Direct Election — The Seventeenth Amendment

The Seventeenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

This change to the U.S. Constitution passed in 1913 marked the direct election of Senators by a statewide citizen vote. Having been through the agony of the Electoral College in President elections, I was surprised to learn that Senators are elected by a simple popular vote. There are no arcane county-by-county electoral delegates. It’s just a matter of who gets the most votes.

In the last Missouri Senate election in 2018. Josh Hawley was outspent by Claire McCaskill. He raised 10 million dollars, she raised 35 million dollars.

But he won handily, 1,254,927 votes to 1,112,935 votes. That is a margin of about 142 K votes. There were three other parties — the Libertarian, Green, and Independent with a combined total of 74 K votes.

(%i1) 1254927 - 1112935;
(%o1)                               141992
(%i2) 34398 + 27316 + 12706;
(%o2)                                74420

This dispels the “myth of the spoiler” — the fact is that McCaskill could not have won — even if non of the other candidates had run. It is really a case of a dominant Republican party — the 300 pound gorillla, that can trash any Democratic upstart.

Of course, the 2018 election is not necessarily a guide to this election. But there was an open seat, i.e. no incumbent. So if history is a guide, the 2022 Senate election will be a gift to whomever wins the Republican primary.

Why am I running then? Because, I feel that we must hold the Republican party to account for the events of January Sixth. Donald Trump disrespected our Constitution and made a mockery of our peaceful transition of government. That is why it so important that I run. Because the Missouri Republicans and the Republican candidates have not walked away from Donald Trump. They are “fighting for Trump” even now.

You can buy all of the people, some of the time, buy some of the people, all of the time, but you can’t buy all of the people, all of the time.

I also happen to be the best candidate for the job.

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