The National (Un)Popular Vote

Sometime late last week, I saw something that caught my attention as I was scrolling through my Twitter feed.  The governor of California, Jerry Brown, apparently signed into law his state’s intention to abide by the National Popular Vote Bill.   At the site http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/, the header reads:

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the entire United States. The bill preserves the Electoral College, while ensuring that every vote in every state will matter in every presidential election. The National Popular Vote law has been enacted by states possessing 132 electoral votes — 49% of the 270 electoral votes needed to activate it.

At first glance, I became a bit alarmed, as I’ve always assumed that such an initiative would (a) seriously compromise the integrity of the Electoral College and (b) always throw a national election in favor of the Democrats, based on the size of certain states that always vote down the left side of the ballot and the corresponding number of electoral votes.  While I’ll still maintain that the current system that we employ is the better of the two, I was somewhat surprised–as I believe many of the usual America’s Right readers may be–and interested with what I found.

The actual reason that led me to looking into this issue a bit more deeply was that after having read the article about California’s dropping its name into the popular vote hat, I immediately went on to Facebook to post a warning about the act’s possible consequences.  Two of my lifelong friends responded to my post, both of whom are great guys but unfortunately do lean left.

One of those life-long friends, a very politically-astute buddy named Chris, provided a quite detailed response.  While I read it several times and still wasn’t convinced, being a common-sense guy, I always want as much information on a subject before I come to a definitive decision.  For that reason, I went to another friend of mine, one of the erstwhile American history teachers at the school at which I teach and a man who, quite honestly, knows our real history and the Constitution cold.

In the course of explaining my conundrum, I explained that Chris had provided a pretty lengthy and detailed opposing argument, which I presented.  After reading over the Facebook back-and-forth several times, my colleague said, “unfortunately, he’s correct — constitutionally, that is.”

I suppose, as conservatives who revere the Constitution as a static document, we would normally end the conversation there and then.  What I’ve discovered, however, is that there is, in fact, another way to view this issue through the “static” prism.

My colleague provided me with additional information to consider, as well as a copy of Federalist No. 68, written by Alexander Hamilton, which defends the use of the electoral college in selecting the president of the United States.  As I’ve said in previous articles here at AR, Hamilton–almost universally considered the most brilliant of the Founding Fathers–scares the hell out of me.  After all the reading that I’ve done about the Founders, the only way that I can accurately characterize Hamilton’s intellect is to call it “ferocious”; he was a brilliant man, no doubt, but I think he was a bit scary, too.  His reputation during the Revolution also spoke volumes about that ferocity.

While I feel that I know a lot more about our Constitution than I did a decade ago, I am by no means a scholar on the subject; certainly, both Jeff Schreiber and my academic colleague know a lot more than I do.  My friend, Chris, may even find some interesting points here, especially when I say that in the truest sense of the debate he is both right and wrong.

First, let’s start with one thing that I feel most conservatives already know — those politically-active people in our country who consider themselves Liberals or even far-Leftists know that their ideas are almost always universally rejected by mainstream Americans, as we are by and large a people who put great value in personal freedom, personal responsibility, and self-reliance.  Consequently, Liberals have always had a very difficult time getting their ideas to pass Congress in the form of laws, as the Constitution–that big, ugly roadblock that restrains government power and “negatively liberates” the American people, according to our current president–generally does not allow for the federal government’s becoming the caretaker of the people; rather, it calls on the federal government to protect the people’s individual rights to call their own shots in life.

Concurrently, since Liberals have a very difficult time “getting their way” via the Constitution, they usually attack it in one of two ways, or both: they either claim it to be a “living,” malleable document that changes with the times, or they try to circumvent it and go around it.  The latter of the two is, I feel, what the Left is attempting to do in a very quiet way with regard to the Electoral College (after all, how many Americans are really aware that this is beginning to pick up a bit of steam?), simply because the real and honorable manner of bringing about such a fundamental change–an amendment to the Constitution–would more than likely never gain the requisite support of three-quarters of the House and Senate.

