Skip to main content

View Diary: What is National Popular Vote, and why should we care (187 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  DC would finally (0+ / 0-)

    be able to punch its weight in elections. The small number of electoral votes that DC has in relation to its size is particularly disenfranchising, but with every vote counting toward a national outcome the actual number of electoral votes doesn't matter anymore. In fact, the overwhelmingly Dem voting behavior of DC would make it even more important.

    Thinking about the change in campaign behavior it seems that rather than focusing on hair-thin victories in battlegrounds, NPV would make campaigns actually focus on areas that offer the largest net gain. Winning Ohio by 60,000 votes means nothing on a national scale when stepped up GOtV in a few Oakland precincts could cancel that out.

    Overall, neither party would seem to hold an inherent advantage through NPV. Dem voters tend to be urban dwellers, offering a more accessible audience but costs are significantly higher in metro areas for staff, office space, and especially advertising. Rural and exurban areas are harder to reach, but are dirt cheap to staff and often are in much less expensive media markets... though that depends on where they get their broadcasts from.

    I support NPV, but I see it as one step in making our democracy work. Frankly, NPV would be revolutionary and would be a benefit to our democratic process for maybe two election cycles. Once the new ground rules are thoroughly gamed out, both parties will settle into a new equilibrium that will most likely resemble the current system.

    The big thing is getting to the next step in fully realizing our democratic ideals-- campaign finance. NPV will be expensive beyond all reckoning. There's no way that the political industrial complex we now have will simply reallocate resources in a reasonable fashion and adapt to the new circumstances. They will probably hang tough with the current battleground  campaigning tactics and just expand everywhere. That will have to be paid for and so the barrier to entry for the honest candidate of modest means becomes that much higher while the incentive to whore out to the higher bidder would be that much greater.

    •  Candidates Raise as Much as They Can (0+ / 0-)

      Presidential candidates currently do everything within their power to raise as much money as they possibly can from donors throughout the country. They then allocate the money that they raise nationally to places where it will do the most good toward their goal of winning the election.

      Money doesn't grow on trees. The fact that candidates would spend their money more broadly (that is, in all 50 states and DC) would not, in itself, loosen up the wallet of a single donor anywhere in the country. Candidates will continue to try to raise as much money as economic considerations permit. Economic considerations by donors determines how much money will be available, not the existence of an increases number of places where the money might be spent.

      With the current system, they spend two-thirds of their time and money in just six closely divided battleground states; 80% in just nine states; and 99% in just 16 states. That's precisely what they should do in order to get elected with the current system, because the voters of two-thirds of the states simply don't matter. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the concerns of voters in states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind.  Over 85 million voters are ignored.

      If every vote mattered throughout the United States, as it would under a national popular vote, candidates would reallocate the money they raise.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site