If you were a Gary Johnson fan, who would you vote for? Probably not Gary Johnson; he’s got no shot. You might vote for Mitt Romney, so that your vote matters. That’s an example of strategic voting, and unfortunately it’s one of the keys to getting your voice heard. As of now, Louisiana voices are not heard. Delayed FEMA trailers/checks and the jobs lost due to the offshore drilling moratorium can both attest to that.
The problem involves a broken system called the Electoral College, in which all of a state’s votes go to that state’s winner. Louisiana gets less attention because it isn’t a swing state (We tend to lean Republican). An October 2011 poll by Clarus Research has Romney beating President Barack Obama by 16 points in Louisiana, and Republicans won by point spreads of 19 in 2008, 14 in 2004, and 18 in 2000. Same story for Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas.
So candidates, knowing we’ll vote Republican no matter what, have no reason to impress us, pander to us or even help us in times of need. So they only wind up caring about swing states like Florida and Ohio, which could go either way.
But wait! There’s a way to become one of those states that matter, and it involves strategic voting: Simply vote against the way Louisiana is predicted to vote. Here that means vote for President Obama. In Clinton-times, it would’ve meant vote Republican. And in blue states, it’d mean vote Romney.
The important thing isn’t who you want to be elected. Realize that because of the Electoral College, not only does your vote not matter because Louisiana is a red state, and because it’s only got eight (of 538) votes, but also because your vote doesn’t even get counted for directly determining the winner. Combine this with the sheer number of voters and the influence of corrupt campaign donors, and your vote for president is meaningless.
But your vote for Louisiana prosperity isn’t. Not only will strategic voting enhance Louisiana’s stance in U.S. politics, it’ll also stand as a protest against our flawed system of Electoral College groupings with plurality-vote tallies.
Don’t worry, an Obama vote won’t hurt Romney; he’s got Louisiana in the bag. The idea is just to bring Louisiana closer to that 50-50 swing-state mark.
So this November, don’t pull the lever for Republicans or Democrats. Pull it for Louisiana, by voting Obama.
student, LSU Class of 2013