So, if you can’t get your way, find a way – I suppose.

Of course, any discussion here has to start with Article II of the Constitution, which reads as follows:

1.2 Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector.

Clearly, the Founders’ intentions ring loudly and clearly here and, according to my colleague, provides the firm basis for Chris’s being constitutionally correct.  If a state signs into law its intention to award its electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, then so be it.  That’s the right of the individual state.

What must also be considered here, though, is not only the constitutionality of the law but the spirit of the Framers’ intentions.  The Founders went to incredible lengths and degrees to find that very fine balance between federal and state power and to reduce the abstract concept of “power” down to its smallest component parts.  If they wanted a national popular vote to decide the presidential election, it would have been very easy for them to do so. They deliberately went out of their way to ensure that that would not be the case.  Obviously, what we’ve seen from the current administration is that their true intention is to consolidate as much power at the federal level as possible.

Let’s take a look at the election over which most liberals seemingly still lose sleep, the hotly-debated 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore.  Most people will recall that the result of the election came down to contested votes in a certain county in Florida, a county that ended up tipping the electoral vote to Bush, since by narrowly taking Florida by hundreds of votes he was awarded all of that state’s 27 electoral votes.  Bush won the election by a count of 270 electoral votes (the minimum number required for victory) to Gore’s 268.  Had there not been a controversy–which, if I remember, centered on the placement of Pat Buchanan’s name on the butterfly ballot–Gore might have taken Florida and won electorally by 295-243 in addition to having already won the popular vote (certainly, the Almighty must have intervened; otherwise, we’d all have Franklin stoves in the center of our one-room flats).  The electoral map of that election, however, reveals something very, very interesting.  Have a look at this:

Even if Gore had turned Florida blue, what is beyond the shadow of a doubt the tenor–or the overall “voice” of the country, if you will–calling for?  See, that’s what the electoral college does: it provides a safeguard against “true democracy” (which can lead to mob rule) and preserves the true nature of our Constitutional Republic.

Let’s take yet another example.  The electoral results of the 2008 election were a landslide, as Barack Obama defeated John McCain 365-173, which is by every measure a landslide.  The electoral map, however, looked like this:

Obama did win the popular vote as well, but not by much.  The “voice” of the country was much, much more divided than the seemingly conclusive electoral count.

Those on the Left maintain–and to a certain strong extent, they’re correct–that as the electoral process currently stands, presidential candidates are never going to exhaust their resources in states with a very small number of electoral votes, such as my state, Rhode Island, which only has four.  Presidential candidates are much more likely to concentrate their efforts and resources in the “battleground” states, those states that usually don’t always vote along strict party lines (unlike California or Texas) and have the number of electoral votes that could conceivably swing an election.  Liberals consistently maintain that the votes in states such as Rhode Island amount to nothing in the final tally.  They argue that if there were a true popular vote, each person’s vote would count the same as everyone else’s nationwide.  As I stated earlier, they’re both right and wrong.

If the National Popular Vote were enacted, Presidential candidates would still restrict their resources, but they would more than likely concentrate their efforts in the biggest states rather than the battleground states.  Further, they would probably do this contrary to the reason that you might initially think.  If all states awarded their electoral votes to the national winner and everyone’s vote counted the same, that might become an inducement for more Republicans in California, for example, to come out to vote.  It’s a pretty good bet that a lot of Republicans in California don’t even bother venturing out to an election site on the first Tuesday in November, because they understandably feel that their one vote isn’t going to amount to anything.

Under this new system, they might still lose the popular vote in California but, based on the national results, the Republican candidate could “steal” all of California’s 55 electoral votes.  Likewise, a liberal Democrat in Texas might now make the effort to vote for the very same reason.  In Rhode Island, more Republicans might vote — which would, as my friend Chris stated, result in my vote truly meaning something.

If the California scenario were ever to happen, though, I’m sure we’d then hear those on the Left howling that the results weren’t fair, that California’s or Washington States’s electoral votes should go to the Democrat, when in fact it would have been their own law that led them to defecating in their own oatmeal.

