The late Sen. Arlen Specter knew this very well, which is why he advocated for the status quo:
“I think it’d be very bad for Pennsylvania because we wouldn’t attract attention from Washington on important funding projects for the state. We are trying to get more funding now for the deepening of the port [of Philadelphia]. When I was on the Appropriations Committee, we got $77 million over the years … We are trying to get the president to do more."That's awesome for Pennsylvania, not so awesome for the rest of the country.
“Under the current electoral system, [President] Obama has good reason to give us the money to carry Pennsylvania. Because presidents think that way, it affects their decisions … In 2004, when I ran with [President George W.] Bush, he … came to Pennsylvania 44 times, and he was looking for items the state needed to help him win the state. … It’s undesirable to change the system so presidents won’t be asking us always for what we need, what they can do for us.”
So what's the alternative? It's the National Popular Vote, where every vote in every state by every American is just as important as anywhere else. It would be democracy, not this mess we have now. I wrote about this way back in January, and will write about it some more later. But it's a genuine democratic ideal. It's brain-dead commonsensical.
So how can we accomplish this despite the constitutional establishment of the Electoral College? Via an interstate compact that requires states to cast its electoral votes for the winner of the popular vote. To go into effect, it would require the adoption by states representing 50 percent of the nation's total electoral votes.
CA, DC, HI, IL, MD, MA, NJ, VT and WA had all passed the law, accounting for 132 of the necessary 270 electoral votes. A bill has passed both houses of the state legislature in Colorado and Rhode Island. What do these states all have in common? They're all Blue to Purple states, where memories of 2000 linger. The best thing that could happen for this effort would be for Mitt Romney to win the popular vote and lose Electoral College, but that won't happen. But the mere possibility, often discussed the past couple of weeks, could properly motivate them.
This is a democracy. We should acting like one, and the first rule of a democracy is that every vote is equal.