Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Moving The Electoral Goal Posts

Democrats have been bitterly disappointed by some election results over the past two decades — both nationally and in Maine, so now they want to move the goal posts. Maine Democrats were burned when they nominated a weak gubernatorial candidate in 2010 in the person of Libby Mitchell. She got only 18.8% (108,387) of the vote, while the winner, Governor Paul LePage got 37.6% (218,065). He might not have won if there weren’t a spoiler candidate named Elliot Cutler in the race who obtained 35.9% (208,270) of total votes cast. 

Mitchell, Cutler, and LePage
Cutler was an Independent but ran on a platform far to the left of Republican LePage. He supported public funding for abortion, opposed education vouchers, favored same-sex marriage, affirmative action, and amnesty for illegal aliens. If either he or Mitchell were running head-to-head against LePage, the outcome would likely have been different. 

LePage, Cutler, Michaud

In 2014, Maine Democrats nominated former congressman Mike Michaud, but again Elliot Cutler ran as an independent liberal — and again he was the spoiler drawing 8.43% ((51,405) of the vote that, if it were added to fellow liberal Mike Michaud’s 43.34% (264,369), would have put him over the top against LePage who won reelection. Democrats were furious. They hated LePage who was a fighter much like President Trump whom he endorsed for President in 2016. 

Democrats nationally never got over losing the 2000 election to George W. Bush after their candidate, Al Gore, had won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote. That’s only happened five times in US History but the last two occurred in the past two decades and both times it was the Democrat candidate who was burned. The second one, as I’m sure you know, was Hillary Clinton in 2016.

After the hated Maine Governor Paul LePage’s reelection with a plurality of the vote, Democrats circulated a referendum petition for something called “Ranked Choice Voting” which passed in 2016. It was employed against Republican Congressman Bruce Poliquin who won a plurality of the 2018 popular vote and thought himself the winner — but the goal posts had been moved. Voters were urged to vote for all candidates on the ballot for a particular office. They could vote for just one candidate as they always had, or they can rank their choices first, second, third, etc.

If no candidate gets a majority of first choices, the candidate with the lowest vote total is eliminated and counting starts over. If there still isn’t a candidate with a majority of first choices, the process is repeated until there is. That’s how Democrat candidate Jared Golden was declared the winner. If balloting were done as it always had been, Republican Bruce Poliquin would have won reelection.

Supporters call ranked-choice balloting an “instant run-off.” Republicans call it an instant rip-off and consider the election flawed. A real run-off, the way other states like Louisiana do it, would mean the top two vote-getters then go head-to-head in another election. That way, the candidate with the most votes would win — a process voters can support because they understand it. If Poloquin and Golden were to have gone head-to-head, the result might well have been different.

Most Mainers who hated Governor LePage also hate President Trump and would like to eliminate the electoral college process that elected him. To do that, however, requires a constitutional amendment and that’s a very difficult process. I remember former Maine US Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, a Democrat, came to Fryeburg years ago and said the amendment process is intentionally difficult because our plan of government — which is what our constitution is — should never be changed without a broad, public consensus.

Article Five declares that to eliminate the electoral college, two-thirds of both houses of Congress would have to propose an amendment. Then it would have to be ratified by three-quarters of state legislatures. Democrats know there isn’t enough support for all that so, rather than follow the Constitutional process, they’re trying to circumvent it by forming something called “The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact,” or NPV. According to last month’s Imprimis:

Until this year, every state that had joined NPV was heavily Democratic: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. The NPV campaign has struggled to win other Democratic states: Delaware only adopted it this year and it still has not passed in Oregon (though it may soon). Following the 2018 election, Democrats came into control of both the legislatures and the governorships in the purple states of Colorado and New Mexico, which have subsequently joined NPV.

Maine Democrats almost passed a bill to join NPV but it lost narrowly last month. Had it passed, Maine would have forfeited power over its four electoral votes. They would instead have been awarded to whatever candidate won the most popular votes nationally.


CaptDMO said...


DAWN said...

Democrats will RUIN to RULE!

Whatever it takes.

Jeremy said...

Proof of media hypocrisy. Amazing.