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DailyBeast: Can a Republican Win 270 Electoral Votes in 2016...or Ever?

by Myra Adams Aug 18, 2013 4:45 AM EDT

Recently, I attended a political event where about 400 conservative Republicans gathered to hear an impressive parade of conservative congressman, governors, and senators.

As I was chatting with a man in his mid-30s, the conversation turned to the 2016 presidential race. When I asked him who he was supporting as the Republican nominee, his answer was Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. Then I was prompted to ask the question I ask every Republican after they tell me their preferred candidate: “Do you think Rand Paul can win 270 electoral votes?” The man immediately replied, “I never thought about that.”

For the record, I anonymously submitted that same question to Rand Paul himself at a Washington luncheon this past May. It was selected as the last question by the moderator, and Paul largely deflected it, instead speaking vaguely about the need to attract Democratic voter groups.

More at DailyBeast:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/08/18/can-a-repub...

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"Every vote would count and matter"

if each state alloted their EC delegates proportionally (and the votes actually get counted accurately).

Under NPV rural/small population states would tend to be marginalized -
precisely the opposite of what was intended by the Electoral College system.

Unlike NPV - any state has the option of abandoning winner take all apportionment
and ensure that they are "in play" and will not be ignored.

pretty sure mvymvy is a spam

pretty sure mvymvy is a spam bot

If ignorance is bliss, Washington DC must be heaven.

Proportional Method Issues

Any state that enacts the proportional approach on its own would reduce its own influence. This was the most telling argument that caused Colorado voters to agree with Republican Governor Owens and to reject this proposal in November 2004 by a two-to-one margin.

If the proportional approach were implemented by a state, on its own, it would have to allocate its electoral votes in whole numbers. If a current battleground state were to change its winner-take-all statute to a proportional method for awarding electoral votes, presidential candidates would pay less attention to that state because only one electoral vote would probably be at stake in the state.

If states were to ever start adopting the whole-number proportional approach on a piecemeal basis, each additional state adopting the approach would increase the influence of the remaining states and thereby would decrease the incentive of the remaining states to adopt it. Thus, a state-by-state process of adopting the whole-number proportional approach would quickly bring itself to a halt, leaving the states that adopted it with only minimal influence in presidential elections.

The proportional method also could result in third party candidates winning electoral votes that would deny either major party candidate the necessary majority vote of electors and throw the process into Congress to decide.

If the whole-number proportional approach, the only proportional option available to an individual state on its own, had been in use throughout the country in the nation’s closest recent presidential election (2000), it would not have awarded the most electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most popular votes nationwide. Instead, the result would have been a tie of 269–269 in the electoral vote, even though Al Gore led by 537,179 popular votes across the nation. The presidential election would have been thrown into Congress to decide and resulted in the election of the second-place candidate in terms of the national popular vote.

A system in which electoral votes are divided proportionally by state would not accurately reflect the nationwide popular vote and would not make every vote equal.

It would penalize states, such as Montana, that have only one U.S. Representative even though it has almost three times more population than other small states with one congressman. It would penalize fast-growing states that do not receive any increase in their number of electoral votes until after the next federal census. It would penalize states with high voter turnout (e.g., Utah, Oregon).

Moreover, the fractional proportional allocation approach, which would require a constitutional amendment, does not assure election of the winner of the nationwide popular vote. In 2000, for example, it would have resulted in the election of the second-place candidate.

A national popular vote is the way to make every person's vote equal and matter to their candidate because it guarantees that the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states and DC becomes President.