As the National Popular Vote bill currently stands, there are enough states on board to have accrued 132 electoral votes.  According to the initiative, once that number reaches 270, it becomes law.  As I stated at the outset of this piece, it is apparently a constitutionally-allowable movement.  In the end, though, let me offer two observations:

  1. If enacted, this may in fact benefit Republicans more than the Left thinks; I wonder if they’ve truly thought this through.  One thing we know for certain is that the Left can never be accused of considering of looking before they leap.  I’m betting that many of them simply see this as a vehicle around the Constitution that will result in a more clean, ”democratic” vote.
  2. In Federalist No. 68, Hamilton himself said, “I venture somewhat further, and hesitate not to affirm that if the manner of it be not perfect, it is at least excellent.  It unites in an eminent degree all the advantages the union of which was to be desired.”

In a word, it results in balance between state and national concerns.  Let us not forget the “spirit” of our laws as well as their specific legalities.

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Comments

  1. The Democrats are counting on illegal votes, especially from illegal immigrants. There are more than enough of them, not only in California but in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, and who knows where else, to swing the popular vote the Democrats way in any otherwise tight race. When the votes have all been counted, you can always count on Democrats to find a ballot stuffed full of Democrat votes.

    This is a lot of crap anyway. The constitution would have to be amended to allow for such a change as it goes against the spirit of proportional representation of states by population. Any judge that says otherwise needs to be impeached.

  2. kohler says:

    National Popular Vote is a nonpartisan coalition of legislators, scholars, constitutionalists and grassroots activists committed to preserving the Electoral College, while guaranteeing the presidency to the candidate who earns the most votes in all fifty states.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support is strong among Republican voters, Democratic voters, and independent voters, as well as every demographic group surveyed in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in closely divided battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and border states: AR – 80%,, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%.

    By state (electoral college votes), by political affiliation, support for a national popular vote in recent polls has been:

    Alaska (3)- 78% among (Democrats), 66% among (Republicans), 70% among Nonpartisan voters, 82% among Alaska Independent Party voters, and 69% among others.
    Arkansas (6)- 88% (D), 71% (R), and 79% (Independents).
    California (55)– 76% (D), 61% (R), and 74% (I)
    Colorado (9)- 79% (D), 56% (R), and 70% (I).
    Connecticut (7)- 80% (D), 67% (R), and 71% others
    Delaware (3)- 79% (D), 69% (R), and 76% (I)
    District of Columbia (3)- 80% (D), 48% (R), and 74% of (I)
    Idaho(4) – 84% (D), 75% (R), and 75% others
    Florida (29)- 88% (D), 68% (R), and 76% others
    Iowa (6)- 82% (D), 63% (R), and 77% others
    Kentucky (8)- 88% (D), 71% (R), and 70% (I)
    Maine (4) – 85% (D), 70% (R), and 73% others
    Massachusetts (11)- 86% (D), 54% (R), and 68% others
    Michigan (16)- 78% (D), 68% (R), and 73% (I)
    Minnesota (10)- 84% (D), 69% (R), and 68% others
    Mississippi (6)- 79% (D), 75% (R), and 75% Others
    Nebraska (5)- 79% (D), 70% (R), and 75% Others
    Nevada (5)- 80% (D), 66% (R), and 68% Others
    New Hampshire (4)- 80% (D), 57% (R), and 69% (I)
    New Mexico (5)- 84% (D), 64% (R), and 68% (I)
    New York (29) – 86% (D), 66% (R), 78% Independence Party members, 50% Conservative Party members, 100% Working Families Party members, and 7% Others
    North Carolina (15)- 75% liberal (D), 78% moderate (D), 76% conservative (D), 89% liberal (R), 62% moderate (R) , 70% conservative (R), and 80% (I)
    Ohio (18)- 81% (D), 65% (R), and 61% Others
    Oklahoma (7)- 84% (D), 75% (R), and 75% others
    Oregon (7)- 82% (D), 70% (R), and 72% (I)
    Pennsylvania (20)- 87% (D), 68% (R), and 76% (I)
    Rhode Island (4)- 86% liberal (D), 85% moderate (D), 60% conservative (D), 71% liberal (R), 63% moderate (R), 35% conservative (R), and 78% (I),
    South Dakota (3)- 84% (D), 67% (R), and 75% others
    Tennessee (11) –78% (D), 73% (R)
    Utah (6)- 82% (D), 66% (R), and 75% others
    Vermont (3)- 86% (D); 61% (R), and 74% Others
    Virginia (13)- 79% liberal (D), 86% moderate (D), 79% conservative (D), 76% liberal (R), 63% moderate (R), and 54% conservative (R), and 79% Others
    Washington (12)- 88% (D), 65% (R), and 73% others
    West Virginia (5)- 87% (D), 75% (R), and 73% others
    Wisconsin (10)- 81% (D), 63% (R), and 67% (I)
    Wyoming (3) – 77% (D), 66% (R), and 72% (I)
    http://tinyurl.com/3oyeejj

