UPDATED TITLE to reflect "bi-partisan" support. No party has a monopoly on ........ahhh...........foolishness.
Hildebeeste flogged this idea several years ago, and our leggies love it. Briefly, it's a good way to annul the votes of Wisconsin citizens in a Presidential race.
A bill the Democrats are attempting to ramrod through the state legislature, Assembly Bill 751, would create a national popular vote for the U.S. presidency, essentially undermining the Electoral College. The bill was introduced late February 15 and the Assembly Elections Committee scheduled a public hearing for February 17 at 1 p.m. The legislature is pushing this dangerous bill through at breakneck speed. AB 751 is part of a national effort to disenfranchise voters that is gaining ground at an alarming rate (with a troubling connection to the notorious liberal money-bags, George Soros).
There IS a good reason for the structure of the Electoral College.
With the Electoral College, your vote is a higher percentage of the total votes from the state and has a greater impact on the presidential election. With a national popular vote, the states with the highest populations determine the president, and then Wisconsin is forced to ratify their vote, regardless of whether that candidate was the choice of the majority of Wisconsin voters.
IOW, the Electoral College is organized to reflect the House/Senate structure; while North Dakota has only one House member, it also has TWO Senators--exactly the same number of Senators as has California.
The reason for this national-gerrymander? Simple. The Coasts would determine the Presidency, and (surprise!!) the Coasts are reliably Blue States.
Perhaps Reps. ROYS, KAUFERT, BERCEAU, BLACK, NEWCOMER, CLARK, DEXTER, FIELDS, GRIGSBY, POCAN, SINICKI, TOLES, A. WILLIAMS, ZEPNICK and A. OTT, along with Senators RISSER and WIRCH should simply move to New York State and make it official: that's the population they prefer to represent.
HT: Jo Egelhoff
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Why am I not surprised that Democrats would try this?
The Electoral College is an essential part of the wisdom in the system designed by our Founding Fathers. As you alluded, the Electoral College rests on the same legitimacy as does the Senate. Our country was specifically designed to thwart attempts of mob rule. We are a Republic with democratic processes. We are not winner take all majority rules.
The Electoral College forces those who desire power to win a number of games before winning the grand prize of the Presidency. Think of the Electoral College being analogous to the World Series.
If the Milwaukee Brewers were playing the NY Yankees, one team has to win four of games to win the title. If the Brewers won 2-1, 2-1, 2-1, lost 0-10, and win 2-1, they win the series. What the Democrats want is to play the games but only count runs, not victories. In this Democrat rules scenario, the Brewers scored 8 runs vs. the New Yorkers 10 runs and the series continues. If the next two games end Brewers 5-3 then Yankees 1-0, the pin strippers are champions, 17-13, despite having won only two games.
The Electoral College is antiquated. Whoever garners the most votes in an election wins. One person = one vote. Period.
Mother Jones! Whadda source!!
You could try arguing the case instead of using "antiquated," but I suppose that might require actual thought.
Antiquated is not identical to wrong, except in the eyes of the Progressives--who also endorsed eugenics. You remember those: Hitler liked them.
The Electoral College protects American liberty, diversity, and representation. If Wisconsin legislators want to eliminate their own citizens' voice in presidential elections, this legislation will do it. It would require them to disregard how their own state votes in favor of how other states voted.
The Electoral College is undoubtedly complex and difficult to understand. But that doesn't mean it has outlived its time. In fact it serves its purpose far better than the founders imagined.
Countless constitutional amendment attempts have failed to abolish the Electoral College, forcing its detractors to employ this end run approach. It's true that Constitutional amendments are purposely difficult to pass--but not impossible (12 were added in the 20th Century).
Check out www.SaveOurStates.com for more information on the dangers of a national popular vote and the merits of the Electoral College and the dangers of a national popular vote.
just a reminder that this is a bi-partisan bill.
It is a bipartisan bill. Moreover it will negatively affect BOTH parties. Indeed, earlier this month it was voted down by the Maine House of Representatives by a vote of 95-50, including half of the House Democrats and all of the House Republicans.
Goodie gumdrop, it's bi-partisan.
It is true that neither party has a monopoly on foolishness.
