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Show Of Hands April 25th, 2016 3:49pm

Is our Presidential election system "rigged"?

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alval California
05/07/16 8:34 pm

No, but since most people are uninformed, it appears rigged.

04/30/16 8:57 am

I wouldn't be surprised. I mean, look at the watergate scandal. Something like that could be much easier with today's tech

NoNameToBeHad nope
04/29/16 9:27 am

Even if it isn't just an oligarchy disguised as a democracy, there's still gerrymandering and control of the legislative/judicial branch that results in the worst voting system every contrived

Ellock Perpetually Tired
04/28/16 2:43 pm

Not rigged. But exceedingly stupid and terrible. The entire thing needs to be redone from top to bottom.

gevans792 Utah
04/27/16 10:28 am

I hate our political system!

Super packs, two main political parties, the money thrown into campaigning, the electoral college

It all needs to change.

04/27/16 6:04 am

The outcome of the majority of elections would be very different if it wasn't for the electoral college. Majority vote is what lies at the roots of a real democracy.

04/27/16 6:07 am

But we, by definition in the constitution, are NOT a democracy. We are a representative republic.

04/27/16 12:25 pm

But we are only represented realistically by 2 parties. Not actually a true democratic republic when you only have 2 viable choices. They don't represent a majority of the people. This is the appeal of candidates who have to run under a party's banner but who are not like them. I.e. Trump and Sanders. If
There were
No parties then we could have a representative democracy. Otherwise, let's cut the pretense and just do it like Britain and vote for a party and let the party that wins decide who will be the leader instead of pretending we have a true choice. It's so disingenuous.

tgrinhi12 Baton Rouge, LA
05/01/16 11:08 am

I guess you do not vote for your representative or senators? They have to win a majority of the vote to be elected. So how do you claim not to be represented?

Parties do not elect these guys but do put up the candidates. As do about 6-7 other parties. I believe Bernie Sanders is not actually a Democrat.

The parties have a lot of control in each state for their party nominees And the process but they pay for it.

But the nominee is for whom you vote.


ladyniner81 no hope for humanity
04/26/16 8:35 pm

Yes it's rigged and unfair.. for one thing
1. Eleven states have closed primaries so if you're not a Democrat or Republican, you're not allowed to vote
2. The system is rigged so third parties cannot win or even stand a chance at any presidential election
3. Any third party either never or isn't allowed to debate with either the Democrats or the Republicans.
4. The Republicans have delegates and Democrats have super-delegates, WHICH are ex-presidents and CONGRESS, the DNC and governors...
it is rigged, corrupt and BULLSHIT...

tgrinhi12 Baton Rouge, LA
05/01/16 11:11 am

If you want to vote then join the party before the election. I want my party to pick my nominee not the other party. Closed party primaries for Presidential nominees is a good thing.

BTW Ever hear of Ross Perot?

Shreveport New York
04/26/16 2:27 pm

Not rigged because it doesn't choose which side it favors. It is, however, unfair in the it allows the winning to undeservingly and more easily pull ahead of the losing side.

jordan New York
04/26/16 9:11 am

The electoral college system is bs. voter fraud has been rampant lately. I'm talking about you Obama and Clinton.

BtbWilkinson Utah
04/26/16 11:08 pm

The electoral college in its pure form is perfect, but the party system corrupted it. Go read the constitution.

jordan New York
04/26/16 11:11 pm

Perfect? Try being a non democrat in states like ny or cal. Or a non republican in Texas. Your vote doesn't count. Plain and simple.

BtbWilkinson Utah
04/26/16 11:12 pm

Our system wasn't designed for political parties. Like I said, go read the constitution.

theFreeTexan ALT RIGHT
04/26/16 6:27 am

The Media chooses the candidates

liam2013 iowa
04/26/16 5:32 am

Not in the least. The public is just uninformed in how it works.

willbird33 Atlanta, Georgia
04/26/16 5:21 am

It's not rigged but it is unfair

Wes28 CBus
04/26/16 5:18 am

The system itself is not, but both parties and the media make it that way.

04/26/16 4:19 am

Not rigged, just unfair

Loxx I Love Foxes
04/25/16 9:15 pm

Yes. It's called the "electoral college"

htcbump Florida
04/25/16 10:11 pm

All the electoral college does is give smaller states a somewhat larger tiny voice, and takes into account regional difference. This is important IMHO.

Shreveport New York
04/26/16 2:27 pm

Tell me why the electoral college is a better system than the popular vote.