  3. Please don’t accept the National Popular Vote campaign’s gloss on the Constitution or their claim to be non-partisan. The effort was created, it led, and is largely funded by John Koza–a Gore elector and radical leftist from California. The Constitution says, as you point out, that the state appoints in the manner the legislature directs … why doesn’t it just say, “the legislature appoints”? Because the legislature’s job is to appoint electors on behalf of the state, that is, to represent the interests of the state in the presidential election. The provision is not intended to allow the legislature to create a process that appoints electors based on something extrinsic to the state. This is complex and hasn’t been directly litigated, but National Popular Vote runs against the Founders intent and possibly against the letter of the Constitution.

    National Popular Vote would also shift the locus of power more in the direction of urban areas, and it would create the possibility of centralizing more control over election processes in Washington, D.C. Neither of those are things that conservatives, libertarians, constitutionalists, or any other right-thinking Americans should support.

    Thanks for being interested in this issue–it gets right to the heart of what makes us a Republic.

  4. Dee says:

    John, thanks for a very interesting and elightening article. I agree that this would give more power to the urban areas. I am also skeptical about anything that the Democrats of this administration think is a good idea. When I hear that the administration likes something or someone, I become very wary about it. There has not been much coverage about this in the MSM and I wonder why and what the public would think if they knew.

  5. Carlyle says:

    Good job John! This initiative will be pretty much the last straw that turns the US into a Mob Rule, lowest common denominator, slum.

    But you did not quite get to the nub yet. Talk to your constitutional expert friends again. Read the Federalist Papers. There should NEVER be a disagreement between a popular vote and an electoral vote. This is a false dichotomy and a tempest in a teapot.

    WANH? You say?

    Why do we have two potentially conflicting types of voting? Is THAT constitutional? HELL NO! The Electoral Process is the ONLY and SINGLE constitutionally sanctioned process. It is supposed to be a deliberative process, not a national beauty contest. There should be no campaigning, no debates, no candidates.

    Go to your history. Here in a nutshell is how it is supposed to work:

    1. Each state chooses representatives (i.e. “Electors”) whom they trust to uphold the interests of the State and the people in that state.

    2. In many ways like the familiar College of Cardinals, these Electors are supposed to meet and deliberate and choose the president. Perhaps typically from among their own ranks.

    3. The “regular person” engaged in his day to day duties of raising a family, working at a job or career, is simply too-far removed from the necessary details to make any other than an “American Idol” type of vote. The Electors would typically be the best informed and focused on national political issues, and could further become even more informed (via briefings, hearings, discussions, etc.) as in initial and integral part of the Electoral Process.

    This is all very simple and brilliant. But like almost everything in the Constitution, it has been intrepreted (remember the famous ruling: “shadows and penumbras of the constitution), and ground away by the carborundum of the Great Progressive Agenda.

    MOB RULE DOES NOT AND CANNOT WORK. It will either destroy a nation in utter chaos or will lead to an absolute dictator to “save us from the chaos”. There is NO OTHER POSSIBLE OUTCOME. Why do we want to do this to ourselves?

