washington Evening Star Feb. 14, 1917, and depicted Woodrow Wilson’s confirmed re-election coming in the form of a Valentine’s Day card.

This 1918 valentine refers to the World War I effort to economize on food for the war effort—called “Hooverizing” in honor of the U.S. Food Administrator, Herbert Hoover. From the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.

This 1918 valentine refers to the World War I effort to economize on food for the war effort—called “Hooverizing” in honor of the U.S. Food Administrator Herbert Hoover. From the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.

A 1918 Valentine, courtesy of the Hoover Presidential Library, referred to the World War I effort to economize on food for the war effort—called “Hooverizing” in honor of then-U.S. Food Administrator Herbert Hoover.

The graphics above, courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration website, make the presidents of a century ago seem pretty tame compared to the modern-day knuckleheads who’ve held the nation’s highest office.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Former Blogger Offers Sarcastic ‘Thank You’ to Sullivan

After reading today about Andrew Sullivan informing his readers about his decision “to stop blogging in the near future,” I feel obligated to offer him a belated “thank you” for the sarcastic honor he conferred upon me a few years back. Why? Because I can relate to Sullivan on at least one level.

McCarty Hewitt Nomination 4-01-2010

You see, a few months after my blog had climbed to #82 on the February 2010 list of Top 100 Conservative Blogs, I gave up blogging full-time. Perhaps, it was the stress of living in a non-stop news cycle, but I decided to focus my time and attention on writing books — and I’ve finished three books since then. But I digress.

Anyway, Sullivan named me a Hewitt Award Nominee in April 2010. Though I never heard who, if anyone, won the award that year, I felt as if I had landed in great company after looking at the 2009 list of nominees for the award — and, of course, I wrote and published a post under the headline, “I Gladly Accept This Nomination.” The text of that post, which is no longer online, appears below:

Earlier today, after reading a post Pamela Geller published at Atlas Shrugs, I published a piece under the headline, Is State Dept Playing April Fools Joke on Israel? The difference between our posts?  I videotaped my computer screen as I went through the motions and clicks on the State Department web site to show proof that, at least for a while on April Fool’s Day, the page dedicated to information about Israel was gone.

Within a few hours, Andrew Sullivan had caught wind of my post and honored me as a Hewitt Award nominee in a post published at his The Atlantic blog, The Daily Dish.

What is the Hewitt Award?  According to this Sullivan post, it is “named after the absurd partisan fanatic, Hugh Hewitt (and) is given for the most egregious attempts to label Barack Obama as un-American, alien, treasonous, and far out of the mainstream of American life and politics.”

Who else has been nominated?  The following individuals were finalists for the Hewitt Award 2009:

• John J. Pitney Jr., National Review Online
• G. Gordon Liddy, Radio America
• Carol Platt Liebau, Townhall.com
• John L. Perry, Newsmax
• Rush Limbaugh, The Rush Limbaugh Show

Who won?  Rush Limbaugh with 50 percent of the 4,500+ votes.

I think I’m in good company; therefore, I gladly accept this nomination, Mr. Sullivan.

As mentioned above, I never found out if anyone won the 2010 version of The Hugh Hewitt Award or if anyone else was even nominated. So who knows? I might have won the whole shooting match!

Just in case I did win, I want to thank Sullivan. Before he disappears altogether.  Thanks, Andy.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.