Bush is more popular among uneducated hicks, but will still lose election

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Wednesday November 1 12:15 PM ET

Analysis: Bush Could Take 30-Plus States And Still Lose

By Alan Elsner, Political Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican George W. Bush (news - web sites) could win more than 30 states and still lose next Tuesday's presidential election, thanks to Democrat Al Gore (news - web sites)'s relative strength in the most populous states.

``We could see this year an extraordinary imbalance between the number of states won by the candidates and the outcome of the election,'' said American University political scientist Allan Lichtman.

``Bush is ahead in numerous states that have a relatively small population. But as long as Gore keeps his grip on most of the biggest states, he has hope of prevailing,'' he said.

In fact, mathematically it is possible to win the presidency with only 16 of the 50 states, due to the way the Electoral College works.

Under the U.S. Constitution, presidential candidates compete for electors on 51 separate ballots, one for each state and the District of Columbia. All states but two award electoral votes on a winner-take-all basis.

The exceptions, Maine and Nebraska, allot five of their electors according to who wins each congressional district.

There are 538 members of the Electoral College and 270 votes are needed to be elected.

Vice President Gore seems to have a lock on the two biggest states, California and New York, that have a combined 87 electoral votes.

Gov. Bush is safe in his home state of Texas, with 32 votes. But Gore is narrowly ahead in four of the next five biggest states -- Florida with 25 votes, Pennsylvania with 23, Illinois with 22 and Michigan with 18. The only other top eight state leaning toward Bush is Ohio with 21 votes.

``You have a big chunk of the country that is not competitive, that Bush has in his pocket, including most of the South, the majority of the prairie states and the Rocky Mountain states,'' said St. Louis University political scientist Joel Goldstein.

``Then you have some major states that are still in play. But even relatively small states like New Hampshire and New Mexico could end up playing a crucial role in a race that is as close as this,'' he said.

In a way, that is just what the framers of the Constitution wanted. With states controlling electors equal in number to their congressional delegation, the Constitution recognized vagaries in population, while guaranteeing a voice to small states.

A Reuters unofficial survey found 25 states in the Bush column, giving him 217 votes; 13 states and the District of Columbia were leaning to Gore, giving him 207 votes; 12 states with 114 votes were too close to call.

So how does Bush go from 217 to 270? He could get there by carrying the following states from the undecided column: Arkansas, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Tennessee, Iowa and either Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota or Washington.

If Bush can carry Pennsylvania or Michigan, his task becomes much easier.

Gore could go from 207 to 270 by carrying: Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Washington and either Maine, New Hampshire or Iowa.

The many configurations and combinations are bewildering, suggesting that the winner could be undecided late into the night on Election Day or even Wednesday morning. Oregon and Washington, where the polls close at 11 p.m. EST, have a combined 18 electoral votes and the election may well not be over until they have spoken.

-- (dumb farmers @ like. dubya), November 01, 2000


Hope you enjoy eating nothing when your local farmer gets wind of your opinion of him.

See you on the 7th, pal..!

-- so you can get fat.. (farmers@work.hard), November 01, 2000.

So is it the Democratic Party position that people who live in less populous states are 'uneducated hicks' or just your belief?

-- butt nugget (catsbutt@umailme.com), November 01, 2000.

"So is it the Democratic Party position that people who live in less populous states are 'uneducated hicks' or just your belief?"

Neither, it is a fact.

-- Sgt. Friday (just @ the facts. maam), November 01, 2000.

The reason the farmers like Dub is because he promised them he would repeal the estate tax. Suckers! Never happen.

-- (read @ my. lips), November 01, 2000.

read @ my. lips,

If Bush wins, and the Republicans retain both houses of Congress, they will basically do what they please, including eliminating the estate tax. The bonus is that G.W. will name a few Supreme Court justices as well.

I hope you enjoyed the last 8 years of Hitlary & BeelzeBubba, because their antics have finally pushed enough of the middle to the Republican camp.

And while the Dems thanked Perot in '92, I think we Republicans will be thanking Mr. Nader this time.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), November 01, 2000.

Mr. Nader is correct. If Bush is as stupid as Gore insists, Gore should be 30 points ahead in the polls. Obviously Gore is lying.

-- butt nugget (catsbutt@umailme.com), November 01, 2000.

If either outcome leads to the demise of the Electoral College, I'm all for it.

-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), November 02, 2000.

J, it's cute that your hatred of Bill Clinton has made you into a starry-eyed idealist. Just try not to be too disappointed if your fair haired boy turns out to be just another politician, 'kay?

-- Tarzan the Ape Man (tarzan@swingingthroughthejungewithouta.nutl), November 02, 2000.

Gore is more popular among airhead yuppies but will still lose the election

-- (Urban_wine-n-cheesers@like.algor), November 02, 2000.

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