If nothing else, the crazy rantings of Marjorie Taylor Greene (MTG) have clearly moved her ahead of Trump as the most quotable and noticed member of the MAGA gang. Is she working on making a move towards a national political run?
Is New York a city? Does a bear shit in the woods?
Of course, MTG has her sights set on higher things – if not the top slot in 2024 then at least Number Two.
Which brings up the obvious question: Are Americans so dumb that they would let someone like MTG put herself in a position to influence the outcome of a national voting event?
Except that it’s not so much a question as it is a guide to framing the issue discussed in the Annenberg IOD Collaborative’s masterful book – Democracy and Crisis – a monumental study which everyone should read.
What this brilliant work clearly demonstrates through intensive analyses of public surveys conducted over the course of a years in 4 states, is that although we hold a Presidential election every four years in which as many 150 million citizens living in 50 states and a bunch of non-state jurisdictions get to make a choice, in point of fact the outcome of this event is based on how a relatively tiny proportion of people in 4 states decide how they want to vote.
In fact, it’s not even four states – it’s three: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. This is because the fourth state surveyed by the Annenberg group, Florida, has now voted red the last two times out, and if Ron DeSantis ends up at the top of the 2024 GOP ticket, the state will go red again.
So, what we are looking at is that the whole shebang comes down to three states which flipped from blue to red in 2016 and flipped back to blue next time around. Together, these three states count 46 electoral votes, and without them Joe would have ended up with 260 votes, ten electoral votes of what gets either candidate the brass ring.
These three states – MI, PA, WI – cast a total of 15,530,845 votes for Trump and Joe, with Joe getting 7,893,135 versus 7,647,710 popular votes for Trump. Get where I’m going here?
Where I am going is that we elected our President in 2020 by a grand total of 245,425 votes out of some 155,507,476 popular votes for those two guys, plus 649,552 votes cast for anyone else. So, we end up with .001% of the electorate determining the identify of the individual who will sit behind the Resolute desk for four years.
But not only is the overall difference between blue and red candidates almost next to nothing, but the number of states which could be flipped in any national election is not only a handful but is a pretty inflexible group. Other than the four states surveyed by Annenberg, there are only four other states – AZ, GA, NV, NC – where the winning margin was 5% or less.
And these four states together count 48 electoral votes, so even if you win three of those four states but lose the four states whose voters were surveyed in the Annenberg book, you wind up with what Grandpa would call ‘gurnisht helfen’ (read: nothing at all.)
And if this tiny slice of the electorate can determine that outcome of a Presidential race, the Annenberg study shows us that the actual size of that slice is even smaller than the 245,425 votes which determined that Trump would be replaced in 2020 by Joe.
The voters surveyed by Annenberg were lumped into five groups: heavily committed to either Joe or Trump, somewhat committed but willing to consider voting for the other guy, and voters who weren’t going to vote for Trump or Joe at all. Both the heavily committed groups constituted about one-third of each candidate’s support at the beginning of the campaign, and these voters stuck with their man through to the end.
So, it was only among voters who initially described themselves as willing to think about making a change that the Annenberg team found a small shift from Trump to Joe because of Covid-19. In other words, the fact that Joe is now in the Oval Office instead of Trump, is a function of how a very, small group of voters voted in a small number of states.
Which is why MTG is running her mouth off in preparation for running some kind of national campaign. Because she only needs to find a few more votes than the votes she’ll receive no matter how crazy, stupid, or vicious she sounds.