    PS – just as a further example – Popular vote for a President is as ridiculous and as ineffective and unpractical as dismantling congress and having all legislation be handled by a plebiscite.

    PPS – Read Geo Wash’s Farewell Address if you want to see a scathing and prescient rebuke of political parties (which in turn are created for the express purpose of influencing the popular vote!). EVERYTHING he predicted is NOW happening MULTIPLIED and SQUARED.

  6. kohler says:

    Tom Golisano, billionaire registered Republican businessman and philanthropist, is a substantial $upporter of and spokesperson for National Popular Vote.

    2/3rds of the states and people have been just spectators to the presidential elections. That’s more than 85 million voters.

    States have the responsibility and power to make their voters relevant in every presidential election.

    Unable to agree on any particular method, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method for selecting presidential electors exclusively to the states by adopting the language contained in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution– “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . .” The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as “plenary” and “exclusive.”

    Federalism concerns the allocation of power between state governments and the national government. The National Popular Vote bill concerns how votes are tallied, not how much power state governments possess relative to the national government. The powers of state governments are neither increased nor decreased based on whether presidential electors are selected along the state boundary lines, or national lines (as with the National Popular Vote).

    The U.S. Constitution specifically permits diversity of election laws among the states because it explicitly gives the states control over the conduct of presidential elections (article II). The National Popular Vote compact is patterned directly after existing federal law.

    The National Popular Vote bill is a state-based approach. It preserves the Electoral College and state control of elections. It changes the way electoral votes are awarded in the Electoral College.

    Under National Popular Vote, every vote is equal.

    21% of Americans live in rural areas.

    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 obscurely far down as Arlington, TX) is only 19% of the population of the United States.
    Suburbs and exurbs often vote Republican.

    The Republic is not in any danger from National Popular Vote.

    Under National Popular Vote, citizens would continue to elect the President by a majority of state Electoral College votes, to represent them and conduct the business of government in the periods between elections.

  7. kohler says:

    In 1969, The U.S. House of Representatives voted for a national popular vote by a 338–70 margin. It was endorsed by Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, and Bob Dole.

    On June 7, 2011, the Republican-controlled New York Senate passed the National Popular Vote bill by a 47–13 margin, with Republicans favoring the bill by 21–11. Republicans endorsed by the Conservative Party favored the bill 17–7.

    Jason Cabel Roe, a lifelong conservative activist and professional political consultant wrote in National Popular Vote is Good for Republicans: “I strongly support National Popular Vote. It is good for Republicans, it is good for conservatives, it is good for California, and it is good for America. National Popular Vote is not a grand conspiracy hatched by the Left to manipulate the election outcome.
    It is a bipartisan effort of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to allow every state – and every voter – to have a say in the selection of our President, and not just the 15 Battle Ground States.

    National Popular Vote is not a change that can be easily explained, nor the ramifications thought through in sound bites. It takes a keen political mind to understand just how much it can help . . . Republicans. . . .Opponents either have a knee-jerk reaction to the idea or don’t fully understand it. . . . We believe that the more exposure and discussion the reform has the more support that will build for it.”

    Former Tennessee U.S. Senator and 2008 presidential candidate Fred Thompson(R), former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar (R), and former U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO) are co-champions of National Popular Vote.

    Saul Anuzis, former Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party for five years and a former candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee, supports the National Popular Vote plan as the fairest way to make sure every vote matters, and also as a way to help Conservative Republican candidates. This is not a partisan issue and the NPV plan would not help either party over the other.

    Some other supporters who wrote forewords to “Every Vote Equal: A State-Based Plan for Electing the President by National Popular Vote ” include:

    Laura Brod served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2003 to 2010 and was the ranking Republican member of the Tax Committee. She is the Minnesota Public Sector Chair for ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and active in the Council of State Governments.

    James Brulte who served as Republican Leader of the California State Assembly from 1992 to 1996, California State Senator from 1996 to 2004, and Senate Republican leader from 2000 to 2004.

