Oregon House Passes National Popular Vote Bill

Thanks to Ballot Access News for this info:

Oregon House Passes National Popular Vote Bill
March 12th, 2009

On March 12, the Oregon House passed HB 2588 by a vote of 39-19. This is the National Popular Vote bill…


Background from OPB News:

…Any state that signs up with the National Popular Vote movement pledges to give its Electoral College votes to the Presidential candidate who wins the most overall votes nationwide.

If enough states agree, the U.S. would avoid situations like what happened in 2000 when George W. Bush won the Electoral College vote despite losing the popular vote to Al Gore…

45 thoughts on “Oregon House Passes National Popular Vote Bill

  1. rah62

    This is ridiculous. I run for President, sweep Oregon by a landslide, but lose nationwide by a handful of votes. This bill would therefore disenfranchise the huge majority of Oregonians who voted for me.

  2. Morgan Brykein

    It’s already a “winner take all” system anyways. For example, all of California’s electoral votes went to Obama despite him only getting a majority of fifty-something percent.

    It’s a first step towards eliminating the electoral college.

  3. Kimberly Wilder

    Thanks rah and Morgan for the comments.

    I do think that there are pluses and minuses to this system. And, I am not sure that National Popular Vote is the best plan. Perhaps highlighting this idea, though, is a step in the right direction, even if only because it draws attention to the problem of the Electoral College.

    I believe that the best system for third party and independent voters would be one where there is proportional representation. For instance, if each state committed to sending their electors based on proportional representation. So, if NY received 45% Democrat, 45% Republican, and 10% Rent is Too Damn High Party*, the Rent is Too Damn High Party would get some electors. Now that would shake things up and cause major parties to care about even the smaller third parties.

    *I dropped in the Rent is Too Damn High part for amusement value. In reality, there is a party in New York with the name of “Rent is Too Damn High”, but when they actually got on the ballot for Governor, the state changed it to “Rent is Too High”.

  4. Thomas L. Knapp

    On the one hand, the Oregon idea sounds really stupid.

    On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with having a state’s electoral votes more closely approximate its popular vote, and there’s an easier way to do it than trying to apportion by percentage.

    The distribution of electors and their electoral votes is one per US House district, plus two “at-large” electors in each state.

    Instead of “winner take all” by state popular vote, just choose the district electors by which candidate carried their district’s popular vote, with the two “at-large” electors going to the overall popular vote winner in the state.

    I believe Nebraska and Maine already do something of this sort.

  5. Ross Levin

    I don’t like the idea of giving out electoral votes by congressional district. Then they’re just as subject to gerrymandering as anything else.

    The Oregon example – so if you only won Oregon you would lose with any plan.

  6. Patch

    So under this bill, Richard Nixon would have been awarded the electoral votes of Massachusetts and DC.

    Also, Ronald Reagan would have received the electoral votes from Minnesota instead of Walter Mondale.

    Brilliant!

  7. paulie cannoli

    I believe that the best system for third party and independent voters would be one where there is proportional representation. For instance, if each state committed to sending their electors based on proportional representation. So, if NY received 45% Democrat, 45% Republican, and 10% Rent is Too Damn High Party*, the Rent is Too Damn High Party would get some electors.

    I agree. We are working to pass this in Alabama.

  8. susan

    The major shortcoming of the current system of electing the President is that presidential candidates concentrate their attention on a handful of closely divided “battleground” states. 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. Similarly, in 2004, 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 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.

  9. susan

    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 would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections.

    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 1,246 state legislators — 460 sponsors (in 48 states) and an additional 786 legislators who have 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): Delaware — 75%, Maine — 71%, 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 — 73% , Massachusetts — 73%, New York — 79%, and Washington — 77%.

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 24 state legislative chambers, including one house in Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, and Washington, and both houses in California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These four states possess 50 electoral votes — 19% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

    See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

  10. susan

    76% OF OREGON VOTERS SUPPORT A NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE FOR PRESIDENT IN DECEMBER 2008 POLL

    A survey of 800 Oregon voters conducted on December 16-17, 2008 showed 76% overall support for a national popular vote for President.