04/26/16 8:36 pm

Shreveport, here are a few reasons for you:

1. The Electoral College provides a certainty of outcome. In 2012, Obama won 61.7% of the Electoral College, but only 51.3% of the popular vote. So candidates tend to get more of a super majority win.

2. The Electoral College requires a candidate to have broad support. No single region (the south, northeast, etc) alone can elect a president.

3. Everyone's vote actually carries more weight as you are 1 of X voters in your state compared to 1 of 200 million (or however many voters there are) in the US.

4. It protects the minority from the majority by giving the minority a slightly stronger voice.

5. It forced candidates to focus on all areas (e.g. swing states) and not just the greatest population centers.

These are just a handful of reasons.

Shreveport New York
04/26/16 8:44 pm

1. I don't see how 51.3% isn't a "certainty of outcome." It's certainly more than the other 48.7% if you ask me.

2. Popular vote also ensures that you have broad support. 50+% of the vote, precisely.

3. It doesn't matter if everyone's vote carries more weight because it makes the votes of people in one state have a different weight than the votes of people in another.

4. It gives the majority a stronger voice too. Like you said, everyone's vote "gains weight."

5. While this is true, at the same time it forces candidates to focus heavily on swing states and avoid population centers where the vote is pretty much predetermined. How is that any fairer.

Listen, I honestly get the appeal of the electoral college system, but it's outdated and past it's usefulness. The popular vote should be used to decide presidential elections.

htcbump Florida
04/26/16 8:51 pm

You should take the arguments collectively. We are a republic of individual state who were invented by constitution to have more powers than the Feds. The EC was a compromise which enabled the country to for by give smaller states automatically two EC votes. The balance is based on population per last census.

04/26/16 8:58 pm

HTC makes one the best points of all. The United States was once commonly referred to as These United States. It was designed to be a collection of unique, individual states each represented by a (relatively) weak Federal government. Obviously most of that has long since been destroyed by big government politicians (on BOTH sides of the aisle). But the EC still allows the states to be represented in the election, as they are supposed to be.

I'm curious, obviously think the EC once had value. If that's the case, why do you believe it no longer does? What makes it outdated now that didn't apply 100 years ago (or however many years you think)?

htcbump Florida
04/26/16 9:03 pm

Sorry for the typo but the point is this country would never have formed if the EC wasn't proposed and approved. It is foundational. The many smallish states of the original 13 colonies would never have signed on.

04/26/16 9:08 pm

1. This invited runoff elections and weeks (or more) of debate at the federal level. Thanks, but no thanks.

2. I'm not talking about "broad" in terms of population, but in terms of geography. There are enough people in the east that, in theory, they could elect a president that the rest of the country does not want. I think the broad geographic support is a very good thing.

3. I have zero problem with this. Move to Wyoming! Your vote will carry more weight amongst fellow Womingites than in any other state. And it already carries more weight than it would in a national popular election.

4. You missed my point. Wyoming's 3 electoral votes equal roughly 0.55% of the 538 total electoral votes. But the 500,000 people are only roughly 0.15% of the 330 million Americans. Hence, the smaller states have a great say. Protection for the minority.

5. They don't avoid population centers! They campaign in New York and California just like smaller states such as Iowa.

04/27/16 8:05 am

One of the best discussions I have read here! I support the EC because a direct election would mean the cities would always control the WH.

elianastar FreeSpeech
04/25/16 8:43 pm

Despite all the hysterical hyperbole & the fact it definitely needs a little work, no, it is not "rigged".

The US is a *Republic* not a "democracy." It is really sad so few have any comprehension what the difference is and why "majority rules" is *not* a more fair & balanced system.

Shreveport New York
04/26/16 2:29 pm

I get everything you're are saying but in a Presidential election a simple popular vote would honestly be the fairest way of deciding the election.

FlaviusAetitus PA, Bernie2020
04/25/16 7:46 pm

Yea they are rigged! Arizona is under investigation for fraud same with New York!

ladyniner81 no hope for humanity
04/26/16 8:02 am

What is Arizona under investigation for? The voting?

04/25/16 7:26 pm

Yes, but in a sense that it was set up for a specific type of people and does not age well.

04/25/16 7:19 pm

Not rigged, just crazy.

04/25/16 6:43 pm

You know why they call themselves party members ? Because it there party and we aren't invited

04/25/16 5:08 pm

The system is most certainly fucked up. On the Republican side having candidates bribe delegates to go your way and picking winners in States that no one voted for is so fucked up. On the Democrat side Bernie would actually have a chance to defeat Hillary if she didn't have 800+ Super Delegates totally unrelated to the election kissing her ass. I always hear people say these are the rule but the rules are fucked up and need to be changed. It will be Trump vs Clinton. I can't wait for that first debate its going to be epic. #Trump

Spiritof76 USA 1776
04/25/16 4:00 pm

Yep. The original framers never meant to have two giant party's monopolizing elections. In fact, Washington warned against that. Also, Citizen's United & Super PACs have made it all about money, power, and connections. The common man is screwed.