    Ray Haynes served as the National Chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in 2000. He served in the California State Senate from 1994 to 2002 and was elected to the Assembly in 1992 and 2002

    Dean Murray is a member of the New York State Assembly. He was a Tea Party organizer before being elected to the Assembly as a Republican, Conservative Party member in February 2010. He was described by Fox News as the first Tea Party candidate elected to office in the United States.

    Thomas L. Pearce served as a Michigan State Representative from 2005–2010 and was appointed Dean of the Republican Caucus. He has led several faith-based initiatives in Lansing.

  8. kohler says:

    Dee, I have not seen any “Democrats of this administration” thinking it is a good idea, mentioned here or anywhere else. What’s your source(s)?

  9. kohler says:

    Prior to arriving at the eventual wording of section 1 of Article II, the Constitutional Convention specifically voted against a number of different methods for selecting the President, including
    ● having state legislatures choose the President,
    ● having governors choose the President, and
    ● a national popular vote.
    After these (and other) methods were debated and rejected, the Constitutional Convention decided to leave the entire matter to the states.

    The constitution does not prohibit any of the methods that were debated and rejected. Indeed, a majority of the states appointed their presidential electors using two of the rejected methods in the nation’s first presidential election in 1789 (i.e., appointment by the legislature and by the governor and his cabinet). Presidential electors were appointed by state legislatures for almost a century.

    The constitutional wording does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for awarding the state’s electoral votes.

    &&
    The National Popular Vote bill would end the disproportionate attention and influence of the “mob” in the current handful of closely divided battleground states, such as Florida, while the “mobs” of the vast majority of states are ignored. 98% of the 2008 campaign events involving a presidential or vice-presidential candidate occurred in just 15 closely divided “battleground” states. Over half (57%) of the events were in just four states (Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia). Similarly, 98% of ad spending took place in these 15 “battleground” states.

    &&
    Under the current system, the 11 most populous states contain 56% of the population of the United States, and a candidate could win the Presidency by winning a mere 51% of the vote in just these 11 biggest states — that is, a mere 26% of the nation’s votes.

    But the political reality is that the 11 largest states rarely agree on any political question. In terms of recent presidential elections, the 11 largest states include five “red states (Texas, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Georgia) and six “blue” states (California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey). The fact is that the big states are just about as closely divided as the rest of the country. For example, among the four largest states, the two largest Republican states (Texas and Florida) generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Bush, while the two largest Democratic states generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Kerry.

    Moreover, the notion that any candidate could win 100% of the vote in one group of states and 0% in another group of states is far-fetched. Indeed, among the 11 most populous states in 2004, the highest levels of popular support , hardly overwhelming, were found in the following seven non-battleground states:
    * Texas (62% Republican),
    * New York (59% Democratic),
    * Georgia (58% Republican),
    * North Carolina (56% Republican),
    * Illinois (55% Democratic),
    * California (55% Democratic), and
    * New Jersey (53% Democratic).

    In addition, the margins generated by the nation’s largest states are hardly overwhelming in relation to the 122,000,000 votes cast nationally. Among the 11 most populous states, the highest margins were the following seven non-battleground states:
    * Texas — 1,691,267 Republican
    * New York — 1,192,436 Democratic
    * Georgia — 544,634 Republican
    * North Carolina — 426,778 Republican
    * Illinois — 513,342 Democratic
    * California — 1,023,560 Democratic
    * New Jersey — 211,826 Democratic

    To put these numbers in perspective, Oklahoma (7 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 455,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004 — larger than the margin generated by the 9th and 10th largest states, namely New Jersey and North Carolina (each with 15 electoral votes). Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004. 8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

  10. Carlyle says:

    Oh, Mr. Kohler – you scare the living spit out of me!

    Silver tongued, maybe, but what twisted logic!!

    Your proposal is not “election reform” it is
    blatant Social Engineering. A perverse and
    proactive attempt to shift (“redistribute”)
    the balance of power.

