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In , with George Wallace threatening to deny either Humphrey or Nixon an electoral majority, Representatives Morris Udall of Arizona and Charles Goodell of New York sponsored a bipartisan plan under which candidates for the House would pledge in advance that they would support the winner of the national popular vote. The Washington Post endorsed the idea, saying it would protect the presidency from charges that a corrupt bargain had delivered the nation's highest office to the highest bidder. Senator Henry Jackson seconded it.

Reagan's tone was uncompromising: "I have too much faith in the people to shut someone out in the beginning.

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I have no intention that I would collaborate with the Democrats on anything. The popular-vote plan suffered most because the major party candidates, Humphrey and Nixon, would not commit themselves to it. As might be expected with any proposed pledge, neither wanted to sacrifice whatever advantages he imagined he might enjoy in an unpledged House election. On October 15, , when it seemed clear to Nixon that he would carry a popular majority, he said he thought the popular-vote winner should be elected by the House. He was sure such a President would "still have the capacity to govern," even if he had not won a popular plurality.

This time, the second-place finisher might bargain his way to the top of a House election. Whether he thereby purchases a crippled presidency will depend not only on his failure to obtain a popular plurality such Presidents as Lincoln, Wilson, and Truman have governed successfully after such failure but on whether he traded for the Oval Office as if it were a piece of local patronage. District winner.

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To improve their chances in their own elections, many House candidates may promise in advance to support the presidential nominee who carries their district -- something conservatives have demanded for years, most recently in a plan proposed in August by the American Conservative Union.

The criterion could be especially appealing because the winner of the national or state popular vote may not do well in a particular representative's district, and enough voters cross party lines for it to be a political liability in many cases for a representative to vote on a party basis in a House election.

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Colorado's five-member House delegation typifies the resulting problem. It is divided three-to-two for the Democrats. Democratic Representative Tim Wirth, who faces a tough re-election fight in , comes from a district that Jimmy Carter lost to Gerald Ford in by 37, votes.

For political self-preservation, Wirth might feel forced to announce that he will vote the presidential preference of his constituents, thus probably giving Colorado's vote to Reagan in a House showdown even if Carter or Anderson carries the state on November 4. In fact, if the presidential election had gone to the House and all representatives had voted for the candidate who carried their districts, Carter would have had the support of representatives and Ford But because presidential selection in the House is by state and not by district, Ford would have won the presidency: although outvoted both in the popular total and in a majority of districts nationwide, Ford carried a majority of the districts in twenty-seven states and Carter in only twenty-three.

House balloting guided by district winners thus emerges more as a temptation than as a goal. There is a way for House members to vote that, in the long run, may be the safest of all -- the "Oh, my God! It has been used only once. In , John Quincy Adams needed the votes of thirteen states to be elected by the House. He had twelve states, but some of them were shaky and seemed inclined to shift to Andrew Jackson on later ballots. Adams needed a first-ballot win. The best hope for the thirteenth state was New York, whose thirty-four congressmen were split nearly down the middle: seventeen for Adams, sixteen for Crawford, and one undecided.

Representative Stephen Van Rensselaer, a kindly old aristocrat, had promised to support everyone; he held the swing ballot in the decisive state. On the morning of February 9, , the day of the House vote, Daniel Webster and Henry Clay, the two most persuasive men in America, cornered Van Rensselaer in the speaker's office and plied him with threats and oratory, demanding that he vote for Adams.

The old gentleman held out. When the House balloting began that afternoon, Van Rensselaer was still in a quandary. As the rest of the New York delegation passed their ballots to the teller, he bowed his head in prayer, seeking a sign from on high. He opened his eyes, and there on the floor was a ballot marked for John Quincy Adams. So Adams was elected President. Not even the field of three "born-again" presidential candidates is likely to embrace reliance this time on such divine clues.

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But whether supposedly more "rational" methods are truly wiser is beyond the capacity of political and legal theory to say. Representatives overwhelmed by the absence or multiplicity of heavenly hints and rational solutions alike may decide that self-interest is the better part of politics and vote for the candidate making them the offer they find hardest to refuse.