TomLaney1 Jesus is Lord
04/25/16 3:54 pm

No, but it has built-in safeguards.

GenericProfile Custom Tags Are Gay
04/25/16 3:54 pm

Ted Cruz won that 100% delegate in Colorado completely fairly. ;)

TomLaney1 Jesus is Lord
04/25/16 3:55 pm

That's actually true. He acted within the rules that were established over a century ago.

GenericProfile Custom Tags Are Gay
04/25/16 3:59 pm

You're implying that most of the rules in the voting system are logical.

otto Olean, NY
04/25/16 3:36 pm

Sure appear to be, based on the way media and some pundits mis-explain everything. But not really.

Primaries, from the beginning, were set up for STATES to pick nominees. Not the people directly. FORTUNATELY it is still largely that way. States were stripped of a massive amount of power due to them by the Constitution when 17th Amendment passed. Primary selection is quite literally the last power left to the States. They seemingly aren't even allowed to designate restrooms anymore. Federalism was a great thing and we would do well to return to more of it.

Back to point, to the extent R primary rules are rigged, they are rigged for front-runner. Later primaries are heavily winner-take-all with the assumption by late in the race someone would have a strong enough handle to finish the rest off with big blows. Which is what makes Trump's whining so rich. Nothing this election is new, odd or corrupt. It's just more prominent because there is usually someone by now who has it nailed down.

Kruiven far away
04/25/16 3:34 pm

The system no, but the parties and the media absolutely.

tractorman Oklahoma
04/25/16 2:59 pm

Money rigs the system. Money determines the winners in elections 90-95% of the time.
Money = Free Speech was when we handed our election system over to the wealthy and super wealthy. With all the under informed people who are swayed by 30 second ads around (see Trump supporters), money rules the elections!

112112321 pleb
04/25/16 4:38 pm

That's true, but the electoral college is unfair, not money in politics

tractorman Oklahoma
04/26/16 6:15 am

The electoral college could be corrected if each state voted based on the percentage of votes in their state, split their electoral votes, and did away with "winner take all" voting.
Also if there was a campaign $$$ limit for every election from president on down, we could give the elections back to the people.

04/25/16 2:56 pm

Rigged in a sense that we have two parties that can make rules to get who they want.

Krystina Let Freedom Reign
04/25/16 1:49 pm

Wouldn't say the election system is what's rigged as much as I'd say the RNC and DNC are corrupt organizations that take every step they can to ensure their choices, not the people's choices, run and are elected. That's close enough that I answered in the affirmative though.

bnnt Los Angeles
04/25/16 1:26 pm

Rigged in a sense only 2 party's dominate the system.
We should be voting without party's based on the individual, not which one of the backwards party's they're part of.

NKarta Please excuse my sanity
04/25/16 12:51 pm

Not rigged, but we dont vote for people, the parties do.

04/25/16 11:59 am

Broken? Yes. Corrupt? Yes. Outright rigged? I don't think so.

04/25/16 12:28 pm

That's the right way to put, even though is some of our minds corruption and broken equals rigged.

CTYankee!!! Connecticut
04/25/16 11:44 am

Absolutely. And it has been since Day #1. The Founding Fathers never intended the masses be able to elect the chief executive.

Shazam Scaramouche, OH
04/25/16 12:14 pm

Exactly. America was made for the rich white gentry a government created to protect the continued interests of that group. It still is and it still does.

sfcren Wyoming
04/25/16 12:17 pm

Damn the man!

ccc1 Georgia
04/25/16 12:21 pm

People like you are why electoral college is SO important. Otherwise they would only campaign in big cities in big states. That is how they PROTECTED the "little" people. They knew how easy it was for people who live in a mass to outweigh the voices scattered everywhere else and GAVE them importance.

To think you vote kills me. It's the ignoramuses of the world who elected our current idiot.

Want to talk about rigged? I don't think there should be an IQ test but something that shows you are knowledge of who the candidates are and what they stand for.

CTYankee!!! Connecticut
04/25/16 3:20 pm

That's how they protected the influence of the little states. NOT the little people.

Shazam Scaramouche, OH
04/25/16 3:27 pm

CCC - who are you referring to exactly? CTY or me?

