Speaking of Instant Runoff Voting…
Who is it who actually “ranks” their choices, anyway? Maybe my point of view is skewed because I am a guy who has – and my social circle is a lot of politically-aware people who also have – strong opinions who know who they’re voting for and why, but I can’t remember a single election where I had a second choice for any office.
I went back through the last several key, contested elections, and entered “ranked choices” for each race.
Saint Paul Mayoral Election, 2009
First Choice: Eva Ng
Second Choice: My dog, Clu.
Third Choice: A jab in the eye with a sharp stick.
Minnesota US Senate Race, 2008
First Choice: Norm Coleman
Second Choice: My cat, Nosemarie.
Third Choice: Getting ripped apart by mice.
Minnesota Fourth District Congressional Race, 2008
First Choice: Ed Matthews
Second Choice: Being forced to sit in booth at Denny’s listening to Ken Weiner, Bill Pendergast and Eva Young frothing about Michele Bachmann for all eternity..
Third Choice: A “Spongebob Squarepants” marathon.
Minnesota Gubernatorial Race, 2006
First Choice: Tim Pawlenty
Second Choice: My other cat, Candy.
Third Choice: Gouging out my own eyes with a spork. (This was almost a tie for third, by the way; Candy has this habit of biting my nose at 4AM that has her on my schvitz list today).
Minnesota Fourth District Congressional Race, 2006
First Choice: Obi Sium
Second Choice: Drinking a fifth of my own fermented sweat .
Third Choice: Going to “Drinking Liberally” and drinking heavily.
Fourth Choice: Gargling with Drano
Fifth Choice: Going to “Drinking Liberally” and not being allowed to drink at all.
Sixth Choice: Any cast member from “The Hills”.
Seventh Choice: Betty McCollum.
US Presidential Race, 2004
First Choice: George W. Bush
Second Choice: Brussels Sprouts
Third Choice: Any random western European leader...
US Senate Race, 2002
First Choice: Norm Coleman
Second Choice: One of those gas-station burritos, after it’s been sitting on my car seat on a hot day.
Third Choice: Rick Kahn’s speech, on eternal loop, forever.
US Presidential Race, 2000
First Choice: Steve Forbes
Second Choice: Jack Kemp.
Third Choice: Steve Forbes.
Now, like most people, I do believe most people are like me. Or, rather, that most people who should be allowed to vote are like me.
Oh, that sounded so intolerant; what I mean is that I suspect most people who actually care enough about politics to care about their voting system at all, really don’t go into the polling place with any sort of “second choice” in mind. We go into the polls wanting victory for the candidate who represents our beliefs the closest, and not a lot more.
Who actually has some notion of “ranking” choices in elections? I’m curious.