    Support was 82% among Democrats, 70% among Republicans, and 72% among independents.

    By age, support was 67% among 18-29 year olds, 68% among 30-45 year olds, 82% among 46-65 year olds, and 76% for those older than 65.

    By gender, support was 81% among women and 71% among men.

    By race, support was 87% among whites (representing 89% of respondents), 59% among African-Americans (representing 3% of respondents), and 80% among Hispanics (representing 2% of respondents), and 69% among Others (representing 6% of respondents).

    see http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

  11. susan

    Dividing a state’s electoral votes by congressional district would magnify the worst features of our antiquated Electoral College system of electing the President. What the country needs is a national popular vote to make every person’s vote equally important to presidential campaigns.

    If the district approach were used nationally, it would less be less fair and accurately reflect the will of the people than the current system. In 2004, Bush won 50.7% of the popular vote, but 59% of the districts. Although Bush lost the national popular vote in 2000, he won 55% of the country’s congressional districts.

    The district approach would not cause presidential candidates to campaign in a particular state or focus the candidates’ attention to issues of concern to the state. Under the winner-take-all rule (whether applied to either districts or states), candidates have no reason to campaign in districts or states where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind. In North Carolina, for example, there are only 2 districts the 13th with a 5% spread and the 2nd with an 8% spread) where the presidential race is competitive. In California, the presidential race is competitive in only 3 of the state’s 53 districts. Nationwide, there are only 55 “battleground” districts that are competitive in presidential elections. Under the present deplorable state-level winner-take-all system, two-thirds of the states (including North Carolina and California and Texas) are ignored in presidential elections; however, seven-eighths of the nation’s congressional districts would be ignored if a district-level winner-take-all system were used nationally.

  12. susan

    A system in which electoral votes are divided proportionally by state would not accurately reflect the nationwide popular vote and would not make every vote equal.

    Every vote would not be equal under the proportional approach. The proportional approach would perpetuate the inequality of votes among states due to each state’s bonus of two electoral votes. It would penalize states, such as Montana, that have only one U.S. Representative even though it has almost three times more population than other small states with one congressman. It would penalize fast-growing states that do not receive any increase in their number of electoral votes until after the next federal census. It would penalize states with high voter turnout (e.g., Utah, Oregon).

    Moreover, the fractional proportional allocation approach does not assure election of the winner of the nationwide popular vote. In 2000, for example, it would have resulted in the election of the second-place candidate.

  13. Steven R Linnabary

    Would promoters of a “National Popular Vote” plan also promote the idea of awarding the winner of the World Series to the team with the most home runs? After all, it DOES happen on occasion that the World Series winner does not get the most overall home runs.

    Any “National Popular Vote” plan would make only the largest media markets consequential in a POTUS race, totally ignoring “flyover country”.

    At least now it is possible for a candidate to concentrate on a state such as Maine or Alaska (where a Green or Libertarian might do well), and get a few electoral votes.

    PEACE

  14. paulie cannoli

    A national popular vote system does not benefit alternative parties and independents. They would have even less chance of getting any electoral votes under such a system than under the present system. I hope everyone involved with independent and alternative party politics opposes such a plan.

    Proportional representation of electoral votes increases the chances that someone beside a Democrat or Republican can get electoral votes, especially in those states which have a lot of electoral votes. That would increase our say in the system, and make bigger parties have to pay more attention to our ideas.

  15. paulie cannoli

    Would promoters of a “National Popular Vote” plan also promote the idea of awarding the winner of the World Series to the team with the most home runs? After all, it DOES happen on occasion that the World Series winner does not get the most overall home runs.

    Any “National Popular Vote” plan would make only the largest media markets consequential in a POTUS race, totally ignoring “flyover country”.

    At least now it is possible for a candidate to concentrate on a state such as Maine or Alaska (where a Green or Libertarian might do well), and get a few electoral votes.

    PEACE

    Steven is correct.