MJSeals J.D.
04/25/16 11:33 am

Hillary has 2.7 Million more votes that Sanders. Yes, the state split is 21-17, but Sanders hasn't won the big states, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Florida, New York, Texas etc.

On the GOP said, Trump is the frontrunner, yes, but New York was the first state he won the majority in. Rubio, Cruz and Kasich the "Anti-Trump" ticket has more delegates than him. It is fair to say more republicans dislike trump than like him at this current moment.

The way people are talking about 2016 sounds more like they fear their candidate won't win and want to blame it on everyone else except the fact they aren't getting the votes.

jstahl Build that wall
04/25/16 2:41 pm

I hate how people lump the other candidates together and say that means the majority of people don't want Trump. You could do that against any of the Republican candidates. And the majority that don't want them is even a greater majority than don't want Trump.

jstahl Build that wall
04/25/16 2:45 pm

To clarify- if Cruz + Kasich = the anti-Trump vote, then Trump + Kasich = the anti-Cruz vote, and Trump + Kasich = the anti-Kasich vote. The fact that they started with 17 candidates, and Trump still has a semi-realistic chance to get to 50%, is actually pretty remarkable.

04/25/16 7:08 pm

I think you're applying logic statements to an illogical situation. Trump + Cruz does not equal anti Kasich. Clearly that is false. Cruz + Kasich does represent the anti-trump crowd. You can ignore it if you like, but trump is very concerning to a lot of republicans. I'm one of them. I'm not a minority either, in the Midwest. There are a lot of educated adults that realize this is more than a popularity contest. Trump is an ignorant clown with no idea how to make this country better. Other than build a wall.

jstahl Build that wall
04/25/16 7:15 pm

But to say that 60% of voters have voted against Trump, you can also say that 70% have voted against Cruz, and 85% have voted against Kasich. I don't buy the theory that Kasich is the only Republican who can beat Hillary, either. I believe he gets those poll numbers because he's the only one tolerable to Democrats, but they're not voting for him when it comes down to it.

MJSeals J.D.
04/25/16 7:17 pm

Except Cruz and Kasich have a definite pact to stop Donald Trump.

jstahl Build that wall
04/25/16 7:21 pm

Because that is their only hope. They are mathematically eliminated from being able to get to 1,237. It is a desperate move. Cruz was on every show saying Kasich needed to drop out when he was mathematically eliminated. But now that Cruz has been eliminated himself, his story changes. These guys are all phonies.

MJSeals J.D.
04/25/16 7:23 pm

All three are on paths to be mathematically eliminated, but that doesn't mean anything is rigged. No one is getting the majority because that's how we are voting.

jstahl Build that wall
04/25/16 7:25 pm

Kasich and Cruz both need over 100% of the delegates left to get to 1,237. Trump needs 60-something percent.

MJSeals J.D.
04/25/16 7:33 pm

That doesn't mean anything compared to what I said.

dylkohl The Media Lies
04/25/16 11:32 am

Definitely needs to be fixed. No electoral college and open primaries would be a step in the right direction

JDoe Its a gift
04/25/16 12:16 pm

Although I often disagree with him, @dereka has an good poll with an excellent justification for the Electoral College. That's one of the things that works like it should.

Zod Above Pugetropolis
04/25/16 11:23 am

Mostly yes. A good example is how even the very best candidates are forced to sacrifice common-sense principle and join one of the legacy parties to even be competitive. As long as parties are involved, the system will be rigged to some degree. It is what they exist to do.

Blarney Wrightville
04/25/16 11:21 am

I think people are confusing the terms "rigged" and "corrupt"

political Georgia
04/25/16 11:16 am

Rigged is not the right word. Disproportional against the will of the people? Maybe

pauldabb85 Orlando
04/25/16 10:52 am

Absolutely. The democratic establishment is making it Hillary's election to lose and the republican establishment is making it Trump's election to win.

goldz oh this world
04/25/16 11:07 am

That's not an election, that's a nomination. A nomination is only the party choosing who the party should endorse. If they ask the opinion of the people then that's their prerogative.

theNobamist Silicon Valley
04/25/16 11:35 am

In Hillary's case, it's "coronation".

goldz oh this world
04/25/16 11:38 am

Okay, that's the DNC's decision.

goldz oh this world
04/25/16 11:38 am

And they have every right to make that decision.

pauldabb85 Orlando
04/25/16 11:41 am

Oh yeah. I completely agree. But in the general aspect of the entire election. Congresswomen Schultz and the rest of the establishment has absolutely rigged the nomination process in order for Clinton to get the ticket.

goldz oh this world
04/25/16 11:42 am

Yes, but that has absolutely nothing to do with our presidential election system.

