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

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  •  Interstate Compact Is Legal and Good for Democracy (0+ / 0-)

    Having to do a national recount would cause much less of a problem than the current nightmare scenario of an Electoral College 270-270 tie.  This did happen and least once and the politics got very ugly very fast in the House of Representatives, which decides the election if there's a tie.  I think it was the 1880 election, and if I recall right, the political consequence was the Southern states were allowed to institute the Jim Crow laws (that's because "Reconstruction" ended in a trade off to get the votes of the Southern representatives).

    Your concern with the Interstate Compacts is misplaced,  There are lots of Interstate Compacts in place now, they have a long history, there's no attack on the Constitution in the use of an Interstate Compact to agree that whoever wins the popular vote gets the electoral votes of all the states in the Compact.  In fact, this is a rather thoughtful recognition of the one man one vote rule without actually discontinuing the Electoral College.

    A major reason to support a popular vote election is that this will require the Parties to campaign where the most votes are, instead of putting inordinate amounts of time and energy into a few "in play" states to the neglect of California, New York and Texas, for example.

    The point here is that it's not any anticipated result in favor of either party that is what's driving this.  It's concern for the process, when the large majority of voters in solid Blue and solid Red states just get ignored during the Presidential elections.

    •  That should have read a 269-269 tie vote (0+ / 0-)

      I forgot that you need 270 votes to win the election, so the tie vote count would be 269-269.

    •  With respect to your remarks (0+ / 0-)

      The Tilden-Hayes election did not lead to a National Recount.  There were disputes about only a small number of electors, 20, if I recall correctly.

      I think you mistook my point about a national recount.  There is no national recount statute.  There are 50 state recounts.  If the National election is close, but the election in East Dakota was not close, and the East Dakotans heartily reject the Compact, they may very well refuse to perform a recount, even though there is reason to suppose that errors in East Dakota affected the national though not the East Dakota Outcome. After all, the fine people of Hoople have no reason to waste their money on your compact.

      With respect to Interstate Compacts, I believe that your enthusiasm is entirely misplaced.  There will be large numbers of conservatives who firmly believe that the agreement giving small states an additional voice in choosing the President is sacrosanct, and that the compact fundamentally voids the basic compromises creating the Constitution.

      Mind you, at the point it is obvious that the compact is mostly signed by green states, and the gold candidate won the popular vote but lost the electoral college under current rules, there will be much more said.

      Readers unfamiliar with the state of East Dakota, Capital Hoople, should consult their local musicologist.

      "Force people to campaign where the most votes are" is also, imho, mistaken.  It forces people to campaign where the media markets are most effective in a dollar sense, which probably means dumping places like NYC and LA.

      We can have change for the better.

      by phillies on Tue Dec 13, 2011 at 08:05:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Small State Voters Support a National Popular Vote (1+ / 0-)
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        Anyone concerned about the relative power of big states and small states should realize that the current system shifts power from voters in the small and medium-small states to voters in the current handful of big states.

        With National Popular Vote, when every vote counts equally, successful candidates will find a middle ground of policies appealing to the wide mainstream of America.  Instead of playing mostly to local concerns in Ohio and Florida, candidates finally would have to form broader platforms for broad national support.

        Now political clout comes from being among the handful of battleground states.  More than 2/3rds of states and voters are ignored.

        Now with state-by-state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since 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, presidential elections ignore 12 of the 13 lowest population states (3-4 electoral votes), that are non-competitive in presidential elections. 6 regularly vote Republican (AK, ID, MT, WY, ND, and SD), and 6 regularly vote Democratic (RI, DE, HI, VT, ME, and DC) in presidential elections. When and where votes don't matter, candidates ignore those areas and the issues they care about most.

        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.  Support in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK -70%, DC -76%, DE --75%, ID -77%, ME - 77%, MT- 72%,  NE - 74%, NH--69%, NE - 72%, NM - 76%, RI - 74%,  SD- 71%, UT- 70%, VT - 75%, WV- 81%,  and WY- 69%.

        In the lowest population states, the National Popular Vote bill has passed in nine state legislative chambers, and has been enacted by three jurisdictions.


        With the current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes, it could only take winning a bare plurality of popular votes in the 11 most populous states, containing 56% of the population of the United States, for a candidate to win the Presidency -- that is, a mere 26% of the nation's votes.

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