Voices & Choices

Bloomberg's Peter Coy compares the World Series to the Electoral College

Bloomberg's Peter Coy compares the World Series to the Electoral College
Photo from Bloomberg, Oct. 30, 2014. Credit: Scott Ells, Bloomberg.
Peter Coy pointed out in Bloomberg this week that in many ways, the World Series is a lot like the Electoral College. In the World Series, the winning team is not the one that wins the most runs overall; instead, it's the team that wins the most games. Each game is essentially a "winner-take-all" system.
The problem is, as Coy points out, that the Electoral College weights each "game" differently. He writes:


"There is one big difference, though: Most state races aren’t as evenly balanced as baseball games. A Democratic presidential candidate won’t win in Oklahoma and a Republican won’t win in New York. Candidates ignore states where the conclusion is foregone, so voters there don’t really matter. Voters in swing states, such as Pennsylvania and Florida, matter a lot, so their issues get a lot more attention from the candidates. This is in practice, if not in law, a violation of the principle of one person, one vote."


If the Electoral College rules were applied to the World Series, what would those games look like? We would probably look at the number of people who attended or tuned in to watch each game in the last World Series, and then give more weight to the games with more attendees. Game 1 might get 11 "World Series Votes," and Game 7 might get 35 "World Series Votes." Then it wouldn't be about who won each game --- it would be about who won the right games.

In 2012, Devin McCarthy blogged for FairVote on this analogy. See his piece "The Current Electoral College is Like the World Series (Which is Why We Need to Change It)".
FairVote.org researches the effect of the Electoral College and various reforms. We find that the National Popular Vote plan is most likely to improve the current system. Learn more at https://www.fairvote.org/reforms/national-popular-vote/.


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