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Why Your Vote for Romney Matters, Swing State or Not

The popular notion that if you’re not living in a swing state your vote in this presidential election doesn’t really count is dangerously false.

Although the presidency is ultimately determined by the Electoral College, the strength of the victor’s mandate is determined by the popular vote. And the mandate matters—a lot.

If Barack Obama wins the election and wins the popular vote by a substantial margin, then he will have a strong mandate to continue increasing spending, expanding regulations, crippling the U.S. military, apologizing to our enemies, ignoring the Constitution, and undermining the institutions on which liberty depends. If he wins the election but wins the popular vote by only a scant margin or loses it, then he will have a relatively weak mandate to continue his course of destruction.

Likewise, if Mitt Romney wins the election and wins the popular vote by a sizable margin, then he will have a strong mandate to uphold his most significant campaign promises. If he wins the election but wins the popular vote only by a small margin or loses it, then he will have a relatively weak mandate to uphold his major promises.

What are Romney’s most significant campaign promises?

Being a conservative, Romney has, of course, promised to pursue several agendas that would be horrifically wrong (because rights-violating). Fortunately, however, most of those pertain to issues on which he can’t have any substantial effect. What matters in regard to Romney’s (hopeful) presidency are the major areas in which he can have an effect. These include health care, the economy, regulations, jobs, energy, spending, taxes, the military, and foreign policy. And, regarding these, Romney has made the following major promises (the quotes are verbatim):

  • “I will act to repeal ObamaCare.”
  • “I will get the government out of the way and unleash the power of American enterprise and innovation.”
  • “I will put an end to the job-killing regulations imposed by the Obama administration.”
  • “I will insist that Washington learns to respect the Constitution, including the 10th Amendment.”
  • “I will take full advantage of our energy resources, and I will approve the Keystone pipeline from Canada.”
  • “I will open production of energy across the country.”
  • “I will dramatically reduce the size of the federal workforce.”
  • “I will not just slow the growth of government, I will cut it. I will not just freeze government’s share of the total economy, I will reduce it.”
  • “I will balance the budget.”
  • “I will finally abolish the death tax.”
  • “I will lower the corporate tax rate to 25 percent.”
  • “I will make business taxes competitive with other nations, eliminate burdensome regulations and bureaucracy, and support America’s workers instead of its union bosses.”
  • “I will reverse President Obama’s massive defense cuts.”
  • “I will revers[e] Obama-era cuts to national missile defense.”
  • “I will assur[e] that America remains the greatest military power on the face of the earth.”
  • “I will insist on a military so powerful that no one would ever think of challenging it.”
  • “I will modernize our Navy and Air Force, add active duty soldiers, restore a robust missile defense system, and give our veterans the world-class care they deserve.”
  • “I will begin discussions with Israel to increase the level of our military assistance and coordination.”
  • “I will devote myself to an American Century. And I will never, ever, apologize for America . . . the greatest nation in the history of the Earth.”

Given what we’ve suffered under Obama and G. W. Bush, Romney’s foregoing promises are welcome. Lovers of liberty would do well to ensure not only that Romney wins, but that he wins the popular vote by a large margin and thus gains a strong mandate to carry out these policies.

The bottom line? Whether you live in a swing state or not: Vote. Vote for Romney. And then, should he win, hold his feet to the fire.

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Creative Commons Image: Austen Hufford

Posted in: Politicians and Candidates

Comments are welcome so long as they are civil.
  • http://www.facebook.com/LisaLiel Lisa Liel

    I think it’s more important to break the duopoly of the Republicans and Democrats. There’ll be no significant change for the better in this country until that happens.

    Maybe if I lived in a swing state, I’d vote Romney just to make sure that Obama was gone. But I don’t. I live in Chicago. And between the slim chance that Craig suggests and the real opportunity to break the donkephant duopoly, I know what I’m going to do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.blankenau David Blankenau

    Unfortunately, Lisa, there is NO chance to break the “donkephant duopoly” in THIS election; either Romney or Obama will win, no matter what.

    If you think that Illinois is firmly for Obama, I have little problem with you voting for Gary Johnson. But we are still far away from what you and I would like to see occur.

    I think Craig said it best when he said “hold his feet to the fire”; that advice holds for whomever wins tomorrow.

  • Kristoffer Walker

    I agree Lisa. I won’t be voting for Romney because, as Mr. Biddle pointed out, Romney has supported, or will support, too many rights-violating agendas including, but not limited to, his comments during the debates about the need for economic regulation and his approval of marijuana prohibition.

    There are better options available.

  • Tresa

    I am hoping that by voting for Johnson, some of the values I am voting for will be recognized and adopted by the “big party” candidates who want or need my vote next time. The bigger the vote for Johnson, the more important and recognized the values and the more future candidates will need to recognize them to close the gap. If no one votes for Johnson then we are sending the message that we are willing to compromise those values and will simply vote for the lesser evil at all times. “Lesser evil” doesn’t hold anyone’s feet to any fire but ensures a perpetuation of evil.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=name&id=100000501085308 Martin Lundqvist

    “I am hoping that by voting for Johnson, some of the values I am voting for will be recognized and adopted by the “big party” candidates who want or need my vote next time.”
    Except that the only thing the “other” parties are going to copy from the Libertarian agenda is its disastrous foreign policy – which is another reason to vote for Romney.

  • Aunt Moxie

    Our republic is on the edge of a cliff. While I don’t like some of Romney’s big-government stances on issues, he HAS to win or the discussion of freedom is done. We’ll be saying “Hail Obama,” a chant which Michelle O. reportedly began leading last week in Florida. We are NOT in the days of Ross Perot as a third-party candidate. I don’t get why people do not see the dire situation we’re facing here. For the love of Pete, please vote Romney so we can at least stay on the cliff. Once he’s in, THEN we can work on reinforcing individual rights with our candidates.

  • Roark

    Like Donald Duck? I’m sorry, but Gary Johnson CAN’T win mathematically. A vote for him is a default vote for Obama.

  • Roark

    Like Donald Duck? I’m sorry, but Gary Johnson CAN’T win mathematically. A vote for him is a default vote for Obama.

  • Roark

    Like Donald Duck? I’m sorry, but Gary Johnson CAN’T win mathematically. A vote for him is a default vote for Obama.

  • Roark

    Like Donald Duck? I’m sorry, but Gary Johnson CAN’T win mathematically. A vote for him is a default vote for Obama.

  • Roark

    Like Donald Duck? I’m sorry, but Gary Johnson CAN’T win mathematically. A vote for him is a default vote for Obama.

  • Todd Walton

    Even in a swing state, your vote matters maybe .0000001%.

  • Todd Walton

    This article seems to take the position that a vote for someone has the possibility of affecting their chances of winning, and that a person winning sends a certain message into popular cultural debate.

    I don’t believe the first is the case, that your vote has a chance of affecting the outcome, and this has been well discussed elsewhere. Ask me if you want to know.

    And the second, about sending a certain message, makes a great case *for* voting for Gary Johnson. As it turns out, Romney lost the national popular vote by over 3 million votes and the Electoral College 332 to 206. Your vote for Romney would have said nothing, message-wise. But a vote added to Johnson’s 1 million-some is much *much* **much** more statistically significant, and made it possible for the message to be delivered that liberty-minded folk are not going to settle for status quo. Republicans are going to *have* to realize that they can’t be the same socially conservative, brown- and queer-hating, roll-over-for-the-statists party that they’ve been for the past many cycles.

    I voted Johnson. I think it was a vote worth casting, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to apologize for it.