Q & A Information and Archive

This is is our Q & A page. For this feature, we welcome a wide range of readers' questions on history, civics, politics, culture, and the like. For example:

  • Who is the worst president of the 20th century, according to historians?
  • What's the funniest politically-themed movie ever made, do you think?
  • Why does Donald Trump pronounce 'China' as if it begins with a 'G'?
  • Have polls gotten better or worse over time?
  • What happens if the President and Vice President are both killed in a plane wreck on the same day?

If you have a question you would like to submit, e-mail it to questions@electoral-vote.com. Please make sure we can infer your initials and location from your message, and thanks for participating!

Q & A Archive:
(Click on a date to be taken to that entry)

November 12, 2018:

Imagine a generic Democrat wins the 2020 election while the Republicans maintain control of the Senate (as you clearly think is virtually certain). Suppose Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) simply decides that no cabinet appointment, subcabinet appointment, Supreme Court or lower judicial appointment will even come for a vote. Or if they do, they are defeated. What happens then? M.B., Montreal, Canada ...

November 9, 2018:

The newly minted Democratic Representatives in red states that have pledged to not vote for Nancy Pelosi as speaker in January have made me a bit curious as to who the alternative might be. Given the fact that the Speaker isn't required to be a sitting member of the House, could former President Obama be nominated as Speaker on the basis that he would be a unifying force for Democrats at a time that their unity and leadership structure appears somewhat fragmented? What would the pros and cons be of such an appointment and would it put the Representatives who want an alternative right back where they started with their constituents? What about presidential succession? Is this remotely plausible as an actual sequence of events when it comes time to vote? C.D., Northville, MI ...

November 5, 2018:

Who determines the Senate Majority Leader if the number of senators is tied at 50 D's and 50 R's? R.B., Ewing, NJ ...

November 1, 2018:

Advertisers know that music can be a very powerful tool to get people to remember a product ("Plop plop, fizz fizz..."), so why have no recent candidates for president/congressman/governor tapped into this? If Willie Nelson really wanted to help out Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) beyond appearing at his rallies, why doesn't he write and record a song that Beto can use in his commercials? I think Phil Bredesen (D) could sure use the boost that a one-off Taylor Swift song could provide. By that same token, Kid Rock could record a song for Trump for 2020. Heck, the musical "Call Me Madam" featured the song "I Like Ike," so what happened to that tradition? J.F., Forth Worth, TX ...

October 29, 2018:

I am curious, when did the colors red and blue become so commonly tied to the two major American political parties? Particularly, when did it become common in American culture to not only label a state as red or blue (with phrases like "that's a red state")? And when did awareness of the political leanings of a particular state become common knowledge? S.S., Walnut Creek, CA ...

October 26, 2018:

Though I understand that each and every U.S. Senate seat comes up for election every 6 years, I've often wondered why some Senate seats come up in certain years while others come up in other years. More to the point, why do we have this particular bunch of Senate seats in Republican-friendly areas coming up this year? It seems so random/arbitrary, so I wonder if there's any inherent logic to the sequencing of Senate elections, or whether it's just dumb luck? J.T.B, New York, NY ...

October 22, 2018:

In a recent interview with the Washington Post, Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight made the following statement: "People should not be surprised by a Democratic Senate or a Republican House. We're in dangerous territory from a predictive/assumption standpoint." What do you think he meant by that? Especially the "dangerous territory" part. Is the degree of uncertainty that much greater in the present than it has been in the past? And if so, why? S.W., Fort Worth, TX ...