He was curious about something, though, because in our last discussion I stated that of all the Republicans in the field***, John McCain was the one I was least likely to vote for. I think my words, at least partially stolen from Weird Al, were something like, "I'd rather clean all the bathrooms in Grand Central Station with my tongue than vote for McCain," which might be why he remembered it. So, if I didn't mind answering, he'd like to know who I voted for.
When I told him I voted for Bob Barr, he kind of shook his head. "What a wasted vote," he said, displaying that fleeting expression of haughty contempt that only a halfway college-educated Obama supporter can pull off perfectly. "Au contraire," I said. "The only truly worthless vote in Kansas is one cast for Obama." How did I figure that, the wannabe lawyer wished earnestly to know.
It's actually very simple. Bob Barr will not win Kansas. That's a given. However, a vote for the Libertarian has several slightly less than meaningless effects, not limited to future ballot access issues and avian hand gestures directed at the major parties. Yes, they are of minimal utility, but they are not completely worthless. "Follow?" He did.
On the other hand, did he think Obama was going to win Kansas? "Probably not," he admitted. About 90% probably. "So," I noted, "there is about a 90% chance that a vote cast for Obama will have absolutely no effect." If the nationwide popular vote does not count, and if the loser of a state gets nothing in the electoral college, then a vote for the loser is nothing. "Follow?" He did, but.
But there's still a 10% chance that Obama might win Kansas. Yet Kansas is the reddest of the red states, right? Right. And if Obama should win Kansas, it is highly likely that he will win other red states, right? Right. And so even if your own vote should turn out to be the single vote that puts Kansas in the Obama column, the very fact that Obama is carrying Kansas makes it highly unlikely that he will need Kansas. In short, if Obama loses Kansas, your vote doesn't count and is wasted, but if he wins Kansas, your vote is unnecessary and is therefore wasted. "Follow?" He did, but he didn't seem happy.* other than the fact that he wants to be a lawyer