Per Off on a Tangent policy, candidates are listed alphabetically by last name.
Winners are denoted with (w).

President of the United States

Hillary Clinton (D)
Electors: 232

California (55)
Colorado (9)
Connecticut (7)
Delaware (3)
D.C. (3)
Hawaii (4)
Illinois (20)
Maine (3) (split)
Maryland (10)
Massachusetts (11)
Minnesota (10)
Nevada (6)
New Hampshire (4)
New Jersey (14)
New Mexico (5)
New York (29)
Oregon (7)
Rhode Island (4)
Vermont (3)
Virginia (13)
Washington (12)

Donald Trump (R)
Electors: 306 (w)

Alabama (9)
Alaska (3)
Arizona (11)
Arkansas (6)
Florida (29)
Georgia (16)
Idaho (4)
Indiana (11)
Iowa (6)
Kansas (6)
Kentucky (8)
Louisiana (8)
Maine (1) (split)
Michigan (16)
Mississippi (6)
Missouri (10)
Montana (3)
Nebraska (5)
North Carolina (15)
North Dakota (3)
Ohio (18)
Oklahoma (7)
Pennsylvania (20)
South Carolina (9)
South Dakota (3)
Tennessee (11)
Texas (38)
Utah (6)
West Virginia (5)
Wisconsin (10)
Wyoming (3)

U.S. President (Virginia)
Hillary Clinton (D):49.7% (w)
Gary Johnson (L):3.0%
Evan McMullin (I):1.4%
Jill Stein (G):0.7%
Donald Trump (R):44.4%
U.S. House, VA-10th
LuAnn Bennett (D):46.9%
Barbara Comstock (R):52.7% (w)
Virginia Work Amendment
No:53.6% (w)
Virginia Tax Amendment
Yes:79.7% (w)
Loudoun Parks Bonds
Yes:58.6% (w)
Loudoun Safety Bonds
Yes:78.6% (w)
Loudoun Transp. Bonds
Yes:72.9% (w)
Loudoun School Bonds
Yes:71.1% (w)

. . . Continued

I Voted (by Melissa Lew)
I Voted (by Melissa Lew)

I voted this morning at my polling place in South Riding, Virginia. If you are eligible to vote, you should do so too.

There are many important races and issues on the ballot across the United States. Here in Loudoun County, Virginia, we are voting for electors for president, our House representatives, two statewide ballot issues, and four local ballot issues.

Take the time to research the candidates and issues on your ballot and make informed choices. Don’t let anybody tell you that your vote doesn’t matter. Don’t let anybody tell you that your choice is wrong. If you choose to vote ‘third party,’ don’t let anybody tell you that your vote is wasted. No informed vote is a wasted vote.

And let’s respect one another. I’ve made my choices—and I encourage you to read my reasons why—and you are free to make yours. I may not agree with you, but as long as you have seriously considered your choices, I respect them. I hope you’ll offer me the same courtesy in return.

Please come back to Off on a Tangent this evening for live results from the presidential race and the other races in my area, as well as a live blog with notable results from around the country.

One of the persisting oddities of the United States’ political system is the Electoral College, which is an representative body that exists only to elect the President of the United States. Each state has a number of electors equal to its combined congressional representation in the House of Representatives and Senate, and the District of Columbia also has three electors of its own. To be elected president without throwing the contest into the House, a candidate must receive a majority vote of the electors.

This system is established in Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The intent of the founders was that the Electoral College would be an elected body something like the House. The idea was that communities would choose a locally-trusted representative to use their best judgement to cast a vote for president. Those representatives would gather in the state capitols to cast their ballots and transmit them to Washington. In Federalist #68, Alexander Hamilton wrote that, “A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite [to choose a president].”

As a compromise, it was left to the states to decide how electors would be appointed. Most held the district-by-district elections that the founders envisioned, but some chose appointment by the state legislature. . . . Continued

Senator Rand Paul
Senator Rand Paul

This should have been a conservatarian revolution.

The Republican Party is composed of three main wings. The first is the neoconservative ‘old guard,’ which has been the pragmatic, centrist, and unrelentingly dominant force in American right-wing politics for a long time. The second is the ‘tea party’ or, in older parlance, the ‘religious right,’ which is a kind of populist paleoconservatism that is rooted in traditional values and has relatively little patience for pragmatism or compromise. The third is the ‘conservatarian’ wing, which is made up of true-believers in limited government and strict constitutionalism, and whose members tend to lean toward at least some of the positions of the Libertarian Party.

There is a lot of overlap between these groups. Few Republicans, and even fewer conservative independents (like myself), fit cleanly into one wing or another. But I have always said that my views generally fall somewhere between the platforms of the Republican and Libertarian parties, and so conservatarian describes me better than almost any other political label. If I was a Republican, that is the wing I would likely find myself in.

Just one year ago, conservatarians seemed poised to wrest control of the Republican Party from the old guard. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), the poster-boy of Republican conservatarianism, was winning straw polls and seemed to be a real contender for the presidential nomination. Tried-and-true members of the old guard like former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) and Governor John Kasich (R-OH) failed to gain traction. Republicans seemed ready for a change in direction, and Paul seemed like he could be the beneficiary of the old guard’s impending fall. . . . Continued

Melissa and I try to go on a cruise every-other year, but this year we broke our usual cadence and went on a cruise in two consecutive years. Following our 2015 cruise to Alaska, this year we went on a cruise to New England and Canada on Royal Caribbean’s MS Grandeur of the Seas from September 29 to October 8. Why did we break our cadence? Well, this cruise was organized by my Knights of Columbus council (and others) as a fund-raiser for KOVAR, which is a charity serving Virginians with intellectual disabilities. Sixteen couples went on the cruise, ourselves included, and a portion of our fare goes to KOVAR (about three thousand dollars in total).

The cruise was a nine-day round-trip out of Baltimore, Maryland, stopping along the way at ports in Boston, Massachusetts; Portland, Maine; Bar Harbor, Maine; Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada; and Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. This was our first time visiting any of those places. There were also three lovely, relaxing at-sea days, one at the beginning and two at the end.

It was overcast and a bit drizzly leaving Baltimore, and the same on our first at-sea day, and the same in Boston. It started the same in Portland, but got nicer as the day went on (though it was still pretty overcast). From then until the end of the cruise, the weather was sunny, lovely, and comfortable. I took a bunch of pictures, and we had a great time. . . . Continued

Scott Bradford has been building web sites and using them to say what he thinks since 1995, which tended to get him in trouble with power-tripping assistant principals at the time. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from George Mason University, but has spent most of his career (so far) working on public- and private-sector web sites. He is not a member of any political party, and brands himself an ‘independent constitutional conservative.’ In addition to holding down a day job and blogging about challenging subjects like politics, religion, and technology, Scott is also a devout Catholic, gun-owner, bike rider, and music lover with a wife, two cats, and a dog.