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For the Record: Gap narrows, plot thickens between Clinton and Trump
A new batch of swing state polling dropped Thursday, showing Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump shrinking in some key states.       
26 points by USA Today | Barack Obama President of the United States United States Hillary Rodham Clinton Swing state Democratic Party Donald Trump Bill Clinton
Why does the United States use the Electoral College? (And other questions you might have)
The United States Electoral College is kind of like a sports referee — if you're talking about it, then something weird must have happened. CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The United States Electoral College is kind of like a sports referee -- if you're talking about it, then something weird must have happened. This year, Republican Donald Trump won the presidency, even though Democrat Hillary Clinton  received 1.3 million more votes, or about 1 percent more of the popular vote, according to the latest vote totals compiled by the Cook Political Report. But it's not the raw national vote that picks the next president. It's the individual members of the Electoral College who are allocated to each state. And Trump's advantage in the Electoral College, which gives extra weight to swing states like Ohio, means he won the race decisively. This discrepancy has some people asking, what is this Electoral College anyway? What's it all about? People are even protesting about it. Millions have signed a petition urging electors to vote for Clinton instead, no matter how their state voted. You've got questions, we've got answers. For many of them, we spoke with Rob Alexander, a political scientist at Ohio Northern University who has written a book about the role of the Electoral College. Why did the Founding Fathers create the Electoral College? Delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention considered a few different systems, including having Congress select the president or having state legislatures do the honors. But they were dismissed as not providing enough separation between the branches of government. Eventually, they came up with the Electoral College system, under which states are allocated electors based on the number of congressional districts they have. "They hoped that this could help get someone who had widespread support across the country as president and vice-president," Alexander said. Today, with two exceptions, whoever wins each state gets all the state's electoral votes. (The oddballs are Nebraska and Maine, which allocate some of their votes based on who wins individual congressional districts.) Why is it still around? There have been more than 900 proposals to either change the Electoral College system or get rid of it altogether, according to Alexander. This includes outgoing Democratic California Sen. Barbara Boxer, who introduced legislation this week to abolish the system. But nothing ever sticks. That's because neither Republicans nor Democrats are ever sure whether changes will hurt them or help them, Alexander said. "That uncertainty makes a lot of people uneasy," he said. "Knowing the rules of the game the way they are now, candidates and campaigns know they can work within that framework." Proponents of the Electoral College, including the cleveland.com/Plain Dealer editorial board, argue that it requires candidates to campaign in a larger variety of states rather than focusing on a few with the most people. Alexander is a skeptic. He said the Electoral College system basically nullifies the votes of anyone who doesn't live in a swing state. He also disagrees with the arguments people generally make in its favor -- he said the most populous states also are representative of the country at large. "I think the candidates would go where the votes are, and in the system we have right now, I think a lot of states are rendered unimportant," he said. How often does a candidate win the popular vote but lose the White House? Not often. Besides this year, it's happened four other times: in 1824, 1876, 1888 and 2000. Who picks the people who serve in the Electoral College? Most states, including Ohio, direct the winning political party to choose who serves in the Electoral College. The Ohio GOP in September picked the electors with input from the Trump campaign. To see a list of the names of Ohio's 18 electors, click here. One elector, a former Trump campaign official named Kathy Miller, will hvave to be replaced. She resigned from her role in September after giving an interview in which she made comments that were widely criticized as racist. The first alternate in line to replace Miller is Bob Paduchik, Trump's Ohio campaign director. The electors will meet in Columbus on Dec. 19 to cast their votes. Under state law, they will be paid $10 a day, plus travel cost reimbursements. On Jan. 6, the U.S. Congress will officially count the electoral votes. Under the results of the election, Trump would be expected to receive 306 electoral votes to Clinton's 232, unless someone changes their vote. Do electors HAVE to cast their vote based on the outcome of the election? Probably not. Twenty-nine states, including Ohio, have laws that require their electors to vote for the state winner. But Ohio law doesn't describe a penalty for those who fail to do so. Some states, like Washington, have laws that punish so-called "faithless electors" with $1,000 fines. Most constitutional law scholars say these laws probably are unconstitutional, but they've never been tested, according to Alexander. As part of his research, Alexander in 2008 got 63 percent of Electoral College members to respond to a survey. Nineteen percent of Republican electors said they considered voting faithlessly, he said. "Which was insane," he said. So does this mean that electors could band together and block Trump? In theory, yes. But in reality, no. While Electoral College members -- including in Ohio -- are being lobbied to change their vote, it's very unlikely that any will. And those who may do so aren't likely to change the outcome of the election. Only seven electors have voted for someone other than the winner of their state since 1960, according to FairVote. Most recently, an anonymous Minnesota Democratic elector in 2004 voted for vice-presidential nominee John Edwards rather than that year's Democratic presidential nominee, John Kerry. Another elector suggested the misvote may have been a mistake. "I think the chances are very, very minimal that [faithless electors] will change the outcome of this election," Alexander said. "Only if something Donald Trump were to do or some new information were to come forward could I see the outcome of this election changing in any form.
26 points by The Plain Dealer | President of the United States Electoral College Voting United States Swing state Elections Election Vice President of the United States
For the Record: Trump, Clinton, Florida and the Fed
Will the Fed decide the presidential election today? Is the Donald Trump-Pam Bondi scandal over, or is it just getting started? And why are ...       
23 points by USA Today | President of the United States Electoral College Election Elections Voting Federal Reserve System Swing state Donald Trump
Tom Steyer puts more money into voter turnout machine
Campaign 2016 updates: Hillary Clinton campaign warchest still bests Donald Trump Sept. 20, 2016, 10:02 p.m. Donald Trump rallies supporters in North Carolina, and Hillary Clinton tells voters to "get off the sidelines."New disclosure reports show Hillary Clinton had nearly $20 million more cash...
61 points by Los Angeles Times | President of the United States Hillary Rodham Clinton Democratic Party Red states and blue states Donald Trump Swing state Sheldon Adelson Ohio
NRA rallies to Trump's defense with $5M ad
The National Rifle Association is returning to the defense of Donald Trump in the closing weeks of the presidential campaign, a reminder of how fervently the gun-rights group has backed the Republican nominee on television.
1931 points by CNN | President of the United States Ohio National Rifle Association Bill Clinton Democratic Party Supreme Court of the United States Hillary Rodham Clinton Swing state
Clinton, Trump locked in statistical tie in 5 swing states: polls
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump remain mired in a dead heat in five key battleground states, a group of polls released Sunday showed.
339 points by Daily News | Maine U.S. state Red states and blue states United States presidential election 2008 President of the United States Bill Clinton Donald Trump Swing state
Real-Time Election Day Projections May Upend News Tradition
VoteCastr, a Silicon Valley company, plans to report early election results in key states, raising concerns about an effect on how people vote.
2716 points by The New York Times | Elections Voting President of the United States Swing state Electoral College United States presidential election Opinion poll Poll
Hillary Clinton on some Donald Trump supporters: 'a basket of deplorables'
Campaign 2016 updates: Hillary Clinton calls Donald Trump's praise of Putin 'unseemly' Sept. 9, 2016, 8:06 p.m. Donald Trump is in Washington, D.C. today for several events. Hillary Clinton talks about Donald Trump'spraise of Vladmir Putin, calling it 'unseemly' When it comes to North Korea, Clinton...
2144 points by Los Angeles Times | Ohio President of the United States Swing state Donald Trump New Jersey Red states and blue states WWE Raw Hillary Rodham Clinton