The Politics of America's Presidency
Post on 03-Mar-2016
DESCRIPTIONThe document is a review of the electoral college voting system
This document is going to discuss about the politics of the Americas presidency and the dynamics surround the issue. In terms of the size of the electorate, America is the second largest democracy in the world after India. However surprisingly most Americans, especially the young people do not know much about the political system in their own country particularly in relation to the presidency (Lewis 59).The American presidents are elected to serve for a term of four years and upon re-election, they can serve for a maximum of two terms or eight years. Previously, there was no limit to the number of terms a president could serve. It was the US first president George Washington who set the two-term precedent by only serving for two terms (Lewis 75).The US president is not elected directly by voter but through electoral college votes. The electoral college is made up representative from all the states and the number of electoral college in each state depends on the number of the voters (Richard 90) . For instance, California has the largest number of voters and the largest electoral college vote of 55.Texas is the second largest having 38 followed by New York 29.The states will the smallest number of voter have only 3 electoral college voted. There are a total of 538 electoral college votes in the US (Richard 107).For one to therefore become the US President, a candidate has to garner over 270 electoral college votes. Most states in the US do either firmly belong to the Democrat in practice- for example, New York and California or historically Republican like Texas and Tennessee. There is therefore a tendency of the candidates focusing their campaigns and resources on the swing states which is the main battle grounds since votes might go to either way (Michael and Silverstein 128).
Florida is the largest swing state with 29 votes, followed by Pennsylvania 20 votes and the third being Ohio with 18 votes. Others include Iowa Nevada Wisconsin Colorado and Virginia. With this kind of voting system, it means that a candidate can win majority of the votes countrywide but fail to win the majority votes in the Electoral College and that alone is enough to fail the candidate from becoming the President. This scenario has infact happened three times in the American history. It happened in the 1876 elections, 1888 elections, and 2000 elections (Henry 25).The problem however with Electoral College is that it gives unlimited voting power to states, working out to the advantage of smaller states with more electoral votes per individual. For example, each persons vote in Wyoming counts almost four times more in the Electoral College than each persons vote in Texas. The reason is because Wyoming has got only three 3 electoral college votes for a total of 532,670 citizens according to the 2008 Census Bureau statistics while Texas has got 32 electoral college votes for a total of about 25 million people. By dividing the number of people by electoral college votes, one can see that Wyoming has got one voter for every 177,556 people while Texas has one voter for about every 715,500 people. The inequality between these two states is the largest in the American Electoral College. This kind of voting system gives unfair advantage to smaller states since they have more electoral college votes per individual (Sidney and Nelson 1844)
Work cited:Gould, Lewis L. The modern American presidency. Univ Pr of Kansas, 2009.Milkis, Sidney M., and Michael Nelson. The American Presidency: Origins and Development, 1776-1998. CQ-Roll Call Group Books, 2009.Giroux, Henry A. Against the terror of neoliberalism: Politics beyond the age of greed. Paradigm Publishers, 2008.Lempert, Michael, and Michael Silverstein. Creatures of politics: media, message, and the American presidency. Indiana University Press, 2012.Hofstadter, Richard. The paranoid style in American politics. Vintage, 2012.