The current system of electing the president ensures that the candidates do not reach out to all of the states. Presidential candidates concentrate their attention on a handful of closely divided "battleground" states. In 2008, candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their campaign events and ad money in just six states, and 98% in just 15 states. Over half (57%) of the events were in just four states (Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia). In 2004, candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their money and campaign visits in five states; over 80% in nine states; and over 99% of their money in 16 states, and candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their money and campaign visits in five states and over 99% of their money in 16 states.
Two-thirds of the states and people have been merely spectators to the presidential elections.
Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or worry about the voter concerns in states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. The reason for this is the state-by-state winner-take-all rule 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.
Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in one of every 14 presidential elections.
In the past six decades, there have been six presidential elections in which a shift of a relatively small number of votes in one or two states would have elected (and, of course, in 2000, did elect) a presidential candidate who lost the popular vote nationwide.
The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).
Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states.
The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes--that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).
The Constitution gives every state the power to allocate its electoral votes for president, as well as to change state law on how those votes are awarded.
The bill is currently endorsed by over 1,707 state legislators (in 48 states) who have sponsored and/or cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.
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). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President. This national result is similar to recent polls in closely divided battleground states: Colorado-- 68%, Iowa --75%, Michigan-- 73%, Missouri-- 70%, New Hampshire-- 69%, Nevada-- 72%, New Mexico-- 76%, North Carolina-- 74%, Ohio-- 70%, Pennsylvania -- 78%, Virginia -- 74%, and Wisconsin -- 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): Alaska – 70%, DC – 76%, Delaware --75%, Maine -- 77%, Nebraska -- 74%, New Hampshire --69%, Nevada -- 72%, New Mexico -- 76%, Rhode Island -- 74%, and Vermont -- 75%; in Southern and border states: Arkansas --80%, Kentucky -- 80%, Mississippi --77%, Missouri -- 70%, North Carolina -- 74%, and Virginia -- 74%; and in other states polled: California -- 70%, Connecticut -- 74% , Massachusetts -- 73%, Minnesota – 75%, New York -- 79%, Washington -- 77%, and West Virginia- 81%. Support is strong in every partisan and demographic group surveyed.
The National Popular Vote bill has passed 29 state legislative chambers, in 19 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Oregon, and both houses in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington. These five states possess 61 electoral votes -- 23% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.
A survey of 800 Wisconsin state voters conducted on December 12-14, 2008 showed 71% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
Support was 81% among Democrats, 67% among independents, and 63% among Republicans.
By age, support was 68% among 18-29 year olds, 62% among 30-45 year olds, 72% among 46-65 year olds, and 76% for those older than 65.
By gender, support was 80% among women and 61% among men.
By race, support was 72% among whites (representing 89% of respondents), 64% among African-Americans (representing 5% of respondents), and 58% among Others (representing 5% of respondents).
The Founding Fathers said in the U.S. Constitution (only after debating among 60 ballots for choosing a method): "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."
Neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, universal suffrage, and the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all rule) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation's first presidential election.
In 1789, in the nation's first election, the people had no vote for President in most states, Only men who owned a substantial amount of property could vote.
In 1789 only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all rule to award electoral votes.
There is no valid argument that the winner-take-all rule is entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. The current 48 state-by-state winner-take-all rule (i.e., awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in a particular state) is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, the debates of the Constitutional Convention, or the Federalist Papers. The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all rule.
As a result of changes in state laws enacted since 1789, the people have the right to vote for presidential electors in 100% of the states, there are no property requirements for voting in any state, and the state-by-state winner-take-all rule is used by 48 of the 50 states.
National Popular Vote has nothing to do with whether the country has a "republican" form of government or is a "democracy."
A "republican" form of government means that the voters do not make laws themselves but, instead, delegate the job to periodically elected officials (Congressmen, Senators, and the President). The United States has a "republican" form of government regardless of whether popular votes for presidential electors are tallied at the state-level (as is currently the case in 48 states) or at district-level (as is currently the case in Maine and Nebraska) or at 50-state-level (as under the National Popular Vote bill).
The people vote for President now in all 50 states and have done so in most states for 200 years.
