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Who Elects US President? … History, Politics, Dynamics Of Electoral College System?

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Every fourth November,

            after almost two years of campaign hype and money, over 90 million Americans vote for the presidential candidates. Then, in the middle of December, the president and vice president of the United States are really elected by the votes of only 538 citizens — the “electors” of the Electoral College.

How the Electoral College Elects the President

When you vote for a presidential candidate you are really voting to instruct the electors from your state to cast their votes for the same candidate. For example, if you vote for the Republican candidate, you are really voting for an elector who will be “pledged” to vote for the Republican candidate. The candidate who wins the popular vote in a state wins all the pledged votes of the state’s electors.

The Electoral College system was established in Article II of the Constitution and amended by the 12th Amendment in 1804.

Each state gets a number of electors equal to its number of members in the U.S. House of Representatives plus one for each of its two U.S. Senators. The District of Columbia gets three electors. While state laws determine how electors are chosen, they are generally selected by the political party committees within the states.

Each elector gets one vote. Thus, a state with eight electors would cast eight votes. There are currently 538 electors and the votes of a majority of them — 270 votes — are required to be elected. Since Electoral College representation is based on congressional representation, states with larger populations get more Electoral College votes. See: Electoral Votes From Each State

Should none of the candidates win 270 electoral votes, the 12th Amendment kicks in and the election is decided by the House of Representatives. The combined representatives of each state get one vote and a simple majority of states is required to win. This has only happened twice. Presidents Thomas Jefferson in 1801 and John Quincy Adams in 1825 were elected by the House of Representatives.

While the state electors are “pledged” to vote for the candidate of the party that chose them, nothing in the Constitution requires them to do so. In rare instances, an elector will defect and not vote for his or her party’s candidate. Such “faithless” votes rarely change the outcome of the election and laws of some states prohibit electors from casting them.

So we will all go vote on Tuesday, and before the sun sets in California at least one of the TV networks will have declared a winner. By midnight, one of the candidates will have probably claimed victory and some will have conceded defeat. But not until the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December, when the electors of the Electoral College meet in their state capitals and cast their votes will we really have a new president and vice president elect.

Why the delay between the general election and the Electoral College meetings? Back in the 1800s, it simply took that long to count the popular votes and for all the electors to travel to the state capitals. Today, the time is more likely to be used for settling any protests due to election code violations and for vote recounts.

Isn’t There a Problem Here?

Critics of the Electoral College system, of which there are more than a few, point out that the system allows the possibility of a candidate actually losing the nationwide popular vote, but being elected president by the electoral vote. Can that happen? Yes, and it has.

A look at the Electoral Votes From Each State and a little math will tell you that the Electoral College system makes it possible for a candidate to actually lose the nationwide popular vote, but be elected president by the Electoral College.

In fact, it is possible for a candidate to not get a single person’s vote — not one — in 39 states or the District of Columbia, yet be elected president by wining the popular vote in just 11 of these 12 states:

California

New York

Texas

Florida

Pennsylvania

Illinois

Ohio

Michigan

New Jersey

North Carolina

Georgia

Virginia

There are 538 total votes in the Electoral College and a presidential candidate must win a majority — 270 — electoral votes to be elected. Since 11 of the 12 states in the chart above account for exactly 270 votes, a candidate could win these states, lose the other 39, and still be elected.

Of course, a candidate popular enough to win California or New York will almost certainly win some smaller states, as well.. But, when you play with popularity and numbers, anything can happen. And has.

Has it Ever Happened?

Has a presidential candidate ever lost the nationwide popular vote but been elected president in the Electoral College? Yes, three times:

In 1876 there were a total of 369 electoral votes available with 185 needed to win. Republican Rutherford B. Hayes, with 4,036,298 popular votes won 185 electoral votes. His main opponent, Democrat Samuel J. Tilden, won the popular vote with 4,300,590 votes, but won only 184 electoral votes. Hayes was elected president.

