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Binary States
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I'm a little tired of political analysts referring to southern states or red/blue states as if they're blocks. This is a result of the idiotic Electoral College, and has led to a binary representation, and hence a gross oversimplification, of political views and sentiments in particular regions of the country.

Let's take my home state of Texas for a moment. Anybody know how many votes Gore got in Texas in 2000?

Well, he got 2,433,746, or 39% of the popular vote in Texas. It's also reasonable to assume that because of the winner-take-all system, some Democrats may have been discouraged from voting in this state, since it was essentially a foregone conclusion that Bush would carry it. Even if that weren't the case, 39% is still a pretty hefty minority vote, no?

Consider, if Texas had a law where the Presidential candidates received Electoral votes proportional to the popular vote received, Gore would have received 12 electoral votes of the 32 in Texas. That's more electoral votes than many of the swing states in play this year.

I've said it before and I'll say it again...I'm hugely disappointed in Democrats for not using the 2000 election as a way to push through reform of our Presidential election process, namely to get rid of the Electoral College. I never heard of any concerted effort or serious argument on behalf of such a change. Instead, Dems just whined and moaned. Presumably because most of them think the system actually works in their favor. I don't know, but it's sad.

I guess the whole red/blue dichotomy appeals to those who prefer simple analysis, who like to flash up fancy graphics on the screen and categorize whole states with a single broad stroke.

But the political reality is more complex than that. There are more shades of grey...or in this case, purple.

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