Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Obama's Phantom 50.8 Percent of the Popular Vote

U.S. voters filling out their ballots during the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election (Photo source: LatinoPost)
According to the latest popular vote figures for the 2012 American presidential election, Obama received 50.8 percent of the popular vote and Romney received 47.6 percent. All other presidential candidates received 1.65 percent combined. Voter turnout was around 57.5 percent (Federal Election Commission).

Based on these figures, it appears that Obama has the support of the majority of Americans. I beg to differ. A more accurate number of popular support is to determine the number of the American electoral who voted for Obama, and the number who did not.

Here is a break down on the voting numbers and what they mean:

Obama received 31.47 percent of the total vote (including non-voters).

Romney received 27.35 percent of the total vote (including non-voters).

All other presidential candidates received 0.16 percent of the total vote (including non-voters).

Obama and Romney combined received 58.82 percent of the total vote compared to 0.16 percent for all other presidential candidates. This measurement supports that the American federal electoral system is dominated by two parties.

68.53 percent of the American electorate did not directly support the re-election of Obama.

More Americans chose not to vote than vote for Obama. 11.03 percent more Americans did not vote than vote for Obama. Based on these numbers the American non-voters should be elected to the U.S. federal presidency.

Obama's mandate for his second term is weak on grounds of having only 31.47 percent of direct electoral support.

Why do non-voters matter? It may be argued that voter turnout reflects the health of an electoral system. In this very close election, in my opinion it is troubling that 42.5 percent of the American electorate were not interested enough to vote. This perspective is supported by the FDA's audit of the American federal system:

FDA Media Advisory on the United States

Mr. Stephen Garvey, Foundation for Democratic Advancement Executive Director

Question for Readers:

How much significance should be given to voter turnout numbers in determing election outcomes?


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