"During the course of

"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..."
-No they don't. They preach then either don't do anything or do the opposite. Ex. Obama
"10 of the original 13 states are ignored now."
-Maybe they should work a little harder to get more people to move there.
"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."
-Well duh. Makes since. Why go somewhere that already likes you and open your mouth and screw it up? If there is no hope, why waste the effort/resources?
"80% of the states and people were just spectators to the presidential election. That's more than 85 million voters, 200 million Americans."
-I'm fine with that. I didn't want to see Obama or Romney anyway. Plus, a certain percentage of people need to be able to keep a level head and not be obsessed just because a candidate came to visit.
"States have the responsibility and power to make all of their voters relevant in every presidential election and beyond."
-Found a great quote which seems pretty close to my view...actually two.
1."As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” -H.L. Mencken
2.“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'” ― Isaac Asimov

Both quotes reflect my view that the Electoral College was meant to protect the public from their own ignorance/stupidity. Unless you are willing to assert that the public has become much wiser, which I would advise against factoring both the number of "sheeple" comments on the DP and the number of videos of people voting for Obama jus' cuz' he black would come to at least half the voting population, interfering with or altering the Electoral College by NPV or WTAR is a mistake. It is my belief that the Electoral college in each state should employ the district system of allocating electors and each elector should exercise independent judgment when voting. This would make the presidential elections much more personal since most people would be able to meet the electors and discuss issues, encouraging an informed and educated vote.

If ignorance is bliss, Washington DC must be heaven.

District Method Magnifies Worst Features of EC System

Dividing more states’ electoral votes by congressional district winners would magnify the worst features of the Electoral College system.

If the district approach were used nationally, it would be less fair and less accurately reflect the will of the people than the current system. In 2004, Bush won 50.7% of the popular vote, but 59% of the districts. Although Bush lost the national popular vote in 2000, he won 55% of the country's congressional districts.

The district approach would not provide incentive for presidential candidates to campaign in a particular state or focus the candidates' attention to issues of concern to the state. With the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all laws (whether applied to either districts or states), candidates have no reason to campaign in districts or states where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind. Nationwide, there are now only 35 "battleground" districts that were competitive in the 2012 presidential election. With the present deplorable 48 state-level winner-take-all system, 80% of the states (including California and Texas) are ignored in presidential elections; however, 92% of the nation's congressional districts would be ignored if a district-level winner-take-all system were used nationally.

Awarding electoral votes by congressional district could result in third party candidates winning electoral votes that would deny either major party candidate the necessary majority vote of electors and throw the process into Congress to decide.

Because there are generally more close votes on district levels than states as whole, district elections increase the opportunity for error. The larger the voting base, the less opportunity there is for an especially close vote.

Also, a second-place candidate could still win the White House without winning the national popular vote.

A national popular vote is the way to make every person's vote equal and matter to their candidate because it guarantees that the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states and DC becomes President.

okay...spam much?

if you're going to copy and paste the entire wikipedia article on the Electoral College, at least give credit.

And don't say you didn't copy and paste from somewhere. There is no way you could type all that in 8 minutes. time stamps don't lie.

NPV is not the solution. Winner-take-all isn't a good solution either.

I don't think the Electoral College is the cause of a lot of the criticisms though. It's the two party system that is the actual cause.

I would like the Electoral College to be more in line with the districts; but so long as we only have a two party system there are going to be issues regardless of how we allocate the votes. All NPV will do is pit the 51% against the 49%, large cities against rural areas. Sure it will increase voter turnout, but getting more people to vote won't help anything either.

If ignorance is bliss, Washington DC must be heaven.

Big City & Rural Number Realities

With National Popular Vote, big cities would not get all of candidates’ attention, much less control the outcome.
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 15% 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.

With a national popular vote, every vote everywhere will be equally important politically. There will be nothing special about a vote cast in a big city or big state. When every vote is equal, candidates of both parties will seek out voters in small, medium, and large towns throughout the states in order to win. A vote cast in a big city or state will be equal to a vote cast in a small state, town, or rural area.

Candidates would need 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 waitress mom voters in Ohio.

hmm...i wonder if i will get

hmm...i wonder if i will get an actual human to respond, or just some computer program copying and pasting from some pamphlet database. According to your comment records you've been posting the same NPV propaganda for some time now, to no avail. If you keep spitting the same copy and paste spam on here, Im gonna spam you back. How much do they pay you per post?

NPV is not a good solution to the problem.

