a reply to: Phage
With the Electoral College and federalism, the Founding Fathers meant to empower the states to pursue their own interests within the confines of the
Constitution. National Popular Vote is an exercise of that power, not an attack upon it.
The Electoral College is now the set of 538 dedicated party activists who vote as rubberstamps for their party’s presidential candidate. That is not
what the Founders intended.
The Founding Fathers in the Constitution did not require states to allow their citizens to vote for president, much less award all their electoral
votes based upon the vote of their citizens.
The presidential election system we have today is not in the Constitution. State-by-state winner-take-all laws to award Electoral College votes, were
eventually enacted by states, using their exclusive power to do so, AFTER the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution. Now our current system can be
changed by state laws again.
During the course of campaigns, candidates are educated and campaign about the local, regional, and state issues most important to the handful of
battleground states they need to win. They take this knowledge and prioritization with them once they are elected. Candidates need to be educated
and care about all of our states.
The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48
states), under which all of a state's electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state, ensures that the
candidates, after the conventions, in 2012 did not reach out to about 80% of the states and their voters. 10 of the original 13 states are ignored
now. 80% of states’ votes were conceded months before by the minority parties in the states, taken for granted by the dominant party in the
states, and ignored by all parties in presidential campaigns. Candidates had no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about
the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they were safely ahead or hopelessly behind.
In 2012, 80% of the states and people were just spectators to the presidential election. That's more than 85 million voters, more than 200 million
In 2012, more than 99% of presidential campaign attention (ad spending and visits) was invested on voters in just the then only ten competitive
states. Two-thirds (176 of 253) of the general-election campaign events, and a similar fraction of campaign expenditures, were in just four states
(Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Iowa). 38 states were politically irrelevant.
In 2012, 24 of the nation's 27 smallest states received no attention at all from presidential campaigns after the conventions. They were ignored
despite their supposed numerical advantage in the Electoral College. In fact, the 8.6 million eligible voters in Ohio received more campaign ads and
campaign visits from the major party campaigns than the 42 million eligible voters in those 27 smallest states combined.
In the 25 smallest states in 2008, the Democratic and Republican popular vote was almost tied (9.9 million versus 9.8 million), as was the electoral
vote (57 versus 58).
The 25 smallest states have been almost equally noncompetitive. They voted Republican or Democratic 12-13 in 2008 and 2012.
There are only expected to be 7 remaining swing states in 2016.
Issues of importance to non-battleground states are of so little interest to presidential candidates that they don’t even bother to poll them.
Over 87% of both Romney and Obama campaign offices were in just the then 12 swing states. The few campaign offices in the 38 remaining states were for
fund-raising, volunteer phone calls, and arranging travel to battleground states.
Since World War II, a shift of a few thousand votes in one or two states would have elected the second-place candidate in 4 of the 15 presidential
Policies important to the citizens of non-battleground states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it
comes to governing.
“Battleground” states receive 7% more federal grants than “spectator” states, twice as many presidential disaster declarations, more Superfund
enforcement exemptions, and more No Child Left Behind law exemptions.
Support for a national popular vote is strong in every smallest state surveyed in recent polls among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters,
as well as every demographic group
Among the 13 lowest population states, the National Popular Vote bill has passed in 9 state legislative chambers, and been enacted by 4 jurisdictions.