Originally Posted by martok2112
The thing I don't dig is the whole "first to reach 270" electoral votes and you win process.
Maybe my math is flawed...it's early, and my brain is still playing catchup with the rest of me, and perhaps the process doesn't numerically support such a possibility....suppose Obama reached 270 first, as he did, but then when the rest of the count comes in, and Romney actually came out ahead? What message does that send to voters?
"Well, sorry your votes don't count once we get past 270. Thanks for voting, but your voice stopped being heard once we hit the benchmark....suckers!"
That's the impression that I get. If this is wrong, I'm sorry, but this is why I didn't vote for either idiot (Romney or Obama). I don't like voting for the lesser of two evils, or, in the end, being told that my vote didn't count for S***!
I think the problem you refer has nothing to do with "getting more than half of the electoral votes implies victory" but with the constant polling DURING election day, i.e. based on some data it is PROJECTED that a certain state is won by candidate A or B but the votes have not been counted yet and people are still voting.
As a consequence of this abundance of polls some people might treat them as actual results and you might get self-fulfilling prophecy effects ... which is why the polls have partly been politicized, i.e. party apparatchiks want the polls to favour their candidate as some people might think "OK, A has already won so voting for B is pointless and I will stay at home".
This also has an influence upon third-party candidates with people following the notion that "these guys do not stand a chance of winning anyway so why vote for them" which ignores that this notion is based upon your expectations of what other people do, to vote for the two major candidates (respectively in the case of polls how many votes they most likely get). But if everybody thinks like this it is perfectly natural that only the two major candidates win!
The trick is to stop thinking strategically, to not care about what other people do and vote for whom you consider to be the best candidate. Like you did.
I recently had a similar debate with a friend who said that he will vote for a particular candidate/party in order to induce a change of government while I said that I will vote for a minor party because their platform is far better and that I do not care about whether it is strategically wise to do so or whether this choice makes it more likely that there will be a new chancellor.
It is basically a trade-off between being pragmatic or principled.