Seeking Stability In Presidential Elections

Stability in politics is an infrequent visitor

Stability is constantly sought after in American politics as divergent opinions and policies emerge to push and pull the voting public. It’s a common scenario we’ve endured throughout our nation’s history. Today’s political confusion and contention is not a stranger in our midst, yet few would say such chaos is a goal.

Current news, for example, warns of: a threatening war with Iran, foreign attacks on our political system, immigration crises on our southern border, and much more. We seek stability through it all by looking to the 2020 election in hopes it can promise such storms will pass or at least calm the public.

Stability is fundamental for our safety needs

Wikipedia explains Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, proposed by American psychologist Abraham Maslow, showing safetyas the second most fundamental need we have. The hierarchy is depicted here to further illustrate how fundamental the need is.

052919 Stability Hierarchy

Politics can put such safety concerns at risk, as does any security issue we may have personally, emotionally, financially, or with our health. Stability is a national concern and worthy goal.

Stability demands more than promises from politicians

Trump, as reported by CNN, tried to appease the nation by telling us he’s an extremely stable genius. Such expression, made by almost anyone, does little to appease those that worry.

Confidence in our politics and our political systems must be earned. It must also be proved by facts devoid of political bias.

Stability is not experienced in presidential elections

One of the revelations I had when evaluating the previous 15 presidential elections was how chaotic (read: unstable) our voting disparity is. The popular and Electoral College voting results between the major political parties swing widely apart and together over time. For example, the 2016 race shows Clinton winning the popular vote by two percent over Trump. Yet, the Electoral College results gave Trump a 13.75% winning advantage. That’s a 15.75% voting result swing! The graph illustrates how the disparity swings played out over the 15 elections.

052919 Stability Current

There is little wonder that the American public is dismayed over the election process results, regardless of political preference or choice of winner. On simply a gut-level, we expect a lot more alignment on a consistent basis with the nation’s popular vote results. As you can see by the graph, only three of the 15 elections (only 20%) were within 10% of that expectation. The voting system we currently employ fails our expectations.

Winner-takes-all upends our hope for stability

Still, we need to be aware that the nation is a representative democracy, meaning that each state weighs in with its separate and representative voting voice. In keeping with our Constitution’s guidance, our nation is a Federalist Republic, recognizing the voting sovereignty of each state.

Yet, that separate representation does not explain or give credence to the wild voting disparity swings illustrated here. As I’ve explained before, employing the winner-takes-all strategy within each state is the source of this volatility.

Equal Voice Voting can restore election stability

Removing the winner-takes-all approach and employing instead the Equal Voice Voting (EVV) approach over those 15 elections elicited a notable shift. The graph shown here is the result of using the same popular voting results as were used earlier. However, the Electoral College results shifted in relation to how EVV affected the voting results. The disparities between the Democrat and Republican candidates for each election are illustrated here using EVV.

052919 Stability EVV

The graph may seem to swing widely apart and together again, but notice the scale used on the left. Here, the disparity points range from 0% to 4.5%. None in the former graph were close enough to be within this range.

In the former graph, the range was from one percent to 77 percent. On average, it means that the disparities are multiplied by more than 55 times between the EVV results and what we currently experience. If the nation’s popular vote results provide any indication of the voting sentiment, we are avoiding stability in favor of the winner-takes-all approach.

In other words, EVV is a presidential voting mechanism that returns stability to the voting process. It is an approach that can restore confidence in our elections by removing the intangible effects of the winner-takes-all restriction.

Seeking voting stability is up to us

Maybe our politicians can do little to reassure us and address our stability issues on this level. Such reassurance is a lot to ask of our political leaders, given the enormity of the task.

The first step in reigning in such political system chaos is to recognize what harms our presidential elections: the winner-takes-all approach. Let’s remove that problem and replace it with EVV. It can be done state-by-state if we collectively realize it’s within our grasp. It requires neither a Constitutional amendment nor an interstate compact.

If you and your legislators desire more reassurance, pursuing the ideal of stability further, a state’s bill in support of EVV can include a sunset clause. For example, let the bill allow two or three presidential elections using EVV be exercised and then reviewed again to either adopt it permanently or return to what we have today. For states already in favor of the National Popular Vote (NPV) bill, the sunset clause can be set for whenever NPV is enacted (or about to be) and litigated again. It would show (and reassure) constituents that our legislators are in favor of practicality and stability. It would address our fundamental need for safety in our presidential election process.

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