In 1888 there were a total of 401 electoral votes available with 201 needed to win. Republican Benjamin Harrison, with 5,439,853 popular votes won 233 electoral votes. His main opponent, Democrat Grover Cleveland, won the popular vote with 5,540,309 votes, but won only 168 electoral votes. Harrison was elected president.

In 2000 there were a total of 538 electoral votes available with 270 needed to win. Republican George W. Bush, with 50,456,002 popular votes won 271 electoral votes. His Democratic opponent, Al Gore, won the popular vote with 50,999,897 votes, but won only 266 electoral votes. Bush was elected president.

Most voters would be unhappy to see their candidate win the most votes but lose the election. Why would the Founding Fathers create a constitutional process that would allow this to happen?

The Framers of the Constitution wanted to make sure the people were given direct input in choosing their leaders and saw two ways to accomplish this:

1. The people of the entire nation would vote for and elect the president and vice president based on popular votes alone. A direct popular election.

2. The people of each state would elect their members of the US Congress by direct popular election. The members of Congress would then express the wishes of the people by electing the president and vice president themselves. An election by Congress.

The Founding Fathers feared the direct popular election option. There were no organised national political parties yet, no structure by which to choose and limit the number of candidates. In addition, travel and communication was slow and difficult at that time. A very good candidate could be popular regionally, but remain unknown to the rest of the country. A large number of regionally popular candidates would thus divide the vote and not indicate the wishes of the nation as a whole.

On the other hand, election by Congress would require the members to both accurately assess the desires of the people of their states and to actually vote accordingly. This could have led to elections that better reflected the opinions and political agendas of the members of Congress than the actual will of the people.

As a compromise, we have the Electoral College system.

Considering that only three times in our history has a candidate lost the popular national vote but been elected by electoral vote, and that in both cases the popular vote was extremely close, the system has worked pretty well.

Yet, the Founding Fathers’ concerns with direct popular elections have mostly vanished. The national political parties have been around for years. Travel and communications are no longer problems. We all have access to every word spoken by every candidate every day.

Electoral College Summary

·           Votes cast by the people of the United States — known as the “popular vote” — are used to choose the president and vice president “indirectly” through the Electoral College.

·           Popular votes cast in the presidential election are actually being cast for a number of electors. Each state gets a number of electors equal to the state’s number of representatives in the House and Senate.

·           There are a total of 538 electors.

·           The candidate winning the most popular votes in a state gets all of that states electoral votes.

·           The first candidate to win 270 or more electoral votes is elected.

It is possible for a candidate to lose the popular vote and still be elected president by the Electoral College. Four presidents have been elected in this manner: John Quincy Adams in 1824, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, Benjamin Harrison in 1888 and George W. Bush in 2000.

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Interview with the employer: how to get a job

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Interview with the employer: how to get a job
Interview with the employer is an important stage for the applicant. Find out how to pass the interview successfully to get the job you want.

Interview with the employer

Interview with the employer is an important stage for the applicant. The success of the interview impacts the further employment of the candidate, as well as his status in the eyes of the future employer. For a more profitable self-presentation, it’s useful to know the ways of adjusting to the way of thinking of the interlocutor. Understanding the values and beliefs of the potential employer will help establish trustful communication and circumvent the competitors for the vacant position.
According to the autobiography essay help service, when meeting the employer, try to determine the type of people your potential employer belongs to. In this case, focus on the classification, which conditionally divides people into rational and emotional.
Each person conceives, plans, and implements his own affairs in different ways. The structure of some companies is similar to a well-defined mechanism, of others it is very democratic. Depending on the type of personality of the leader, rational or irrational (emotional), the company’s policy as a whole and work in it are built.

