Monday, August 16, 2010

Would the Cities Dominate Presidential Elections Under a National Popular Vote?

For some unknown reason liberal statehouses are attempting to undermine our Electoral College across the Nation in favor of a National Popular Vote, which would ultimately replace our current winner take all format with a majority wins format. Or in simpler terms - The votes of Coloradoans would mean nothing if the Presidential candidate that won their state, doesn't win the National Popular Vote as well.

It's our Founding Fathers worst nightmare: A Direct Democracy.

Besides from the fact that this "National Popular Vote" scheme is a pure laugh in the face of our Founders, and that it would just disenfranchise the votes of small states across America, there's one last question to be heard: Would the Cities dominate Presidential Elections under a National Popular Vote?

Without a doubt.

Just look at these statistics from New York State:

2008 Presidential Election results in New York City (5 counties)

Obama - 2,073,915 votes (80%).
McCain - 524,744 votes (20%).
Others - 16,672 votes (0%).

2008 Presidential Election results in the rest of New York State

Obama - 2,730,786 votes (54%).
McCain - 2,227,484 votes (45%).
Others - 66,539 votes (1%).

43% of Obama's 2008 vote in New York State came from just five Counties. And if I was to add the results from the Cities of Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Ithaca, Syracuse, Utica, and another handful of Downstate and Upstate Cities......he would probably reach 50% easily. Also, it might be hard to believe, but 3% of Obama's overall vote came from just New York City.

So if the 2012 Presidential Election is based on the National Popular Vote scheme that Liberals seem to adore, do you really think that Barack Obama is going to campaign in rural New York, Montana or any locale with less than 50,000 residents? There's not a chance in hell. He will be heading to the Cities of America to pump out millions upon millions of pro-Obama votes, because he already knows that they'll support him by a four-to-one margin, at the least.



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toto said...

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. Every vote would be counted for and assist the candidate for whom it was cast - just as votes from every county are equal and important when a vote is cast in a Governor's race. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states.

Now 2/3rds of the states and voters are ignored -- 19 of the 22 smallest and medium-small states and big states like California, Georgia, New York, and Texas. The current winner-take-all rule (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in each state) used by 48 of the 50 states, and not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution, ensures that the candidates do not reach out to all of the states and their voters. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. Policies important to the citizens of ‘flyover’ states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

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 bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president It does NOT abolish the Electoral College, which would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action, without federal constitutional amendments.

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. Support for a national popular vote is strong in virtually every state, partisan, and demographic group surveyed in recent polls.

Most voters don't care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state . . . they care whether he/she wins the White House. Voters want to know, that even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was counted and mattered to their candidate.

The National Popular Vote bill has passed 30 state legislative chambers, in 20 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in Arkansas (6), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), Maine (4), Michigan (17), Nevada (5), New Mexico (5), New York (31), North Carolina (15), and Oregon (7), and both houses in California (55), Colorado (9), Hawaii (4), Illinois (21), New Jersey (15), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (12), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), and Washington (11). The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Washington. These six states possess 73 electoral votes -- 27% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.


toto said...

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 in name recognition as Arlington, TX) is only 19% of the population of the United States.

When presidential candidates campaign to win the electoral votes of closely divided battleground states, such as in Ohio and Florida, under the state-by-state winner-take-all rules, the big cities in those battleground states do not receive all the attention, much less control the outcome. Cleveland and Miami certainly did not receive all the attention or control the outcome in Ohio and Florida in 2000 and 2004.

Likewise, under a national popular vote, every vote everywhere will be equally important politically. There will be nothing special about a vote cast in a big city or big state. When every vote is equal, candidates of both parties will seek out voters in small, medium, and large towns throughout the states in order to win. A vote cast in a big city or state will be equal to a vote cast in a small state, town, or rural area.

For example, in California state-wide elections, candidates for governor or U.S. Senate don't campaign just in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and those places don't control the outcome (otherwise California wouldn't have recently had Republican governors Reagan, Dukemejian, Wilson, and Schwarzenegger). A vote in rural Alpine county is just an important as a vote in Los Angeles.

If the National Popular Vote bill were to become law, it would not change the need for candidates to build a winning coalition across demographics. Any candidate who yielded, for example, the 21% of Americans who live in rural areas in favor of a "big city" approach would not likely win the national popular vote. Candidates would still have to appeal to a broad range of demographics, and perhaps even more so, because the election wouldn't be capable of coming down to just one demographic, such as voters in Ohio.

Mr.K said...

I don't think so