Try to focus on the issue of the 2 party system point I made. do you agree or not?

If ignorance is bliss, Washington DC must be heaven.

Current System Punishes 3rd Party Candidates w Broad Support

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. In 2012, 56,256,178 (44%) of the 128,954,498 voters had their vote diverted by the winner-take-all rule to a candidate they opposed (namely, their state’s first-place candidate).

In 2012, as usual, only Republican and Democratic votes and voters mattered.
Candidates such as John Anderson (1980), Ross Perot (1992 and 1996), and Ralph Nader (2000) did not win a plurality of the popular vote in any state. All of their votes were diverted to a candidate they opposed. Their votes did not help their candidates or their policies.

The current state-by-state winner-take-all system discriminates against third-party candidates with broad-based support, while rewarding regional third-party candidates. In 1948, Strom Thurmond and Henry Wallace both got about 1.1 million popular votes, but Thurmond got 39 electoral votes (because his vote was concentrated in southern states), whereas Henry Wallace got none. Similarly, George Wallace got 46 electoral votes with 13% of the votes in 1968, while Ross Perot got 0 electoral votes with 19% of the national popular vote in 1992. The only thing the current system does is to punish candidates whose support is broadly based.

spam bot

spam bot

If ignorance is bliss, Washington DC must be heaven.

NPV is more than halfway to going into effect

Since being introduced in 2006, the National Popular Vote bill has passed 32 state legislative chambers in 21 rural, small, medium, and large states with 243 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 10 jurisdictions with 136 electoral votes – 50.4% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

The bill preserves the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections. It ensures that every vote is equal, every voter will matter, in every state, in every presidential election, and the candidate with the most votes wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

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.

Most Americans don't care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state or district . . . they care whether he/she wins the White House. Voters want to know, that even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was directly and equally counted and mattered to their candidate. Most Americans think it's wrong for the candidate with the most popular votes to lose. We don't allow this in any other election in our representative republic.

Now Rural Voters are Ignored

None of the 10 most rural states (VT, ME, WV, MS, SD, AR, MT, ND, AL, and KY) is a battleground state.

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 ignored. When and where voters are ignored, then so are the issues they care about most.

Support for a national popular vote in rural states: VT–75%, ME–77%, WV–81%, MS–77%, SD–75%, AR–80%, MT–72%, KY–80%, NH–69%, IA–75%,SC–71%, NC–74%, TN–83%, WY–69%, OK–81%, AK–70%, ID–77%, WI–71%, MO–70%, and NE–74%.

Vermont has enacted the National Popular Vote bill. The Maine Senate passed the National Popular Vote bill.

NationalPopularVote

Maine & Nebraska Voters Want National Popular Vote

Maine and Nebraska use the congressional district winner method.
Maine and Nebraska voters support a national popular vote.

A survey of Maine voters showed 77% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
In a follow-up question presenting a three-way choice among various methods of awarding Maine’s electoral votes,
* 71% favored a national popular vote;
* 21% favored Maine’s current system of awarding its electoral votes by congressional district; and
* 8% favored the statewide winner-take-all system (i.e., awarding all of Maine’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most votes statewide).
***

A survey of Nebraska voters showed 74% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
In a follow-up question presenting a three-way choice among various methods of awarding Nebraska’s electoral votes,
* 60% favored a national popular vote;
* 28% favored Nebraska’s current system of awarding its electoral votes by congressional district; and
* 13% favored the statewide winner-take-all system (i.e., awarding all of Nebraska’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most votes statewide).

NationalPopularVote

9 States Determined the 2012 Election

The National Popular Vote bill would end the disproportionate attention and influence of the "mob" in the current handful of closely divided battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida, while the "mobs" of the vast majority of states are ignored. 9 states determined the 2012 election.

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 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.

A vote in any state will be as sought after as a vote in Ohio or Florida. Part of the genius of the Founding Fathers was allowing for change as needed. When they wrote the Constitution, they didn’t give us the right to vote, or establish state-by-state winner-take-all laws for awarding electoral votes, or establish any method, for how states should award electoral votes. Fortunately, the Constitution allowed state legislatures to enact laws allowing people to vote and how to award electoral votes.