Characteristics of the rational and irrational employer

The rational employer is a person who prefers to own a situation, devotes much time to planning, as well as is prone to consistency and a clear order of accomplishment of tasks. Such an employer perfectly understands what criteria and qualities a potential employee should have, what functions should be in the company, what results his work should bring.
From the applicant, this employer prefers to hear clear arguments, what specific tasks and how he will be able to solve them by taking up this or that position. In this case, the statement that you really like this company, and you try to justify the hopes placed on you will sound unconvincing. Loyalty to the company is an emotional component, it is not interesting to rational employers. These are people who do not like to talk in vain and prefer to be concrete.
Observe the organization of work in the office, carefully look at how people look, and how their workplace is organized. Rational employers, as a rule, have everything in its place. Listen to what the potential boss says. How even his speech is, how prepared and thoughtful his questions are. This, of course, will tell you whether one can classify his personality type as rational.
Irrational employers are constantly on the phone and simultaneously deal with several tasks at the same time. This is a person who is simultaneously able to realize several tasks. First of all, he is interested in the current situation. Such people do not like monotony, quickly make decisions, relying not only on logic, but also on their own attitude to the issue, often deviate from the plan and schedule.
The speech of such a boss is less structured, he can often be distracted from the originally asked topic, simultaneously finding out the important points for him. This is usually open and emotional people, for whom the positive emotional climate in the team is important. The approach to such an employer lies through the initiative of the employee, loyalty to the company, openness and friendliness. In this case, you should show not only your professionalism and ability to cope with tasks but also that you’re comfortable to work with.
In order to properly build an interview with a potential employer, you need some time to observe his manners and the situation in the company.
Formulate answers to the questions of the potential employer according to the needs of his personality type. Clearly and succinctly or more emotionally and openly. This adjustment and the acquisition of a common language at the interview is guaranteed to allocate you among the other candidates and will provide employment for the desired workplace.

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Small Talk

WHO Wins The White House? …Obama Or Romney

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The White House

The battle for the White House is very fierce, not close to what incumbent President Barack Obama saw in his challenge of ‘Change’ and the ‘yes we can’ slogan in 2008 against more popular Arizona Senator and renowned war veteran John McCain.

This time, it is with a presumptive Republican nominee who is wealthy grounded in business and acclaimed as a favourite to create more jobs for Americans and revamp the US economy.

Even with reasonable improvements in jobs created and better but modest growth of the economy, the highest since Obama inherited the economic mess left behind by Republican Predecessor, George Bush, Jnr. Americans still remain divide over which of the two Presidential contenders is better suited for the White House job.

However, most gallop polls prefer Romney as a better candidate to create jobs, while many Americns expressed empathy with the incumbent.

But the first of three Presidential debates, generally adjudged to have been won by Challenger Mitt Romney opened the race in a manner never contemplated by bookmakers. Truth however, was that Romney emerged more likeable than the Obama campaigns initially portrayed him and which resulted in a rare momentum that left the presidential race in a dead-heat.

Although, Obama was presumed winner of the subsequent second and third debates, the Romney momentum went further  than imagined and not merely succeeded in rallying the hitherto skeptical Republican base but also created ample doubts in minds of Independents.

As at Monday last week, just before Super Storm Sandy, virtually all polls were either tied or in favour of Romney. In fact, polls according to States by Wednesday showed Romney garnering majority of 26 States as against Obama’s 22 while three States remained tossups.

The ice breaker thus became among other variables, handling of Super Storm Sandy in States within the North East and more importantly, the closing arguments by the candidates, particularly in battle ground States like Ohio, Iowa, Florida, Colorado, Virginia, Nevada, New Hampshire and Wisconsin.

The outcome of elections  in these States also depend on a good number of variables, among them fanatical response of undecided voters, among them White males and seniors for Romney and African Americans for Obama.

After the Super Storm Sandy, Obama’s Presidential handling earned him two major endorsements, one from major Republican Governor of New Jersy Chris Christie who preferred Obama by 64 per cent to fellow Republican Romney 36 per cent. Also, New York major, a Republican turned-Independent, Michael Bloomberg also endorsed Obama because of the Democrat’s drive towards Climate Change and the president’s proactive measures in tackling the stormy disasters.

See Sandy: Blessing In Disguise)

Even so, most polls predict a tied race with Romney leading Obama in most states and Obama leading in others.

Each of the candidates require a minimum of 270 electoral votes to win the White House. So, what does electoral vote mean in the U.S. How can a candidate win elections in the USA, is it by majority of American votes?

