Well, as I understand it - please someone correct me if I'm wrong - but once a candidate is past 270 electoral votes it's not mathematically possible anyway for the other guy to then come back and win. Even if they won every other state subsequently called.
That's why 270 is the majority figure needed to pass. There are 538 electoral votes available in all, half of that (rounded off) is 269..............hence 270 to win. Simple majority. At least, that is my understanding. And we know the popular vote is technically irrelevant under the system as it exists so it's purely based on the States themselves and who wins where.
But (it depends on your POV) whether it means your vote 'counts' is trickier. If you live in a steadfastly Democratic or Republican state then you might think that voting the opposite is pointless because your state is so blue or red you won't change the result. If you live in a state that switches you could have felt your vote may have.
Even if 'your' candidate weren't to win then you could still have the effect of reducing the strength of the winners mandate. Purely for illustration Obama won I think 365 Electoral votes in 2008. He won again in 2012, but with fewer. So clearly that's an indicator of a more split votership. If he had won with only, say, 290 votes then that would be again a sign of dissatisfaction with him, even if he won. which would weaken his mandate and authority slightly. He would still have won though. It's not just looking at the raw final numbers, what those numbers mean has to be considered as well.
That's why I have to say I find it concerning when voters abstain, especially on major elections. I can completely understand voter apathy with many current leaders (I experience it as well with the UK's politicians) in different countries but the ability to vote is an often hard fought right. And everyone still has an opinion afterwards. But it still carries weight when people decide to use it.
'If the Apocalypse starts, beep me!' - Buffy Summers
'The sky's the limit.....' Jean-Luc Picard, 'All Good Things'
courtesy of Saquist
Last edited by kevin : 11-09-2012 at 08:50 AM.
Reason: The chance to waffle for a bit.