Jay Evensen: How many votes do you need to be considered a winner?

Return To Article

Commenting has temporarily been suspended in preparation for our new website launch, which is planned for the week of August 12th. When the new site goes live, we will also launch our new commenting platform. Thank you for your patience while we make these changes.


  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Oct. 19, 2017 12:40 p.m.

    2 bits - Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 19, 2017 11:34 a.m.

    @airnaut,
    What happened to the "He's only there because of the gerrymandered electoral college"?

    Didn't hold water, did it?

    No he's only there because "we're not a Democracy"...
    Equally false statement.

    =========

    I won't explain how the Elector College works -- but it's dorked up.

    When a state has 21 delegates,
    and 11 happen to be Republican,
    The Electoral gives all 21 votes as to the Republican.

    Meaning 10, or 48% of the people of that State account for NOTHING.

    You tell me again how that is fair?

    You'll rationalize as good so long as it's Trump,
    but bad if it's not your guy.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 19, 2017 11:34 a.m.

    @airnaut,
    What happened to the "He's only there because of the gerrymandered electoral college"?

    Didn't hold water, did it?

    No he's only there because "we're not a Democracy"...
    Equally false statement.

    We're not a pure-democracy (thank heaven). But our government is a Democratic system. There are many kinds of Democracy.

    Google and read "The United States is both a ‘republic’ and a ‘democracy’ — because ‘democracy’ is like cash'" (Washington Post)...

    "I often hear people argue (often quite militantly) that the United States is a republic, not a democracy. But that’s a false dichotomy. A common definition of “republic” is, to quote the American Heritage Dictionary, “A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them” — we are that. A common definition of “democracy” is, “Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives” — we are that, too"...

    So.. we are a Democracy. We are also a Republic. Deal with it. Trump won the election. It was certified (by both parties). He did in fact win, and is our President.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Oct. 19, 2017 10:34 a.m.

    Under the rules in effect, the answer is "the most".

    A similar argument could be made against the election of Trump (and more so with GWB).

  • airnaut Everett, WA
    Oct. 19, 2017 10:00 a.m.

    Jay Evensen: How many votes do you need to be considered a winner?

    =====

    In a Democracy - the winner has the most votes.

    Trump did not have the most votes,
    but is POTUS today because America is not a Democracy.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 19, 2017 8:39 a.m.

    It's a well known fact that when the primary election is between the top-2 candidates, the majority wins (because the winner has to get 51% of the vote or more (which is the definition of a majority).

    When it's not between the top-2 (CMV signature approach)... nobody gets a majority (unless the rest of the candidates are super-lame) and an outsider/outlier candidate has the best chance of winning.

    The more mainstream-candidates there are on the ballot... the less chance any of them have of winning, because the mainstream-population's votes are split and diluted, and the more radical candidate (who is the only candidate on the ballot who represents the outsiders) so his voters are consolidated (not split between many similar moderate candidates)... wins.

    It's not rocket science. It's a well known electoral logic. The more candidates that are similar on the ballot... the less chance they have of wining. Advantage to the outsider/most radical candidate (who's voters are consolidated instead of being split/diluted like his opponents). This was Trump last primary election.

    I can't explain how Trump won the general election. Over-confidence by his opponent I'm guessing.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Oct. 18, 2017 5:04 p.m.

    Our liberal friends ought to be careful. The smaller the voting pool, the easier and cheaper it is to play games with it.

    If someone like the Koch Brothers wanted to really have fun with Utah Democrats, they'd recruit about 3 very liberal candidates to run for a single Democrat seat. They'd also recruit 1 rather moderate or even conservative (blue dog) to run for the same seat. The 3 Koch Candidates would split the liberal vote with the Democrat convention candidate 4 ways, allowing the moderate/conservative candidate to win the nomination with as little as 21% of the primary vote.

    Ranked order voting is a bit better than plurality, but has mathematical problems allowing those in the know to game the system.

    The best method to assure majority winners is the simple runoff election. Several States have this provision. It is rarely needed. But when it is, it is well worth the cost to have a majority winner.

    Plurality winners in single-seat districts are a terrible idea. It begs for someone to game the system by encouraging lots of candidates to run so as to split the majority vote all but assuring a win for a minority-view candidate.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Oct. 18, 2017 4:14 p.m.

    When "King Makers" decide that the people cannot be represented by proxy in a Democratic Republic, that Democratic Republic has been replaced by a government where the elite make the decisions which candidates will apear on the ballot.

    In the caucus system, EVERY Republican can vote for delegates who will represent that precinct at the nominating convention. At the nominating convention, the voting continues until there are only two candidates. There would never be more than two candidates if we followed the Democratic Republic method, used by Congress to represent the People and the States.

    The only fair way to handle the situation that can occur when Republicans are forced to allow the elite to modify the rules of candidate selection, is to have as many primary elections as necessary until only two candidates remain. Then, and only then, can we be assured that one of the candidates will get a majority of votes cast, even if the majority vote ends up being a coin toss.

