Anyone who has ever been to law school knows of Judge Posner. He sits on the 7th Circuit bench and teaches at University of Chicago Law School. In an article here last week, Judge Posner defended the Electoral College. Here is an excerpt discussing swing states:
The winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes induces the candidates—as we saw in last week’s election—to focus their campaign efforts on the toss-up states; that follows directly from the candidates’ lack of inducement to campaign in states they are sure to win. Voters in toss-up states are more likely to pay close attention to the campaign—to really listen to the competing candidates—knowing that they are going to decide the election. They are likely to be the most thoughtful voters, on average (and for the further reason that they will have received the most information and attention from the candidates), and the most thoughtful voters should be the ones to decide the election.
Judge Posner makes an interesting point about how the most thoughtful voters are the ones who receive the most information and realize that they are crucial in deciding the election. Those people reside in swing states.
But, how is this fair to the rest of the country and how can we possibly not be hypocritical when saying every vote counts? Well, under Judge Posner’s theory, the candidates focus on the swing states because the remaining states are already in their respective bags. So, in those states where the outcome is predetermined, those votes matter just as much because they are required in order to make sure the predetermined states have the expected outcome.
While it’s a little convoluted, Judge Posner’s theory does make sense. Be sure to check out the entire article; Judge Posner makes five good points in defense of the Electoral College.