Many of you may already be aware that there have been several pushes over the last several years to do away with the electoral college system of voting to adopt a national popular vote system.
From NOLA.com: "Voters and legislatures across the country have discussed the relative merits of the current electoral system versus other proposed systems, such as that espoused by the National Popular Vote movement. To date, only four states--Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland and New Jersey--have enacted NPV legislation, which would go into effect only if adopted by enough states to garner a majority of the nation's electoral votes. However, 24 states considered NPV bills in 2008, and 42 states considered such legislation in 2007, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures."
It was reported today that Louisiana is the latest state to debate such a law. Propesed by a Democrat, the proposal will go up for debate this week.
You see, the way the system works now, all areas are represented, rather than the large cities deciding who is elected, based on popular vote.
The electoral college system means that the bvotes of rural residents will have some weight.
In the cities, particularly large cities with many government dependents, the popular vote is easily swayed by politicians who dangle 'gifts' like carrots: "vote for me and you'll get more benefits".
We can't allow the NPV crap to happen.
The Democrats want this so they have a better chance to control the voters. They know the majority live in cities, and they want to make rural voters inconsequential.
The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since enacted by 48 states), ensures that the candidates, after the primaries, will not reach out to about 76% of the states and their voters. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind.ReplyDelete
Presidential candidates concentrate their attention on only a handful of closely divided "battleground" states and their voters. There is no incentive for them to bother to care about the majority of states where they are hopelessly behind or safely ahead to win. 9 of the original 13 states are considered “fly-over” now. In the 2012 election, pundits and campaign operatives agree already, that, at most, only 12 states and their voters will matter. They will decide the election. None of the 10 most rural states will matter, as usual. About 76% of the country will be ignored --including 19 of the 22 lowest population and medium-small states, and 17 medium and big states like CA, GA, NY, and TX. This will be more obscene than the 2008 campaign, when candidates concentrated over 2/3rds of their campaign events and ad money in just 6 states, and 98% in just 15 states (CO, FL, IN, IA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, PA, VA, and WI). Over half (57%) of the events were in just 4 states (OH, FL, PA, and VA). In 2004, candidates concentrated over 2/3rds of their money and campaign visits in 5 states; over 80% in 9 states; and over 99% of their money in 16 states.
More than 2/3rds of the states and people have been merely spectators to presidential elections. They have no influence. That's more than 85 million voters ignored. When and where voters are ignored, then so are the issues they care about most.
Policies important to the citizens of ‘flyover’ states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.
The number and population of battleground states is shrinking as the U.S. population grows.
As of March 10th, some pundits think there will be only Six States That Will Likely Decide The 2012 Election
With National Popular Vote, big cities would not get all of candidates’ attention, much less control the outcome.ReplyDelete
The population of the top five cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia) is only 6% of the population of the United States and the population of the top 50 cities (going as far down as Arlington, TX) is only 19% of the population of the United States.
Suburbs and exurbs often vote Republican.
Any candidate who ignored, for example, the 16% of Americans who live in rural areas in favor of a “big city” approach would not likely win the national popular vote.
If big cities controlled the outcome of elections, the governors and U.S. Senators would be Democratic in virtually every state with a significant city.
A nationwide presidential campaign, with every vote equal, would be run the way presidential candidates campaign to win the electoral votes of closely divided battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida, under the state-by-state winner-take-all methods. The big cities in those battleground states do not receive all the attention, much less control the outcome. Cleveland and Miami do not receive all the attention or control the outcome in Ohio and Florida.
The itineraries of presidential candidates in battleground states (and their allocation of other campaign resources in battleground states) reflect the political reality that every gubernatorial or senatorial candidate knows. When and where every vote is equal, a campaign must be run everywhere.
With National Popular Vote, when every vote is equal, everywhere, it makes sense for presidential candidates to try and elevate their votes where they are and aren't so well liked. But, under the state-by-state winner-take-all laws, it makes no sense for a Democrat to try and do that in Vermont or Wyoming, or for a Republican to try it in Wyoming or Vermont.
Even in California state-wide elections, candidates for governor or U.S. Senate don't campaign just in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and those places don't control the outcome (otherwise California wouldn't have recently had Republican governors Reagan, Dukemejian, Wilson, and Schwarzenegger). A vote in rural Alpine county is just an important as a vote in Los Angeles. If Los Angeles cannot control statewide elections in California, it can hardly control a nationwide election.
In fact, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland together cannot control a statewide election in California.
Similarly, Republicans dominate Texas politics without carrying big cities such as Dallas and Houston.
There are numerous other examples of Republicans who won races for governor and U.S. Senator in other states that have big cities (e.g., New York, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts) without ever carrying the big cities of their respective states.
The main media at the moment, TV, costs much more per impression in big cities than in smaller towns and rural area. Candidates get more bang for the buck in smaller towns and rural areas.
The National Popular Vote bill would not change the need for candidates to build a winning coalition across demographics. Candidates would have to appeal to a broad range of demographics, and perhaps even more so, because the election wouldn’t be capable of coming down to just one demographic, such as soccer mom voters in Ohio.
None of the 10 most rural states (VT, ME, WV, MS, SD, AR, MT, ND, AL, and KY) is a battleground state.ReplyDelete
The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes does not enhance the influence of rural states, because the most rural states are not battleground states, and they are inconsequential.
Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the state counts and national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. That majority of electoral votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC wins the presidency.ReplyDelete
National Popular Vote would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state. Now their votes are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for. Now they don't matter to their candidate.
And now votes, beyond the one needed to get the most votes in the state, for winning in a state are wasted and don't matter to candidates. Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 "wasted" votes for Bush in 2004. 8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).
With National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere would be counted equally for, and directly assist, the candidate for whom it was cast.
Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states. The political reality would be that when every vote is equal, the campaign must be run in every part of the country.
The presidential election system that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.
States have the responsibility and power to make their voters relevant in every presidential election. The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. It does not abolish the Electoral College. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.
In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%,, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.
The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions possessing 132 electoral votes - 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.
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