Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Steyer, Buttigieg and Klobuchar are out pre-super tuesday

Below are some charts I've created to demonstrate the current primary process. I've included the republican primary results also for comparison It's worth noting that since some states hold a no contest, I've included that information as no data in the proportional charts.

What we can deduce from these charts are a few things. We can see how candidates would be doing if delegates were given out based on populate vote for each state rather than having to meet a certain threshold or win certain counties. I will also touch on how this system helps and hurts certain candidates. We can also try to use this information to speculate how a state my vote in the general election.

So if we look at the chart below, we can see the real values and proportional values of delegates before super Tuesday. What's most interesting is that in the proportional chart, the race is much closer and Sanders does not have as strong of a following as the delegate count makes it out to seem. Additionally, Candidates like Klobuchar, Warren, and Steyer have much more support than the delegate count reflects. That makes it unfortunate that candidates like Steyer, Klobuchar, Buttigieg, and even Yang dropped out before super tuesday. Only about 6% of the total delegates needed are awarded so far, so ending a campaign so early on seems like giving up too soon.

I understand that many of them believed they did not stand a chance at winning, and this is true. If they would have stayed in, there would be less chance for anyone to get the total delegates needed to win. This would have slowed the process and made it come across that the party was divided. But I would argue that forcing candidates to unite together an pull their delegates at the convention may be more diplomatic and unifying than candidates dropping out early and endorsing another candidate. It's very off-putting to voters to invest time, energy, and money on a candidate, just to see them essentially give up without a fight and endorse another candidate with differing opinions on the off-chance they my be considered for a position within h new administration if they'd win the general election.

Personally, I'd much rather see the candidates duke it out and unite as one at the convention after everyone has had their primary. This primary has shown how if you aren't one of the early states, there's no point in following the candidates since most will be gone by the time you'd get to vote anyways.

The other reason many dropped out was to compile votes so that Sanders wouldn't have as much of a led since many believe that having so many moderate candidates was breaking up the moderate vote and that by reducing them to a single candidate that that would help that candidates chances to defeat Sanders. Biden was that pick. I do think that is a valid concern, but I also think it's disheartening that the only viable option is that. Sanders is popular so something about his message and personality must resonate with voters. Maybe instead of trying to reduce the candidate pool to beat him, candidates should emulate some of his ideals to embrace his supporters rather than push them further way. 

Going about it in this way, it's going to make it very difficult to unite the party as one come election time. This polarization already exists within government at a federal level, and we've seen the impact it has. Allowing it to occur at the party level will not yield different results. But the Biden camp is not at any more fault than the Sanders camp. They should both be working to entice the other's supporters. This polarization may cause them to lose the general election. It's well known that many Bernie supporters support the idea of "Bernie or bust". This means that if Bernie would not be the nominee, they will not vote. It's unclear if Biden supporters would be of that mindset if Sanders would win. Regardless, we need political figureheads that will work to unify a divided country. Not divide it further. It will be interesting to see if candidates like Tulsi Gabbard or Elizabeth Warren may garner any additional support from having the other candidates drop out. It will also be interesting to see if Mike Bloomberg's mass spending will help in in these super Tuesday states. Only time will tell.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Democratic and Republican Primaries for 2020, The Nomination Process, and the Electoral College

So I've been following the 2020 primary relatively closely and have figured out some information that you likely will not hear about in the media. After South Carolina votes on Tuesday, the democratic party will have awarded 5.87% of the total delegates needed to clench the nomination and the republican party will have awarded 8.31% of their delegates.

On super Tuesday, March 3rd, the democrats will award 67.2% of the delegates needed to clench the nomination and the republications will award 65.35% of their delegates. That means that after Super Tuesday about 75% of the total delegates needed will already be determined by 18 of 50 states that have voted. Generally this is the make or break point for a lot of candidates when they take a long hard look at their campaigns and see if it's worth staying in the race. 

This also means that if you are one of the 32 states that votes after Super Tuesday, your state generally has far less options for nominee and the impact of your decision has far less impact on the grand scheme of things. Generally the states voting orders do not fluctuate too much so is it really fair to have states like Maryland, Connecticut, Indiana, New Mexico have little determination of the nominee since they vote so late in the cycle.

I also wanted to show that the nomination process is not always reflective of the proportional vote. Below, you can see the real results vs the proportional results of the democratic and republican nominations. If you look at the charts, the order of how everyone is doing remains the same in both charts, but the front-runners win by far less then they do in the real vote. Bernie Sanders claims that the person who wins the popular vote should be the nomination. Based on the proportional chart and the real chart, that would be him, at least as of right now. But it would be by a much slimmer margin that what the real results show.

How the nomination processes are decided and even the electoral college voting have both been heavily contested issues in recent years. I personally think that they could both be reformed but I also understand why the parties do it this way. In the nominations, it's a method to weed out the lower performing candidates earlier in the process so that a winner can be more decisively determined when the time comes.

In the election, the electoral college gives states with lower populations a say. If the electoral college was to be done away with, farmers and other rural citizens would not have much say and thus candidates would only feel the need to visit populated areas where they could garner the largest number of votes. These states would likely see a decline in people moving to them as a result and their economies would likely decline. I understand the purpose of the electoral college, but I also think it needed revision. 

For the nomination processes, I'd recommend removing super delegates for democrats; for republicans, allow all states to vote in the primaries regardless of if the sitting president is republican. And then for both parties, switch out which states get to vote first every so often and also allow voters to vote for their top 3 candidates. That way, it would give a more realistic idea of who really resonates with the country and would also encourage voters to familiarize themselves with more than one candidate so that when the time comes to unite under a single candidate, the party is more satisfied with the result. How that result would be calculated I can not say but if I had to make a call, I'd say first place would get 5 votes per person, second would get 3 votes, and third place would get 1 vote.

For the election process, since candidates are no longer being weeded out, I think the popular vote has more pull here. But I still do not think it should be decided that way, because of the reasons above. I think the electoral college is not a bad thing but the way it decides elections is. The founders didn't intend for political parties to be a thing and the electoral college gives them too much power in determining the winner. I think instead, the electoral college should be forced to vote reflective of how their constitutes voted, rather than a winner takes all. If this was to happen in 2016, neither delegate would have had enough votes to clench the nomination and  would have had join a coalition with one of the smaller parties like the libertarian and potentially the green party in order to win. This coalition would give smaller political parties a say (which is what the electoral college currently tries to do with the states), and lead to more collaboration within government, which would lead to less polarization, more legislation being agreed upon and passing, and more unity between the country.  

Just some food for thought.

For clarification of how the proportional delegate count was determined...
I looked at the total votes cast for each state and the total delegates awarded for that state. I then proportionally determined how many delegates each should get. In general, I rounded to the nearest whole number, but if by doing so, it would change the total number of delegates, then I would not and would just give whichever candidate had the higher percentage the additional delegate. I then took the total number of delegates for each candidate and added them together. If you look at the republican proportional chart, you will see a section called no data. This is for states like Nevada or South Carolina which do not vote if the sitting president is republican and instead just award their total delegates toward the sitting president.