    Unintended consequences are showing the folly of letting the elite change the rules. It appears that the elite don't have the correct answers after all.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 18, 2017 2:23 p.m.

    @airnaut -11:08
    RE: "Donald Trump clearly LOST the election, but managed to get the gerry-mandered Electoral college"...
    ---
    Are you serious?

    Do you know how silly that statement is?

    #1. He didn't lose the election. Read the Constitution. Our Presidential elections are determined by electoral college votes.

    #2. He didn't "gerry-mander" the electoral college. That's impossible (without redrawing State lines).

    To gerry-mander the electoral college you would have to redraw State lines. Didn't happen.

    Did Trump re-draw the boundaries of any State? No.

    Did Trump change the number of electoral college votes any State gets? No.

    So how did Trump (or anybody) "Gerrymander" the electoral college? Please explain.

    Make sure you google the definition of "Gerrymandering" before answering that question.

    Gerrymander:
    "manipulate the boundaries of an electoral constituency so as to favor one party/class".

    Trump didn't manipulate any State boundaries. He didn't lose the election.

    That whole statement is just factually false.

    ===

    If "Bob Bennett would have hands down beat Mike Lee"...

    Incumbent coming in #3 at your own party convention doesn't indicate a hands down win.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 18, 2017 1:39 p.m.

    This is the main advantage of the old system vs the new system (where if you get signatures you get on the party primary ballot).

    Old system guaranteed top-2 would face off in the party primary (not top-10 or 20).

    When top-2 face off you need 51% (AKA Majority) to win. In new signature-system you could get just 10% support and win (if 10 people got signatures).

    Recent Republican primary campaigns for President same problem. Democrats have 2 people pretty early on, so they can focus. Republicans had 16 having to share the stage in debates early on. They had to do their debates in 2 shifts. Even late in the Primary there were 8 sharing the stage, and attacking each other and basically doing the Democrats dirty work for them (destroying their own candidates).

    With a split-vote an outsider with radical supporters has a better chance than a mainstream candidate who has to share his votes with 7 people with similar mainstream party positions (so we get Trump)

    In the new system the winner may only get 10-20% support, from his own party!

    Which doesn't build momentum for that candidate going into the General election (with only sparse support even from their own party).

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 18, 2017 1:17 p.m.

    @mcclark
    Rutherford B. Hayes won in 1876 without a popular vote win. His electoral college win was extremely sketchy where a deal was made to get him 20 electoral votes from southern states in exchange for Republicans withdrawing troops from the South (the end of Reconstruction). Tilden is the only candidate to ever get more than 50% of the vote and not become President.

    Also 1824 and 1888 had the Presidency not go to the popular vote winner, so it wasn't just Bush and Trump. The 1824 one went to the House.

  • JDay Orem, UT
    Oct. 18, 2017 12:24 p.m.

    @mcclark Read the article more closely. Bill won the popular vote but did not get 50% . . . which is the entire point of the article.

    @airnaut Gerrymandering has nothing to do with the electoral college. Gerrymandering only affects individual districts and who gets elected to the house of representatives.

  • airnaut Everett, WA
    Oct. 18, 2017 12:21 p.m.

    Jay Evensen: How many votes do you need to be considered a winner?

    ======

    MOST of them.
    Even it it's split over 9 different ways -

    He/She who has the MOST votes wins....

    Unless you live in 2016 America,
    then it doesn't.

    So much for Democracy....

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 18, 2017 11:12 a.m.

    Bill Clinton won the popular vote in both his elections, Jay once again uses alternative facts. Bush 2 and Trump are the only ones in modern history to lose the popular vote but win the election. Two total disasters for America.

  • airnaut Everett, WA
    Oct. 18, 2017 11:08 a.m.

    Jay Evensen: How many votes do you need to be considered a winner?

    =======

    Donald Trump clearly LOST the election,
    but managed to get the gerry-mandered Electoral college.

    Also,
    Bob Bennett would have hands down beat Mike Lee if not for that skewed archaic caucus...

    I got an idea,
    How about Count my vote....

  • JDay Orem, UT
    Oct. 18, 2017 9:22 a.m.

    I'm 100% behind the ranked choice voting method. It should totally eliminate the spoiler vote. I'm curious why Jay isn't convinced that it will help people feel better about voting their minds instead of worrying about wasting a vote.
    I think the issue is less about making sure a candidate has a full majority as it is about making it easier for people to vote for the candidate they actually like instead of voting against the candidate they really dislike.
    Utah should adopt ranked choice voting.

  • conservative scientist Lindon, UT
    Oct. 18, 2017 9:15 a.m.

    It was amusing and yet scary to read an op-ed a couple of weeks ago suggesting that Curtis wasn't the people's choice because he didn't win at the convention, among the delegates. That person thought that Chris Herrod should have been the choice even though he got far fewer votes than Curtis.

    The idea continuously put forth in this state that delegates somehow are favored over the general population, and we should trust them to make decisions for us because the rest of us are too ignorant to know how to vote, is really backwards.

    I look forward to the resurrection of count my vote and the abolishment of the caucus system which should lead to less extremism on both sides of the isle in our great state.