  16. Anthony

    This article omits the important information that the bill only becomes active only once a number of states with a majority of electoral votes signs on. It’s basically a way of making the electoral college irrelevant. It’s no more “disfranchising” the voters of Oregon than passing a constitutional amendment would be.

  17. Anthony

    So under this bill, Richard Nixon would have been awarded the electoral votes of Massachusetts and DC.

    Also, Ronald Reagan would have received the electoral votes from Minnesota instead of Walter Mondale.

    Brilliant!

    Are you people being deliberately obtuse? The point is about making the election national. It’s not about awarding electoral votes, it’s about making electoral votes irrelevant. The states are free to award them however they want, and if they want to do so in a way that makes them irrelevant and uses a far more rational system instead, they are free to do so. There’s nothing unfair about that.

  18. ComingBackToTheLP

    Under the new NPV plan it is possible for a candidate to be elected with a tiny fraction of the national vote. There is, in fact, no fraction too low to be elected. 40%, 30%, 20%, 10% … whoever gets the most votes wins.

    This is perfectly fine for representative districts where there are numerous other such districts for balance and when the National Executive is elected in a system requiring some kind of majority.

    But with the NPV, all such rationality is lost.

    *******************************************

    IN FACT:

    Under NPV, a candidate who has actually earned ZERO electoral votes could be elected President, after the NPV computation determines that all the Electoral Votes earned by some other candidate should be flipped to the NPV candidate.

    A candidate who has carried the overwhelming majority of states and Electoral Votes could have enough states’ Electoral Votes flipped to the NPV candidate to give the Presidency to someone who won NO states and just carried the biggest cities.

    ***************************************

    NPV is a disaster waiting to end LIBERTY in America:

    . it means the final end of the federal system
    . it terminates the federal compact that binds the states together
    . it makes the US a banana republic
    . as the States break up, it could lead to civil war
    . it ensures massive electoral corruption and fraud will occur in places untouched until today
    . it is being pursued by political hacks attempting to gain some electoral advantage and evil F a s c i s t – S o c i a l i s t s lusting for power.

    *******************************************

    Under the current Electoral College system, it is virtually impossible for anyone to be elected without having a super plurality of support. To garner the required MAJORITY of Electoral Votes means that a candidate must have demonstrated national support and support in states containing a majority of the electoral votes.

    Even better would be the adoption of the Maine/Nebraska system nationwide.

  19. ComingBackToTheLP

    We need to wake up and crush the NPV takeover.

    Instead we need to adopt the Maine/Nebraska system:

    Under the Maine/Nebraska system, not only are two electoral votes awarded for winning each state, but one vote is awarded within each Congressional District.

    This greatly expands the number of competitive areas in the Naional Election.

    IN ADDITION to focusing on every competitive statewide election, candidates will have to focus on competitive Congressional Districts.

    So, IN ADDITION TO the normal 1/3 of the States, more than 1/3 of the Congressional Districts will be in play.

    (This fact is not discernable from the mere observation of past races, since in past races this system was not in use. To determine this we must use a prospective, pro-forma type comparison.)

    (In fact, it is quite easy and relatively cheap to put additional Congressional Districts into play relative to whole states. If we want to make the whole nation politically competitive, we need to repeal all the stupid campaign finance laws that restrict fundraising and spending on political campaigns and political speech. If Ross Perot wants to give $100 million to one candidate, let him. It’s better than having him be the candidate. )

    Thus, under the Maine/Nebraska system more than half of all US areas will be in play. Even better results will come from expanding the size of the House of Representatives and the number of Electoral Districts.

    At the same time, switching to the Maine/Nebraska electoral college system makes the perfect electoral system:

    1) EVERY VOTER IS TREATED EQUALLY in selecting one vote per congressional district, which represent approximately the same number of voters.

    2) EVERY STATE IS TREATED EQUALLY in selecting two votes per state. This preserves the federal compact and helps prevent civil war.

    3) The advantage of ELECTORAL FRAUD IS REDUCED to the lowest possible level, and therfore we will have the least corrupted electoral system.

