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November 12, 2012
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National Pulse 

Reader Polls 
  • Does the presidential electoral system need a makeover?
    The Constitution requires the president to be selected by electors designated by the states. Each state is apportioned electoral votes according to its total number of senators and representatives in Congress, and the District of Columbia is assigned three votes. Three times in our history, most recently in 2000, the candidate who won the popular vote lost the electoral vote and the election. There was speculation that something similar may happen this year. It did not, but President Barack Obama won 61% of the electoral votes with only 51% of the popular vote. Does this discrepancy show a need to reform the way we elect our president? What do you think?
No -- the system does not need reform. It should be left as is
Yes -- amend the Constitution to abolish the Electoral College and decide the race by popular vote
Yes -- modify the system to allow proportional distribution of electoral votes within each state
Yes -- states should assign their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote
Yes -- reform the system through means other than those mentioned above

Agenda Items 
  • Analysis: Presidential campaign ignored poor Americans
    Little was said about the working poor as President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney ran for the White House, according to The Economist. "Obama's re-election and Democratic control of the Senate give federal anti-poverty programmes a level of security they would have lacked under a Romney administration," the magazine notes. "But America's poor face systemic challenges beyond the aid of any single administration or programme." The Economist (11/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Data Points 
  • How big of an impact did demographics have on the presidential election?
    Learn more about demographics in the 2012 presidential election:  
    Click on image to enlarge map.
    Shifting minority populations over the past several years played large role in the 2012 presidential election. In 2000, 12.5% of the population was Hispanic. That increased to 16.3% in 2010. Similarly, in 2000, 12.3% of the population identified themselves as African-American. This increased to 12.6% in 2010. Asians were 3.6% of the population in 2000 and increased 4.8% in 2010. President Barack Obama had virtually universal support from African-American voters in the election. Additionally, Hispanics -- especially young Hispanic voters -- overwhelmingly cast their vote for Obama. This is especially apparent when looking at the election results by county. While Obama had large support in cities across the U.S., he had particularly high support in the West and South which has large populations of Hispanics and African-Americans. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

The Conversation 
Daily Chuckle 

Hot Topics 

Top five news stories selected by SmartBrief on Business & Politics readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
One of the things I learnt when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself I could not change others."
--Nelson Mandela, South African statesman
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