If so, why did Democratic Presidential candidate Al Gore lose to incumbent George Bush in 2004?

In that year, for instance, there were a total of 538 electoral votes available with 270 need to win. Republican George W. Bush with 50,456,002 popular votes won 286 electoral votes, while his Democratic opponent, Al Gore, won the popular vote with 50,999,837 votes but won only 251 electoral votes. Bush was elected president.

So what is the likely scenario this year? Republican Mitt Romney leads in more states and is likely to garner majority votes, were the elections held yesterday, while Obama is more secure with more electoral votes of likely to hit the 271 mark on account of his control of states with bigger electoral votes.

But is that possible? How? Why? A look at the Electoral College votes from each state and a little maths will tell that the electoral system makes it possible for a candidate to actually lose the nationwide popular vote, but be elected president by the electoral college. 

 

Soye Wilson Jamabo with Agency reports

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Stormy Storm-Sandy, A Factor

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President Barack Obama and Republican Challenger Mitt Romney went back on the attack last after midweek, breaking a storm-induced campaign truce to hit the road and pound home their closing messages in the final stretch of the battle for the White House, reported Reuters’ Jeff Mason.

The Tide source gathered that on that drive, Obama resurrected his 2008 “Change” slogan and said he was the only candidate who had actually fought for it.

In 2008, the Senator, Barack Obama became the first African American ever to become President of the World’s most powerful free nation on earth, the United States of America.

On the ballot for that year’s presidential election were eventual Winner Barack Hussein Obama and Joseph R. Biden as Vice Presidential candidate on the Democratic ticket; Senator John S. McCain and Alaska governor Sarah Palin on the Republican ticket; Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez of the Independent Party and Bob Barr. And Wayne Allyn Root of the Libertarian Party.

In 2008, Obama’s campaign on change was easily enhanced by the economic misfortunes of the George W. Bush’s eight-year presidency, so Americans embraced the message of the Democrats.

In the end, Obama emerged President of the United States, the first of his race to achieve that feat. See results below.

The resurgence of the ‘Change,’ campaign as distinct from the ‘Forward,’ Obama has preached all through the campaign was to dilute challenger Mitt Romney’s ‘Change’ slogan believed to be gaining grounds among independents.

Romney had criticised Obama as a lover of big government who would expand the federal bureacracy.

Reuters’ National polls monitored by The Tide last Friday night had shown the presidential race deadlocked, and Obama and Romney determined to spend the final days in eight swing States that should decide who wins the required 270 electoral votes (See Box For Electoral Votes per State) needed to capture the White House.

Obama had made Wisconson the first stop on a four-State swing on same day that also took him to rallies in Nevada and Colorado and then spent the night in Ohio. On the other hand, Romney had a full day campaigning across Virginia.

“You may be frustrated at the pace of change, but you know what I believe. You know where I stand.” Obama told a crowd of 2,600 people on an airport tarmac in Winsconsin, a vital piece of his electoral strategy.

“I know what change looks like because I’ve fought for it,” Obama said, in veiled reference to his thrills and travails of the 2008 Presidential polls which he won.

Romney had earlier criticised Obama’s comment in an interview aired by MSNBC on Monday that he would like to consolidate government agencies that deal with business issues in a new department under a secretary of business.

“I don’t think adding a new chair to his cabinet will help add millions of jobs on Main Streets” Romney was quoted as saying:

Obama and Romney had put campaigning on hold for several days as the historic storm SANDY pounded the eastern seaboard, leaving a trail of destruction and forcing Obama to turn his attention to storm relief.

The pause produced some unexpected political benefits for Obama, who won warm praise from Republican Governor Chris Christie of New Jersy, a major Romney supporter, and he spent days directing federal relief efforts in a show of Presidential leadership that largely sidelined Romney.

Sandy: Blessing In Disguise

…As New York Mayor Endorses Obama

New York Mayor, Micheal Bloomberg – a Republican-turned-Independent who did not back a candidate in 2008, last Thursday endorsed President Barack Obama and cited Democrats record on climate change, in the aftermath of the storm Sandy.

