you registered to vote?
do you know when the next election day is happening?
good… glad to hear yes on both of those. Now the important stuff.
60% of voters aren’t going to show up in a few weeks. That’s what
history says about national elections in non-presidential years.
The mid-terms. Roughly 40% of eligible voters figure it’s important
enough to show up for such votes. The rest stay away. The rest
do other things.
look… I think we all know crazy things happen in elections. For
instance, did you know that in 2010, the winner of the Rhode Island
vote for governor took the office with a whopping 36% of the vote?
here’s the scary part… the crazy part you might not readily see,
even as it plays out in front of you… politics isn’t a vote for
the masses. It’s a game. And usually a game for the few.
past four presidential elections, turnout of voters has generally
been accepted as 59%, 58%, 61% and 60%. (I say generally accepted
because some voting totals are still not fully finalized even
if winners have been certified.) Turnout rates in the mid-terms?
36%, 41%, 40% and 39%.
out of every five possible voters disappear during midterms. (And
two out of five don’t show at all.) The politicians know this.
They have people on their campaign staffs studying this.
do you need to do to be elected president?
Kind of a trick question. The answer is 270.
the magic number. That’s what you have to get. And while you may
not have readily recalled the number 270, you almost certainly
know the reason. In the United States, the presidential elections
are decided by the vote of an electoral college. A majority is
needed in order to win, and that majority resides at the magic
number of 270.
let’s keep in mind that a governor was elected with slightly more
than a third of the vote, plus the idea of a magic number of 270.
Let’s play extremes…
we accept that roughly 40% of voters are going to head out in
a mid-term election year, and then add in that a vote total of
36.1% was a winner (which, coincidentally was in a mid-term year)…
that means you could frame it that an official in a fairly significant
position was elected by earning a whopping 14% of the vote. Yup…
a 36.1% portion of 40% overall equals 14.44%.
we accept that 270 is the magic number, it only takes 11 states
to be elected president. The combination of electoral votes from
California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania,
Ohio, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina and New Jersey add up
to 270 these days. So, in an all-or-nothing way, you could win
those states by narrow margins, be completely demolished in the
returns from every other place (remember, the District of Columbia
gets electors), and you’d be planning your inauguration.
I being fair? No. Of course not.
the other 60% show up to vote, some… if not most… of that would
break down in a similar fashion between the candidates.
are histories for all of the states, and I feel fairly confident
in saying all 11 noted a moment ago have not gone the same way
in any one presidential election for many, many years.
the ideas are sound. It’s a game.
no candidate that is serious about being elected plans a campaign
based on every voter arriving at a polling station on election
day. Absolutely no candidate that is serious about being elected
plans a campaign based on earning 100% of the vote.
the simplest summary of the idea is this: What do I have to do
to earn the necessary numbers for election from the people that
are going to show up?
now, history doesn’t suggest… history confirms
to a degree bringing it to a level bordering up against certainty,
that a minority of eligible voters are going to show up in 2018.
(And, unless something changes, this will repeat in 2022, 2026,
2030, and so on.) Most people don’t care. Most people don’t want
to invest the time.
now, regardless of the electoral college process that doesn’t
apply to every political vote, history shows that many candidates
will win with a vote total somewhere in the 42% to 48% range.
Yes, good chunk will get a majority and clear 50%. A significant
number will not.
and managers and strategists base their work on knowing these
things (and, yes, much more). But the foundation remains…
is a game.
amazingly, if we… the eligible and registered voters in the United
States… want to change things, make a statement, and express that
the way things are isn’t acceptable, there is a very easy way
to do it.
we need to do is get a majority of us to cast our ballot on election
day this year.
mid-term elections, going back roughly 100 years, the voter turnout
rate has never cleared the 50% mark. In presidential election
years, same rough time frame, the high point still fell below
to change the government… and the way politicians view us? The
answer is very simple. Vote.
this year would be historic.
in 2020 would be historic.
about that. Those numbers are ridiculously low. Half in one year…
two-thirds in the other. But it’s that apathetic, one vote won’t
make a difference, grab a friend that will vote completely the
opposite way and go fishing instead mentalities that create the
foundation of political campaigns.
I’m a candidate, I don’t need a strategy that makes me the choice
of a majority of the people. In essence, I only need a strategy
that makes me a candidate for the majority of the 40% of voters
that will vote. Big difference.
have no clue what your personal and professional situations are
these days. I don’t know what you believe, how you feel, or if
you even care about specific issues. Some things that are important
to you may be secondary to me. But you have a right to those opinions,
and a right to assist in selecting representation that will support
those opinions. Don’t throw that away.
is a game. And it’s about time that we learned more about how
that game is being played and participate.
it won’t take much to shake the ground. Not much at all.
if only 40% or less of us show up in November… if less than two-thirds
of us show up in 2020… the reality is that nothing will change.
changes when the same people are making the decisions. It only
changes when more people raise their voices and take the time
to cast a vote.