With NPV, Every Vote Would Count and Matter Everywhere

The indefensible reality is that more than 99% of campaign attention was showered on voters in just ten states in 2012- and that in today's political climate, the swing states have become increasingly fewer and fixed.

Even in the recent handful of states where a presidential vote matters to the candidates, the value of a vote is different.

Where you live should not determine how much, if at all, your vote matters.

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 conventions, will not reach out to about 80% 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.

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. 10 of the original 13 states are ignored now. Four out of five Americans were ignored in the 2012 presidential election. After being nominated, Obama visited just eight closely divided battleground states, and Romney visited only 10. These 10 states accounted for 98% of the $940 million spent on campaign advertising. They decided the election. None of the 10 most rural states mattered, as usual. About 80% of the country was ignored --including 19 of the 22 lowest population and medium-small states, and 17 medium and big states like CA, GA, NY, and TX. It was 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. 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.

80% of the states and people have been merely spectators to presidential elections. They have no influence. That's more than 85 million voters, 200 million Americans, ignored. When and where voters are ignored, then so are the issues they care about most.

The number and population of battleground states is shrinking.

In 1960, presidential campaigns paid attention to 35 states.
In 2008, Obama only campaigned in 14 states after being nominated.
In 2012, the presidential campaigns only cared about 9 swing states.

The number and population of battleground states is shrinking.

States' partisanship is hardening.

19 states (including California with 55 electoral votes) with a total of 242 electoral votes, have voted Democratic, 1992-2012
13 states with 102 electoral votes have voted Republican, 1992-2012

Some states have not been been competitive for more than a half-century and most states now have a degree of partisan imbalance that makes them highly unlikely to be in a swing state position. In a study before the 2012 election:
• 41 States Won by Same Party, 2000-2008
• 32 States Won by Same Party, 1992-2008
• 13 States Won Only by Republican Party, 1980-2008
• 19 States Won Only by Democratic Party, 1992-2008
• 9 Democratic States Not Swing State since 1988
• 15 GOP States Not Swing State since 1988
FairVote

Swing States Get Higher Priority

Policies important to the citizens of non-battleground states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to the handful of ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

Charlie Cook reported in 2004:
“Senior Bush campaign strategist Matthew Dowd pointed out yesterday that the Bush campaign hadn’t taken a national poll in almost two years; instead, it has been polling [in the then] 18 battleground states.” [only 10 in 2012]

In apportionment of federal grants by the executive branch, swing states received about 7.6% more federal grants and about 5.7% more federal grant money between 1992 and 2008 than would be expected based on patterns in other states.

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.

Compare the response to hurricane Katrina (in Louisiana, a "safe" state) to the federal response to hurricanes in Florida (a "swing" state) under Presidents of both parties. President Obama took more interest in the BP oil spill, once it reached Florida's shores, after it had first reached Louisiana. Some pandering policy examples include ethanol subsidies, Steel Tariffs, and Medicare Part D. Policies not given priority, include those most important to non-battleground states - like water issues in the west, and Pacific Rim trade issues.

“Maybe it is just a coincidence that most of the battleground states decided by razor-thin margins in 2008 have been blessed with a No Child Left Behind exemption. “ – Wall Street Journal , June 5, 2012

As of June 7, 2012 “Six current heavily traveled Cabinet members, have made more than 85 trips this year to electoral battlegrounds such as Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to a POLITICO review of public speeches and news clippings. Those swing-state visits represent roughly half of all travel for those six Cabinet officials this year.”

National Popular Vote bill does Not abolish th Electoral College

The National Popular Vote bill would change current state winner-take-all laws that award all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who get the most popular votes in each separate state (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since enacted by 48 states), to a system guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes for, and the Presidency to, the candidate getting the most popular votes in the entire United States.

