Thursday, September 30, 2004

Shawn at The Sum of My Parts dispells some popular myths about the electoral college.
2. Myth: The Electoral College encourages campaigning in states that otherwise would be left out. Truth: Candidates don't campaign in every state now. They stop by most states once or twice, but some states don't even see that. How often do you hear of a candidate heading to Alaska, for heaven's sake? Yet, in MI, we've had countless swing-throughs of the candidates, their VP choices, and everyone down to their second cousins. And, the truth is that in this day of mass media, it's much less important than it used to be that each state get personal "whistle-stops." I am not saying such things aren't necessary and desireable, of course. I am simply saying that states with the largest populations and influence, as well as "battle-ground states" (state's with populations that are very closely split between parties, such as MI) are that states that see the most live and TV campaigning now, and that would continue for obvious reasons without the electoral college. Indeed, it may encourage a wider campaign in some areas. People in the states that are already ignored use the Internet and cable/satellite/etc. TV, as well as nation-wide radio stations and the like to get information. Candidates are also using these means to very effectively campaign at lower cost and with less-frequent trips to these outlying areas (see Howard Dean as a good example of this in many ways).