‘Cheney for President’

“The great and original champion of our party, Abraham Lincoln, was defeated in elections for the Senate and the House before he won the most important election of all,” she said. “Lincoln ultimately prevailed, he saved our union and he defined our obligation as Americans for all of history.”

– Liz Cheney in her concession speech.

These are the fighting words of Liz Cheney, as she signaled that is isn’t done with politics yet.

In fact, read that portion of her concession speech again. It appears that Liz Cheney is implying that she will be running for President of the United States. She goes on:

“This primary election is over. But now the real work begins.”

Are you ready for “Cheney for President”?

Yeh right… “Cheney for president”. Just no.

One of the more interesting elections that happened yesterday was in Alaska, not because Sarah Palin became one of four people to advance to the general election but because of the ranked choice voting system that was used for the first time. Ranked choice voting is gaining popularity so expect to see more state and local initiatives and proposals promoting ranked choice voting in the future.

The Alaska election is worth assessing because it is also an open primary state – so voters vote for the both parties on the same ticket. This makes ranked choice voting particularly compelling for the independent or moderate voter for the reasons explained below.

So, how does rank choice voting work?

Voters list the candidates that they like best in ranked order.

The chart below shows what the ballot might look like:

Then what happens?

Ranked-choice voting is an instant run-off system, meaning that the winner must win the majority of the vote.

First, everyone’s first choice is counted.


Taking the example above (from the Common Cause website):

Candidate A receives 20% of the votes. Candidate B receives 30%. Candidate C receives 24% and Candidate D receives 26%.

No one in this hypothetical election got a clear majority of 50%. That means the election would go into a second round automatically. This is the instant run-off portion of ranked choice voting.

Candidate A is then excluded from the second round – as they got the fewest votes.

This means that everyone who ranked Candidate A as their first-choice now have their second choice counted for their vote.

If necessary, this process continues past the second round until one candidate has more than 50% of the vote.

For the person who might want a republican for the first choice and a democrat or an independent as their second choice, the lure of ranked choice voting is obvious.

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