Washington, Oct.13 : Americans enthralled with John McCain and Barack Obama's struggle to win the presidency may end up being disappointed on November 4.
Why, because according to Fox News, this historic election will be decided by voters in only six or so closely divided "battleground states."
The reason the vast majority of states don't matter in presidential elections stems from a winner-take-all rule (Nebraska and Maine being the notable exceptions). This rule awards all of a state's electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes.
Consequently, presidential candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, or even pay attention to the concerns of states where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind.
This harsh effect of the winner-take-all rule became clear in the first week of October when McCain's Michigan state director Al Ribeiro explained McCain's abrupt cessation of campaigning in Michigan: "The campaign must decide where it can best utilize its limited resources with the goal of winning nationally."
Of course, voters in 36 of the 50 states never mattered, even before the 2008 presidential election began. Michigan just discovered the harsh political reality a little later. As early as spring 2008, The New York Times reported that both major political parties were in agreement that there would be at most 14 battleground states in 2008.
In 2004, candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their money and campaign visits in just five states; over 80 percent in nine states; and over 99 percent of their money in 16 states.
The best and most direct way to fix our broken system is to elect the president by a national popular vote. Under a national popular vote, every person's vote, in every state, would be equally important, regardless of political party.
Every vote would be equal, and politicians would be forced to address the concerns of every voter. There would be no red states, no blue states, and no battleground states.
It's crucial to remember that the winner-take-all rule is not in the U.S. Constitution, but simply state law.