Author: Donna

The Magic Number of Voters

The Magic Number of Voters

Voting Takes Center Stage During US Midterm Elections, But Is There A Need For Another Election?

With Election Day less than a week away, Americans will cast their votes to determine the next president of the United States. But, in recent weeks, some have been calling for another election to be held.

This is a new idea to some. So let’s look at some numbers.

In November 6th, Americans will vote in the presidential election. There are 17 candidates, and of those, the Republicans are just 8, while Democrats have 11. That means there will be 8 Republicans and 7 Democrats, or about 3% of the electorate (2,000,000 out of 67,000,000 voters, or about 3.3%). So if every Democrat voter voted Republican, and every Republican voted Democrat, we would get to the magic number of 4-1, or about 8 percent of the electorate. If that happened, and that percentage of voters were to vote for a candidate that the vast majority of people who voted in November 6th did not like, it would take us all the way to 68%, or 16% of the electorate.

But that is not the reality of electoral politics.

In 2010, when voters selected a Republican Senate Candidate, Scott Brown, by a slim margin of 43% to 47%, despite his opponent having been a sitting judge, Republican Scott Brown took over the seat from a man in his party who had been in the United States Senate for almost 20 years.

By the way, the margin of this 2010 Senate seat change is the third largest margin change of a Senate seat result in the last 20 years. And the margin change of this 2010 Senate seat, when you add it in all the other races, means that, in the last 20 years, only 1/5 of the U.S Senate elections have been won by a margin of more than 5%.

This is exactly what happened to the Republican seat in Congress following the 2008 election (when George Bush narrowly won re-election by only 1% of the vote over the two major party candidates, while losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by about 1%):

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