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View Diary: Who's Afraid of the Popular Vote? (128 comments)

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  •  Big City Realities (8+ / 0-)

    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 19% of the population of the United States.  

    Suburbs and exurbs often vote Republican.

    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.

    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 National Popular Vote bill would not change the need for candidates to build a winning coalition across demographics. 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. 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 voters in Ohio.

    •  You're focusing entirely on (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      melfunction, ozsea1

      a "central-cities vs. everyone else" dynamic that isn't really at the heart of the objections. I can't imagine anyone arguing that candidates would focus only on LA proper, NY proper, etc., under a popular vote.

      Rather, what seems more likely is that they would focus on large metro areas, to the exclusion of rural areas. Democrats would push hard for GOTV in the central cities and some older suburbs, while Republicans would GOTV in newer suburbs and exurbs. It's true that a vote is a vote -- but when you look at the marginal cost per vote of campaigning in metro areas vs. rural areas, it's really no contest. And I think that's the heart of the objection, as I understand it. I do favor the npv -- but I'd like to see that objection addressed more directly.

      With every goddess a let down, every idol a bring down, it gets you down / but the search for perfection, your own predilection, goes on and on and on. . .

      by cardinal on Tue Dec 13, 2011 at 10:10:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  TV Cost Much More Per Impression in Big Cities (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey, ozsea1, bnasley

        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.

      •  You could just as easily make the counter argument (0+ / 0-)

        that a lot of candidates deliberately pick out rural counties to use for photo-ops because they want to appear 'folksy' and in touch with 'Heartland America'.

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