Thursday, December 28, 2023

Pol. Sci. 101

A word of explanation about the Karl Rove predictions in the prior post. Rove predicts Biden will get more total votes because of supermajorities in several blue states. We need to remember that whether Biden wins blue CA or NY by one vote or by millions, he gets the same number of electoral college votes either way. Red states tend to have more balance, meaning they contribute less to national party vote totals.

While most states allocate electoral college votes on a winner-takes-all basis, that isn’t how House votes work. House districts are of roughly equal population and the race is decided in-district. So who wins the House is more closely related to the total number of Democrat or Republican votes cast than is the presidency. CA has 52 times as many House seats as WY, for instance.

Of course, of the three, the outcome in the Senate is least closely related to those national totals as only a third of senators are up for (re)election in any given even-numbered year. And states with big or small populations each have 2 senators. CA and WY each have two.

Therefore Rove’s predictions of Democrats taking the House and of Biden getting the most votes nationally are perfectly consistent with each other. None of the above means Rove will necessarily have made correct predictions, that’s another story.

A personal aside: My vote for a U.S. senator in WY carries ca. 52 times as much weight as that of a CA resident. I don’t mind even a little.