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  • And many representatives may each be in a position to deliver or withhold the presidency as their half of the bargain. If that election had gone to the House, each of thirty-two different representatives would have held the power to change an entire state's vote by switching his own. In the election, when Robert La Follette's Progressive party won 17 percent of the popular total, each of eighteen states pivoted on one vote; in those states, forty-five Democrats and twenty-five Republicans individually held the balance of power. In , a Truman-Dewey-Thurmond runoff would have been required had 12, votes shifted in California and Ohio, and twenty-three state delegations would have turned on one member's vote; sixty-five Republicans and thirty-three Democrats each had the power to deliver an entire state.

    And if the Ninety-seventh Congress duplicates the Ninety-sixth, twenty-eight state delegations this time will be held by a one-vote margin and eleven state delegations by just two votes each. Bargaining, of course, can be portrayed either as sensible compromise or as dirty dealing. After Delaware's lone representative, James Bayard, gave Jefferson his victory, the new President kept certain Federalist officeholders, as Bayard had been promised, but insisted that he had made no promise to Bayard that he had to keep.

    Two years later, in congressional testimony, Bayard named the four offices that Jefferson had delivered as pledged. When Adams carried the House with Henry Clay's support in , the appointment of Clay as secretary of state was quickly seen as proof of a "corrupt bargain. No one can be certain what the two men said, but both of them must have been tempted to strike a deal, explicit or implicit.

    Adams had only to say that Clay was the logical choice for the State Department which was true. Clay, in turn, had only to state his feelings -- that he preferred Adams because he feared the alternatives: Andrew Jackson was a warmonger, and William Crawford had been crippled by a drug overdose during the campaign. Though they furiously denounced the charge that a "corrupt bargain" had been struck, Adams and Clay could never escape it. Whether deals are made or not, a loser in the House will probably allege and the people will probably believe that the winner made one.

    Depending upon the observer's point of view, they can seem good or evil. If the election had been decided in the House, four southern states controlled by the Dixiecrats could have made a majority for either Truman or Dewey.

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    The price they exacted would have been an immoral weakening of civil rights -- which was the price Rutherford Hayes gladly paid in But the Compromise of was not everywhere regarded as a hidden and awful bargain. The New York Herald called it an "open secret.

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    It is a policy. Deals are generally unpopular -- except with the people who are being dealt in. George Wallace called the deal he offered in "a solemn covenant. Many of the elections that nearly went to the House could have deadlocked in just this way. The House that year was split 17 to 15 in favor of the Democrats; one delegation was evenly divided; and the American party controlled the Tennessee vote.

    Without some bargain, there might have been no decision at all on the very eve of the Civil War. In , when Woodrow Wilson prevailed against William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt ran as an independent, the House was split 23 to 22 for the Democrats, with three delegations divided equally.

    In , as in and , the Democrats controlled the House, but only by virtue of southern delegations that could readily have voted for the more conservative candidate -- the Republican. I completely agree with Wise when he says that women characters are often not portrayed as they can and oft should be--strong. I always long for a dependent, stand alone, kickass, fuck you sorta female main character. And by the end of this story, Wise had given me that.

    I am not exaggerating when I literally say that this is now one of my favorite books. I'm also going to confess that the Deadlocked series has been my first venture into Zombie literature and I wish I could give Wise a standing ovation for making this a horrifying, memorable entrance. If you're looking for an indie author with skill, look no further.

    I have already snatched up all of his free books and from the looks of it, as I literally am sitting at the edge of my couch from anticipation, I may be sacrificing lunch money from work just to grab up installation three.

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    May 17, Stormy rated it it was amazing Shelves: reading-goal-books. I am not sure how many times I can say that I love A. Wise, and I love this series. Each book has left me breathless, and wanting to know what happens next. Deadlocked 2, starts off right where Deadlocked leaves off. We follow Laura, in her journey as she is still grieving the loss of her husband, David.

    We see that in the beginning she is a timid scared woman. But she quickly realizes that her daughters survival and her own depends on souly her. She steps up her game, and becomes a Mama Bear. Willing to do whatever it takes to ensure her little girls safety even if it means sacrificing herself. I love the developing relationship between her and Billy.

    I do not believe it was ever meant to be a romantic relationship, it's the type of relationship that I think anybody fighting for their lives together would build. They quickly become a small family unit, willing to do whatever to protect what they have. Their bantor between each other is often times comical, and I found myself laughing at loud lots of times. Again, one of my favorite parts of these books are the Authors notes. I have quickly come to appreciate them, and I wish more authors would include these into their books too. I love getting to know Wise's motives, and train of thought.

    This makes it to where I am not wondering around aimlessly after reading these books wondering why in the hell would the author do something like that!?