Bloomberg said Obama had taken significant steps to reduce carbon consumption, while Romney had backtracked on earlier positions he took as governor of Massachusetts to battle climate change.

Obama in response said he was “honoured” by the backing of Bloomberg, who flirted with White House runs in the past.

Bloomberg, wrote in an opinion article for Bloomberg View, a section of Bloomberg News, “Our Climate is Changing.”

“And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be-given the devastation – should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.”

With Obama locked in a neck and neck battle with Romney, the endorsement coming five days before tomorrow’s election was huge.

Bloomberg’s endorsement came after Obama had won similar praise from New Jersy Governor Chris Christie a Republican, and Romney’s biggest supporter, for Obama’s quick reaction to super storm Sandy.

Obama Enjoys Swing-State Advantage

The quest to garner the required 270 electoral votes to retain White House as President got brighter for Obama fuelled primarily by a small, but steady lead in the vital battleground of Ohio – a crucial piece of any winning scenario for either candidate.

Barring any surprises elsewhere, The Tide predicts that Obama will win a second term by capturing the Midwestern bastions of Ohio, Wisconson and Iowa, same reason the president’s scheduled tour was aimed at shoring up his safety net there.

Spurred by that drive, Obama visited Ohio on each of the last four days of his campaign in addition to two more trips to both Winsconsin and Iowa. He concludes his campaign tonight with Rock Singer Bruce Springsteen in Iowa, where a 2008 cancus win launched his run to the Presidency.

However, Obama made just one visit each in the final days to Florida and Virginia where most polls, up till last Friday gave Romney a slight lead.

On his part, Romney hit Winsconsin and Ohio last Friday, and New Hampshire, Iowa and Colorado on Saturday. He finishes up his campaign tonight in Hampshire, the State where he lunched his bid last year.

However, Romney’s campaign had aired ads in the past few-days in the Democratic-leaning States of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Minnesota, in hope to put them in play after polls showed the races tightening but with Obama still ahead.

The Campaign explained why Romney visited Pennsylvania yesterday, marking his first visit since the nominating convention because it was one of his new target States.

The Tide electoral maths shows that win in Pennsylvania would be a crippling blow to Obama, but most public polls still show Obama leading in that State.

However, Romney aides insisted at the weekend that the moves in those three new states were a sign of their growing momentum, although, Obama aides described them as a desperate ploy to fund new paths to 270 electoral votes.

A Reuters/Ipsos National online poll at the weekend (Friday) had showed the race remained effectively deadlocked; with Obama at 47 per cent to Romney’s 46 per cent, most national polls monitored by The Tide showed roughly same results.

Romney’s campaign stop in Pennsylvania Sunday was therefore, to take advantage of what aides saw as the possibility of an upset win over President Obama in the traditionally Democratic State, a step Democratic strategists view as a tall order.

However, Romney campaign aides decided the visit took place in the Southeastern portion of the State. Romney had held off on campaign visits to the State because it appeared Obama had the State locked up. But polls have tightened in recent weeks, although he (Romney) still trails behind Obama.

The visit he had calculated would give two potential goals. If Romney were to win Pennsylvania, it could provide a buffer for him should he lose Ohio, crusial battleground State where Obama had been holding a small but persistent lead in the polls.

No Republican candidate had won the Presidential race without winning Ohio.

Winning Pennsylvania, therefore, could expand Romney’s path for winning the required 270 electoral votes needed for victory.

Strangely, Romney had a narrow path that relies on hopes of winning a number of other battle ground States like Virginia, Florida and North Corolina where the race is too close to call.

The Obama campaign according to Reuters accounts, had been dismissive of Romney’s last minute efforts to increase his profile after the campaign announced it was running television ads there.

A senior Romney adviser had said Romney’s wife, Ann Romney had been campaigning in Pennsylvania on her  husband’s behalf and found an improving picture for him there.

 

Soye Wilson Jamabo with Agency Reports

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