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I did read the site, and I am exactly right. You just don't understand the point I'm making.

Where did the candidates go in the states they did visit? Did they just stick to the cities, or did they go talk to people in small communities? Did they decide that they could get by with only one type of person, or did they have to try to appeal to the entire population of that state?

I am pretty confident that a presidential campaign that has to contend with rural and small-town voters in Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and Colorado will have to take into consideration some people like me, even though my state's not going to be a 'swing state' any time soon. Those states are plenty different and there's plenty of difference within them, as well.

I can't say the same about a campaign that focuses on the top fifty metropolitan statistical areas, which is exactly what would happen with your scheme.

> I did read the site,

I want to believe you, but it's hard to when it refutes the exact claim you're making:

MYTH: Only the big cities, such as Los Angeles, would matter under a national popular vote.


The populations of the 50 largest cities together constitute only 19% of the nation's population. Arlington, Texas is the nation's 50th largest city (with an estimated population of 363,000 in 2005).

Your advocacy site is confusing 'city' with 'metropolitan area', probably deliberately. Here's some real stats:

In 2010, the fifty largest metropolitan statistical areas had a population of 166,033,000 -- 53.8% of the United States' 308,745,000 people.

In the 2012 election, Los Angeles County alone had more voters than any of thirty-two of America's fifty states.

Also in the 2012 election, just 150 of America's 3,033 counties - less than five percent of the total, and all attached to a metropolitan area - made up 50% of the vote.

Given a limited amount of time to get in front of the voters, where do you think the candidates are going to go? Do this thing, and the days of candidates getting outside an urban area are pretty much over.

So, disregarding the fact that an MSA includes an urban center and its non-urban surrounds... You're saying that a candidate is going to just pander to every voter in, say, the Indianapolis-Carmel, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area (#35, population 1.7 million) and ignore the rest of Indiana (population 4.8 million).

> Given a limited amount of time to get in front of the voters, where do you think the candidates are going to go? Do this thing, and the days of candidates getting outside an urban area are pretty much over.

I don't really care where they go; re-enfranchising the majority of the country will mean that personal visits by candidates to a handful of geographic areas will be much less important than, for example, their policies. I'm sorry if that sounds like a bad thing to you, I guess we just have to agree to disagree on that.

If anything, it would have no effect because cities tend overwhelmingly democratic, and there are few undecided voters.

It's no use appealing to the area with the highest population density if their minds are already made up.

If anything, it would have no effect because cities tend overwhelmingly democratic, and there are few undecided voters.

It's no use appealing to the area with the highest population density if their mind is already made up.

In a world and country that is becoming increasingly urbanized, it's about time we removed the thumb on the scale in favor of non-urban voters.

There's a big difference between cities and MSAs, which the parent referred to. Using city populations like that is, IMO, almost always misleading. For the given example: hit the DFW metroplex, you're hitting Arlington. Another instance of the misleading aspect of looking just at city size: Atlanta has a city population of a bit over 400k. That makes it the biggest city in Georgia, and yet isn't even a tenth of the Atlanta metropolitan area, which has about 5.4 million people.

Top 10 US cities by population ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_cities_by... ):

  San Antonio
  San Diego
  San Jose
Top ten MSAs by population ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_statistical_area ):

  Washington, DC
The 10th-largest MSA is four and a half million people, the 10th-largest city is just under a million.

The 10 largest MSAs contain over 80 million people. That's already over a quarter of the country -- more than the 50 largest cities put together. Taking it out to the top 20 MSAs brings that up to almost 117 million. The top 50 MSAs cover more than half the country's population.

Edit: restricting it down to "urban areas" instead of MSAs brings the numbers down a bit, but the top 10 and 20 still make up a huge amount of it ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_urban_are... 2010 instead of 2011 numbers here ):

  Top 10: 73.4M
  Top 20: 101.8M
  Top 50: 143.1M
(And as a resident of one of the largest urban areas, I would absolutely prefer more of a popular vote. But the country is much more urbanly clustered than the "top 50 cities" stat would suggest. But IMO that's a reason for a popular vote, not against one.)

I'd argue that it's disingenuous to use MSAs rather than cities to talk about campaign stops. To use your example, the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta Metropolitan Statistical Area has four counties with more than 700,000 people, and fifteen with less than 100,000.

It's hard for me to imagine the average resident of, say, Jasper, GA (population ~2,000, median income ~$30,000) caring one way or another that you had a rally in Atlanta— but their votes still count.

Looking up TV listings for Jasper, it appears that cable carriers there still carry the Atlanta affiliates, so I'd disagree on how much they'd notice a candidate making a stop in Atlanta. In a popular vote system, I wouldn't expect any presidential candidates to stop in, say, Canton instead of (or even in addition to) Atlanta, when local media is going to pick up on stuff going on in Atlanta, so Atlanta's the closest I think Jasper would see.

That's fair, they might see it on the news if nothing more important was going on that day. But that's still press coverage, not a stop, and it's likely to backfire when the ad comes on saying, "But how much does Mr. Smith really care about Georgia?"

The more general point being that the dynamics of campaigning would be fundamentally different, such that none of the lines that are currently drawn will matter (and of course that's good thing).

The split is urban vs suburban, not urban vs rural.

Imagine a replay of 2012 without the electoral college. Obama would still hit the urbans and some of the progressive rich enclaves. Romney would hit all the suburban, Wall St. and yacht clubs.

No one would bother with the rurals except for some photo ops. Same as before.

Right, it's definitely not possible that he considered the arguments unconvincing. He just hasn't taken the time to understand them yet. They are utterly unassailable, and anyone who sees things differently must be willfully ignorant or is driven by an anti-popular vote ideology or special interests.

With a popular Presidential vote, every state becomes a swing state, demanding greater attention. How hard is that to grasp?

Stalwarts like Utah and NYC may be relatively ignored. Big deal.

Your complaint is that the minuscule rural population are ignored by the more prosperous, more populated, more important urban areas.

That sounds about right to me. One person, one vote.

If people in rural areas want to be more relevant, they should either start creating some jobs, stop being freeloaders, and work harder to prevent their people from following the jobs. Which is not going to happen so long as we have a petrol based economy.

Once human labor is required to replace petrol, you'll have more people returning to rural areas, to work the land.

So if you care about the vitality of rural areas, you'll work to expedite the post oil energy future.

You couldn't have proved my point better.

This is why we have a federal government - to prevent our government from being run by people who think like this. Presidents have to govern everybody, not just the people they like.

You haven't made a point.

If your intended point was to prevent the tyranny of the majority, then your focus on the electoral college is sadly misplaced.

Edit: Here's the kicker. I ran for statewide office. Last minute ballot filler. (I was pissed the incumbent was unopposed.) In the limited time with limited resources, I tried to visit every legislative district and every county. I was greeted and vetted like a rock star. It was fun as hell. My family were farmers and I love the country. It was like coming home.

You know what? I was the only state wide candidate who did this. Because I had no chance of winning, nothing to lose, and could do and say whatever I wanted. If I had any prospects, I wouldn't have had the luxury of touring my state.

So whatever your grievances, I don't care. I want to end world hunger and ice cream for every kid on Tuesdays. Big deal.

If you want your vote to matter, you should probably do something to empower yourself. Or just wait for the return of farming, when every one will be courting your communities again, like they did back in my grandfather's day.

Or you could continue to belly ache about how all the big bad politicians ignore you.

Either way: Please, continue.

It's not clear why a candidate should have to go court rural and small town voters in e.g. a place like Illinois, where two thirds of the whole state lives in the Chicago urban area.

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