    At bottom, the argument is not about which party
    would benefit, it is about whether America as a
    whole would benefit. NO NO NO NO.

    The Electoral Process has been perverted enough
    already! Your assertions that it would be left
    alone or strengthened fall in the same class of
    “truth” as Obama saying that Obamacare would not
    fund abortions or illegal immigrants. BOSH!

    There is a simple litmus test I encourage everybody
    to apply to these things. Does it bring us closer
    to the letter AND SPIRIT of the constitution or move
    us further away.

    One direction is always good,
    the other is always bad.

    Yes, sometimes things really ARE that simple!!!

    We must NEVER forget the beauty and purpose of a
    representative government. We must not lose sight
    of why a representative government is necessary.
    It is not simply for convenience. The key concept
    is DELIBERATION. We elect people we trust to
    form themselves into a “committee” or “task group”
    to conduct our business for us. These people have
    the time and other wherewithal to become fully
    informed (and even initiated into the arcana and
    secrets) so that GOOD DECISIONS can be made. Do
    we REALLY think a Popularity Contest is the right
    way to choose the most powerful and most dangerous
    position in the entire world? God help us!!!

    Just like Senators and Representatives, Electors
    are to be chosen by the people (and, yes, by the
    states) to do an important job. That job is NOT
    to operate like a machine and simply do what they
    are told. Their job is to exercise their judgment
    on YOUR behalf.

    The MSM would have you believe that common people
    should vote for President and that the words on
    ballots, “vote for electors committed to xxx”, are
    just archaic legalese, “don’t worry about it”.
    This is perhaps the worst perversion of the
    constitution and the vision of the founding
    fathers EVER! It is blatantly, in your face,
    wrong WRONG – W R O N G ! ! !

    We MUST get back to the original plan of the
    people voting for ELECTORS, without reference
    to a presumed candidate!

    Of course, states and communities will seek
    to “inform and educate” these electors prior
    to sending them off to “college”. And of
    course said electors will seek out the opinions
    of their constituents. This could all take
    many forms, including a state-wide “preference”
    or “ranking” vote. But there should NEVER
    be a national adding up the numbers to obtain
    anything remotely similar to a Popular Vote.

    There is no way you can sugar coat this. No
    matter how you try. The very concept of a
    Popular Vote is anathema to any sort of
    republic or representative democracy.

    That way lies CHAOS. And at the end of that
    CHAOS, there is ALWAYS a Popular Vote for a
    dictator to relieve the CHAOS. It is as sure
    as the best laws of physics.

    Your whole premise is wrong! If there are two
    methods of arriving at something that conflict,
    always get rid of the evil on and retain the
    righteous one. Is that really difficult to grasp?

  11. Dee says:

    Mr. Kohler, what are your sources for all these wonderful tables? What do you do and who do you work for? I’m amazed at all the info you have.

  12. kohler says:

    One person, one vote.

    Every vote is equal and every voter will matter in every state in every presidential election, as in virtually every other election in the country.

    National Popular Vote did not invent popular elections. Having election results determined by the candidate getting the most individual votes is not some scary, untested idea loaded with unintended consequences. This bill does not eliminate the electoral college, it does not force electors to vote for a candidate they don’t want, it does not overlook any state, it does not disenfranchise voters, it does not cancel votes, it does not negate votes, it does not steal votes, nor does it ignore votes. It gives a voice to the minority party in states where their votes now count only for candidates they did not vote for.

    It adds up votes of all voters and the candidate with the most popular votes wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

    http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

  13. Carlyle says:

    “does not eliminate the electoral college”

    Oh, yeah – GOOD ONE! Just like “no death panels”.

    Regardless of the words of the bill, it will IN EFFECT eliminate the electoral college and/or render it redundant and meaningless.

    Even worse, it SUBVERTS the purpose of the electoral college – which is primarily a deliberative one. A process that was put in place as a direct and specific antidote to National Popularity Contest – a scheme our founding fathers knew WOULD NOT WORK.

    And the fact that the promoters of this bill know this and are trying to snooker you is the scariest of all.

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