pauldabb85 Orlando
04/25/16 11:46 am

You don't think our party nomination process has anything to do with our presidential election system? Isn't the nomination just step 1 of getting elected?

goldz oh this world
04/25/16 11:50 am

One can always run as an independent. So while in practice the president has usually been nominated by a major party, this is not part of our official presidential election system. The nomination process is rigged, and it should be, but this can't be legislated.

pauldabb85 Orlando
04/25/16 11:54 am

Oh I know it can't be legislated and I agree, every party has the freedom to nominate their candidates in any way they wish. I'm looking at the bigger, more complete picture on how we elect our President. Ever since the election of 1800, every President has gone through the nomination process in order to get elected.

goldz oh this world
04/25/16 11:55 am

True, and I understand that. But generally presidential election system would refer more to the electoral college and the general election than the primary system.

pauldabb85 Orlando
04/25/16 12:00 pm

We're both right. It's just how you interpret the "Presidential election system". If you look at how the system was organized before we had a nomination process and political parties, that was not rigged. But if two candidates were nominated in rigged primary systems and the general election came down to two candidates who were rigged to win their nominations, that's how our election system is rigged.

pauldabb85 Orlando
04/25/16 12:05 pm

Then you have to look at who's franchised in this country. Virginia just gave felons the right the vote. A right that not many states give to their felons. Some say that was done for political reasons to give Clinton an advantage in November. Voter ID laws restrict large demographics of poor and underprivileged voters access to participating in the voting process at all. Districts are gerrymandered to give certain nominees an advantage along different parts of the state that could alter election results.

goldz oh this world
04/25/16 12:13 pm

Right, so you would be correct in saying our elections are somewhat skewed. But pointing to our primary election system is not the strongest proof of that.

pauldabb85 Orlando
04/25/16 12:19 pm

I am including the primary system in our election process because I believe the Presidential election system is not complete if you leave out how we get our nominees in the first place.

04/25/16 10:52 am

It'd be interesting to track the results of a poll like this over the course of several cycles and match it to the perceived "winning" team.

Like, I bet the partisan numbers would be very different in say 2000 or 2004

TheRealHunter Evangelical Atheist
04/25/16 10:42 am

Super delegates are the most undemocratic thing about our government.

Gunfighter06 Iowa, since 1846
04/25/16 11:46 am

Superdelegates aren't a government thing. Keep in mind that each party runs its own primary. The Democratic Party has a superdelegate system precisely to keep people like Sanders from standing a chance. The GOP doesn't have superdelegates.

04/25/16 11:57 am

Exactly. The political parties are merely private organizations. Their existence is not sponsored by tax dollars. How they nominate candidates is up to them, not the Constitution.

teachinla California
04/25/16 10:32 am

If the party has already selected its candidate, then has primaries or caucuses, then it is rigged. Also, having super delegates in such large numbers makes the primaries a joke. As well, if the candidate with the most votes and delegates scares the party, and they invent rules to deny him, then it is rigged. I don't trust either party in this situation.

RoDe Latinus wordsus
04/25/16 10:38 am

Those rules were a part of the Republican Party well before Donald decided to run for President. Requiring a candidate to get 50% of the vote isn't too unwieldy an obstacle, and one the candidate ought to have been aware of when they decided to run.

Korosensei Maine
04/25/16 10:31 am

You need a certain amount of money to run you need party support and third parties cannot win

ScenarioNations California
04/25/16 10:30 am

If the primaries are rigged, leave your party. Either do that or try to change your States party election system. Don't sit around and just complain. Doing so is annoying and unproductive.

jstahl Build that wall
04/25/16 10:21 am

Any game where the rules can be changed after 99% of the game has been played, is a rigged game.

augustin Oklahoma
04/25/16 10:28 am

What rules have been changed?

jstahl Build that wall
04/25/16 10:36 am

The infamous Republican 'rule 40' was put in place by Romney's supporters to prevent Ron Paul from making a challenge. It stated that the nominee must have at least 50% of the vote in 8 or more states. This was voted on at the 2012 convention, after all the state primaries and caucuses had taken place. Campaigns strategize, and the people vote, billions of dollars are spent, expecting the rules to be a certain way, and then it gets changed at the last minute. I just think that the rules should be set ahead of time. If they want to vote to change a rule to prevent something from happening again, then vote for it to be in effect NEXT time. Kasich will have to have rule 40 voted away if he stands a chance.

PeppyHare Do a barrel roll
04/25/16 10:16 am

Of course it's rigged; but it isn't rigged in a way everyone doesn't know about.