The Negative Effects Of The Winner-Take-All Method

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In the current US election system, citizens do not directly vote for their next President. Instead, there is a group called The Electoral College that carries out that function. Citizens Cast their votes and then those votes are tallied up by state. Once tallied, the Electors, also known as Representatives, of the states go and place their votes. Each state has a certain amount of electoral votes placed by those electors. Whoever those Electors vote for is to whom all the electoral votes of that state count towards. This is known as the Winner-Take-All method. In the end, whichever candidate has the most electoral votes wins the election, regardless of whomever had the majority of the popular vote. If neither has the majority of electoral …show more content…
The spoiler effect is caused when a candidate loses a state that he or she should have won. This is caused when supporters of a third party decide to vote for the third party candidate instead of going with one of the two main party candidates that had similar political views. This draws votes away from that candidate, allowing the other major candidate to win. One major example of this is the Gore versus Bush election of 2000. According to Gary Bugh, in the 2000 election, Nader received around 90,000 votes in Florida, which resulted in George Bush winning Florida (51). Bugh also stated, that if the citizens who voted for Nader would have voted for their second choice, which would have been Al Gore, that Gore would have won Florida (51). The same thing happened in the state of New Hampshire that year. According to Robert Dudley, who has a Ph.D. in Political Science, and Eric Shiraev, who has a Ph.D. in Political Psychology, Bush had beaten Gore by only around 7,000 votes (141). Later on Dudley and Shiraev said that according to the polls 8,000 of the 22,000 who voted for Nader would have voted Gore before Bush (141). Many times by voting a third party, these citizens end up voting in a candidate farther from their views than their second choice (Bugh, …show more content…
The first way this may happen is that although one candidate may have received a majority of the popular vote, neither may have received the majority of the electoral vote. This means that the House of Representatives would choose between the candidates and they do not have to choose the candidate with the majority of the popular votes. According to Bugh, the 1824 election of Jackson versus Adams was the first occurrence of this (48). In this election, Jackson had more popular votes but neither had the majority of electoral votes (Bugh, 48). But instead of choosing Jackson, who had the majority of the popular votes, the House of Representatives chose Adams (Bugh, 48). Another way a wrong winner could be elected is if the candidate wins the majority of electoral votes, but not win the majority of the popular vote. Thus, a majority of the people may have actually wanted one candidate, but the other candidate would win. According to Lawrence Longley, a presidential scholar and political scientist, and Neal Pierce, an American journalist on local government, a wrong winner has been elected three times as of 1999

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