Comment: Current System Punishes 3rd Party Candidates w Broad Support

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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.