The bill preserves the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections. It ensures that every vote is equal, every voter will matter, in every state, in every presidential election, and the candidate with the most votes wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

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. When states with a combined total of at least 270 electoral votes enact the bill, the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the needed majority of 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. The bill would thus guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes.

National Popular Vote has nothing to do with direct democracy. Direct democracy is a form of government in which people vote on policy initiatives directly. With National Popular Vote, the United States would still be a republic, in which citizens continue to elect the President by a majority of Electoral College votes by states, to represent us and conduct the business of government in the periods between elections.

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. In 2012, 56,256,178 (44%) of the 128,954,498 voters had their vote diverted by the winner-take-all rule to a candidate they opposed (namely, their state’s first-place 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.

When and where voters matter, then so do the issues they care about most.

"With National Popular Vote,

"With National Popular Vote, the United States would still be a republic, in which citizens continue to elect the President by a majority of Electoral College votes by states, to represent us and conduct the business of government in the periods between elections."
-The purpose of the Electoral College would be mute if they were/are forced to vote with the public.
"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...."
-The winner-take-all-rule also nullifies the Electoral College and is a mute point. Both attempts, NPV and WTAR, should not be allowed to continue.
"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...."
-No they wouldn't. They would still only focus on the states/cities that could get them the highest voter return for their efforts.
"When and where voters matter, then so do the issues they care about most."
-Exactly. That's why NPV will work just as well as WTAR.

I would bet you my life savings that the level of thought that went into either the NPV or WTAR (probably even combined) was no where near the level that went into the Constitution.

The NPV and WTAR are to the executive branch what the 17th Amendment was to the Senate. An uneducated, ill-conceived error that no one will have the balls to repeal once the system is screwed up.

If ignorance is bliss, Washington DC must be heaven.

Founders Did Not Design & Would Not Approve 80% Ignored Now

Anyone who supports the current presidential election system, believing it is what the Founders intended and that it is in the Constitution, is mistaken. The current presidential election system does not function, at all, the way that the Founders thought that it would.

Supporters of National Popular Vote find it hard to believe the Founding Fathers would endorse the current electoral system where 80% of the states and voters now are completely politically irrelevant. 10 of the original 13 states are ignored now.

The originator of the Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote, and supporters of the National Popular Vote bill wrote a definitive book, of over 800 pages.

EVERY VOTE EQUAL: A State-Based Plan For Electing The President By National Popular Vote

It answers 131 myths, such as those you present.

National Popular Vote is a nonpartisan coalition of legislators, scholars, constitutionalists and grassroots activists committed to preserving the Electoral College, while guaranteeing the presidency to the candidate who earns the most votes in all fifty states.
National Popular Vote believes in education about the issues, including confronting critics with inconvenient facts and research.

State-by-State Winner-Take-All is NOT in Constitution

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.

The constitutional delegates debated the method of electing the President on 22 separate days and held 30 votes on the topic. , As described in George C. Edwards III’s book Why the Electoral College Is Bad for America:
“The delegates were obviously perplexed about how to select the president, and their confusion is reflected in their voting. On July 17, for example, the delegates voted for selection of the president by the national legislature. Two days later they voted for selection by electors chosen by state legislatures. Five days after that, they again voted for selection by the nation legislature, a position they rejected the next day and then adopted again the day after that. Then, just when it appeared that the delegates had reached a consensus, they again turned the question over to a committee. This committee changed the convention’s course once more and recommended selection of the president by electors….”

In the end, the 1787 Constitutional Convention never agreed on a method for choosing the presidential electors. The matter was simply turned over to the state legislatures.

Unable to agree on any particular method for selecting presidential electors, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method exclusively to the states in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution-- "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . ." The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as "plenary" and "exclusive."

The Constitution does not prohibit any of the methods that were debated and rejected. Indeed, a majority of the states appointed their presidential electors using two of the rejected methods in the nation's first presidential election in 1789 (i.e., appointment by the legislature and by the governor and his cabinet). Presidential electors were appointed by state legislatures for almost a century.

Neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, universal suffrage, and the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation's first presidential election.

In 1789, in the nation's first election, the people had no vote for President in most states, only men who owned a substantial amount of property could vote, and only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all method to award electoral votes.

Now Only Closely Divided States Matter

Now candidates don't pay ANY ATTENTION to 80% of us - even where most states/cities get them the highest votes. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the cities and dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. They only pay attention to swing states, hoping to win them with just enough votes.

The largest seven non-battleground states of 2004, % of winning party, and margin of “wasted” popular votes, from among the total 122 Million votes cast nationally:
* Texas (62% Republican), 1,691,267
* New York (59% Democratic), 1,192,436
* Georgia (58% Republican), 544,634
* North Carolina (56% Republican), 426,778
* California (55% Democratic), 1,023,560
* Illinois (55% Democratic), 513,342
* New Jersey (53% Democratic), 211,826

To put these numbers in perspective, Oklahoma (a non-battleground state with 7 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 455,000 "wasted" votes for Bush in 2004 -- larger than the margin generated by the 9th and 10th largest non-battleground states, namely New Jersey and North Carolina (each with 15 electoral votes). Utah (a non-battleground state with 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 non-battleground state California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

Under National Popular Vote,

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.

When states with a combined total of at least 270 electoral votes enact the bill, the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the needed majority of 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. The bill would thus guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes.

Most Americans don't care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state or district . . . they care whether he/she wins the White House. Voters want to know, that even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was directly and equally counted and mattered to their candidate. Most Americans think it's wrong for the candidate with the most popular votes to lose. We don't allow this in any other election in our representative republic.

Supreme Court Upholds States' Power Over Electoral Votes

The Electoral College is now the set of 538 dedicated party activists, who vote as rubberstamps for presidential candidates. In the current presidential election system, 48 states award all of their electors to the winners of their state. This is not what the Founding Fathers 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.

Unable to agree on any particular method for selecting presidential electors, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method exclusively to the states in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution-- "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . ." The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as "plenary" and "exclusive."

The Constitution does not prohibit any of the methods that were debated and rejected. Indeed, a majority of the states appointed their presidential electors using two of the rejected methods in the nation's first presidential election in 1789 (i.e., appointment by the legislature and by the governor and his cabinet). Presidential electors were appointed by state legislatures for almost a century.

Neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, universal suffrage, and the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation's first presidential election.

In 1789, in the nation's first election, the people had no vote for President in most states, only men who owned a substantial amount of property could vote, and only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all method to award electoral votes.

The current 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method (i.e., awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in a particular state) is not entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. It is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, the debates of the Constitutional Convention, or the Federalist Papers. The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all method.

The constitutional wording does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for awarding the state's electoral votes.

As a result of changes in state laws enacted since 1789, the people have the right to vote for presidential electors in 100% of the states, there are no property requirements for voting in any state, and the state-by-state winner-take-all method is used by 48 of the 50 states. States can, and frequently have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years.

There have been 22,991 electoral votes cast since presidential elections became competitive (in 1796), and only 17 have been cast for someone other than the candidate nominated by the elector's own political party. 1796 remains the only instance when the elector might have thought, at the time he voted, that his vote might affect the national outcome. Since 1796, the Electoral College has had the form, but not the substance, of the deliberative body envisioned by the Founders. The electors now are dedicated party activists of the winning party who meet briefly in mid-December to cast their totally predictable rubberstamped votes in accordance with their pre-announced pledges.

If a Democratic presidential candidate receives the most votes, the state's dedicated Democratic party activists who have been chosen as its slate of electors become the Electoral College voting bloc. If a Republican presidential candidate receives the most votes, the state's dedicated Republican party activists who have been chosen as its slate of electors become the Electoral College voting bloc. The winner of the presidential election is the candidate who collects 270 votes from Electoral College voters from among the winning party's dedicated activists.

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld state laws guaranteeing faithful voting by presidential electors (because the states have plenary power over presidential electors).