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1. Can either voting system be exploited?

The Electoral winner-take-all election can be exploited and some players do it better than others:

  • "Experts" were scratching their heads in the 2016 election when the Republican campaign team was spending so much time in the "blue wall" states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Even the Republican campaign team itself wasn't sure it would pay off, but they had a strategy, and it was better than what Democrats had.

  • By surgically targeting critical counties within these 3 battleground states, Republicans secured 79,646 more votes than the Democrats did out of the 14 million cast, winning all 3 of those states' 46 electoral votes and hence the presidency.​

 

  • Just slightly more than 1/2 of 1 percent of 14 million votes across 3 states, was all it took to exploit winner-take-all laws of our current Electoral College system and win the presidential election "game."

  • It was risky, it was masterful, it was legal, but was it the best way to pick the leader of the free world? Now that this type of surgically targeted campaign strategy has proven effective, it will likely be the way all future presidential campaigns will be run. Why not? It saves time, money and all that hassle of visiting as many voters as possible to hear their concerns.

A National Popular Vote is virtually impossible to exploit: 

 

  • In an election where the pool of votes is 137 million, as it was in the 2016 election, that margin of 79,646 votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin is the proverbial drop in the bucket: just .06% of the nationwide total of all the votes cast.

  • The current system of winner-take-all amplifies the importance of margins like the one across those 3 states in 2016. The most dramatic example was in the Bush/Gore election of 2000 in Florida. It took only 537 votes to flip all of the state's electoral votes (22 at that time) to Bush, guaranteeing him the presidency, even though Gore won the popular vote by a margin of over a half a million votes. 

  • Election campaign strategies aren't the only way to exploit weaknesses in winner-take-all laws: restrictive voter ID laws, difficult voter registration procedures, or simply problems with the weather can depress small pockets of voter turnout. Issues like these can accumulate district by district and allow single counties to flip the direction of an entire state. (A county-by-county study performed by the Oklahoma Weather Lab at the University of Oklahoma, indicated that sunnier weather, would have flipped Florida's electoral votes in favor of Al Gore.)