So, the issue raised by the National Popular Vote legislation is not about whether there will be "mob rule" in presidential elections, but whether the "mob" in a handful of closely divided battleground states, such as Florida, get disproportionate attention from presidential candidates, while the "mobs" of the vast majority of states are ignored.
The 11 most populous states contain 56% of the population of the United States and a candidate would win the Presidency if 100% of the voters in these 11 states voted for one candidate. However, if anyone is concerned about the this theoretical possibility, it should be pointed out that, under the current system, a candidate could win the Presidency by winning a mere 51% of the vote in these same 11 states -- that is, a mere 26% of the nation's votes.
Of course, the political reality is that the 11 largest states rarely act in concert 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, the highest levels of popular support 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 "wasted" margin of 455,000 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 "wasted" margin of 385,000 votes for Bush in 2004.
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. Adding up votes of all voters and winning with the most popular votes is the method that is used in virtually every other election in the country.
Under the current presidential election system, voters in three-quarters of the states are not politically relevant; every vote is not equal; states disregard the votes for the losers of their state, and do not value the votes for the winner beyond the one vote more than the leading opponent; the House of Representatives could be left to decide who will be President; and the clear will of the people may be ignored. Ultimately, the choice is whether it is more important for the winner in a particular state to receive the state's electoral votes or for the winner of the entire country to win the White House.
WOW! Based on the volume of anonymous response, it must be that abolishing our constitutional Electoral College rules is extremely important to some of groups desiring to control the United States of America. Cautious thinkers may want to consider why abolishment of the Electoral College is so important to some power seekers.
Most of us are familiar with Lincoln’s Gettysburg phrase, government of the people, by the people, for the people. Our historical truth is that legitimization of national government comes from the people, through state government. Our country, is formed by a unity between States. The Electoral College insures that each and every State in the Union gets a meaningful election for President, precisely because the total of victories in State elections determines a Presidential winner. The results of recent elections do not invalidate the formula for fair play.
This unity of States is the revolutionary aspect of the United States. Authority to govern flows from the population to the powerful via our divided subunits of authority. The barriers to majority opinion established by our Constitution exist not to deny majority benefit, but rather to protect the whole of the population, both majority and minority, against hasty, ill informed, emotional and manipulated decisions of the people. Government for the people, is protected by making different groups of people decide what they want at separate times, once in each State. The forces of tyranny despise these obstacles to their supremacy. They do not want to play all the games. They do not want to be limited by the framework of our Constitution.
Good grief Anony -
Al Gore lost like 10 years ago. Get over it.
That's all this about - the Progressives throwing a decade-long temper tantrum. Whoda thunk they could hold their breath that long?
But if this is such a big benefit to all of us - why not just put it out in the open for a Constitutional amendment? Why all the stealth pushing through the states? Must be afraid of the open debate. But seeing as that Harvard Law prof's are advocating that the entire US Senate be abolished, nothing shocks me anymore.
Just another Progressive agenda item on the march to remake America.
Just an update: AB 751 is not a bipartisan bill any more.
All three Republicans who had originally cosponsored it have withdrawn after further reflection. There are reasons why NPV is pushed by the far fringe of the political Left. Nevertheless, I hear at least one Democrat on the elections committee is opposed, but that's not confirmed.
Great blog, by the way. Have you read Napoleon of Notting Hill? That's one of my Chesterton favorites.
Yup, read that.
Which of these quotes is not American?
"That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity;"
Virginia Bill of Rights
" That elections of members to serve as representatives of the people, in assembly, ought to be free; and that all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community, have the right of suffrage, and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for publick uses without their own consent, or that of their representatives so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner, assented, for the publick good."
Virginia Bill of Rights
"That no free government, or the blessing of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles."
Virginia Bill of Rights
"Bad principles in a Govt. tho slow are sure in their operation, and will gradually destroy it."
"Equal laws, protecting equal rights, are found, as they ought to be presumed, the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country;..."
"[T]he right of electing the members of the government constitutes more particularly the essence of a free and responsible government."
"[M]en cannot be justly bound by laws, in making which they have no share."
" Extreme cases of oppression justify... a resort to the original right of resistance, a right belonging to every community, under every form of Government..."
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