    4) The Maine/Nebraska Electoral College system guarantees that the candidates elected will have demonstrated the greatest possible support nationwide, representing the greates number of voters, districts and states.

    5) By ensuring that the candidates elected have the greatest possible nationwide support, the Maine/Nebraska Electoral College system ensures stability, peaceful transitions, national harmony and internal peace. It prevents the US from becoming a banana republic due to its electoral system.

    **********************************************

    for the PEACE, PROSPERITY and LIBERTY of America,
    we must preserve the Electoral College system and:

    ADOPT

    …. the Maine/Nebraska Electoral College system of chosing the President and Vice President of the United States. We must expand the House of Representatives to 600, 800, even 1,200 members.

    and we must

    REJECT

    …. the dangerous and evil NPV plan before it leads to fraud, corruption, and the fractionalization of America. Eventually under the NPV system we would see the election of a candidate who represents fewer than 25% of the actual votes cast, and who has won ZERO or close to zero electoral votes prior to the NPV calculation. Which could result in violence, chaos, riots and even civil war.

  20. ComingBackToTheLP

    susan // Mar 13, 2009 at 11:56 am

    “The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). ”

    And this is just what will happen: Eventually some candidate will carry the 5 biggest cities, and zero electoral votes, but under NPV, this fascist-socialist populist will be elected President.

    The top 5 metropolitan areas contain over 61,000,000 people, over 20% of the total US population. A candidate who pandered to the cities could focus on the top cities and ignore the rest of the US easily.

    Rank Metropolitan Area April 1, 2000

    1 New York–Northern New Jersey–Long Island, NY–NJ–CT–PA 21,199,865
    2 Los Angeles–Riverside–Orange County, CA 16,373,645
    3 Chicago–Gary–Kenosha, IL–IN–WI 9,157,540
    4 Washington–Baltimore, DC–MD–VA–WV 7,608,070
    5 San Francisco–Oakland–San Jose, CA 7,039,362

    The top 20 metro areas contain 120,000,000 plus people. This is 40% of the US population in 20 metropolitan areas. Metropolitan areas are the real cities.

    Say NO to the F a s c i s t – S o c i a l i s t National Popular Vote plan. Keep the Electoral College.

    1 New York–Northern New Jersey–Long Island, NY–NJ–CT–PA 21,199,865
    2 Los Angeles–Riverside–Orange County, CA 16,373,645
    3 Chicago–Gary–Kenosha, IL–IN–WI 9,157,540
    4 Washington–Baltimore, DC–MD–VA 7,608,070
    5 San Francisco–Oakland–San Jose, CA 7,039,362
    6 Philadelphia–Wilmington–Atlantic City, PA–NJ–DE 6,188,463
    7 Boston–Worcester–Lawrence, MA 5,819,100
    8 Detroit–Ann Arbor–Flint, MI CMSA 5,456,428
    9 Dallas–Fort Worth, TX 5,221,801
    10 Houston–Galveston–Brazoria, TX 4,669,571
    11 Atlanta, GA 4,112,198
    12 Miami–Fort Lauderdale, FL 3,876,380
    13 Seattle–Tacoma–Bremerton, WA 3,554,760
    14 Phoenix–Mesa, AZ 3,251,876
    15 Minneapolis–St. Paul, MN 2,968,806
    16 Cleveland–Akron, OH 2,945,831
    17 San Diego, CA 2,813,833
    18 St. Louis, MO–IL 2,603,607
    19 Denver–Boulder–Greeley, CO 2,581,506
    20 Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater, FL 2,395,997

  21. Ross Levin

    I really like this plan. It would make American democracy more representative of reality and therefore I don’t care if third parties are hurt on a national scale – it’s not like the LP or GP have been doing anything on that level anyway. It’s one of those instances where you’ve got to think beyond your immediate interest and sacrifice a bit for the health of our democracy.

  22. paulie

    I really like this plan.

    I really don’t. It hurts smaller parties and smaller states, and destroys what little is left of state sovereignty in favor of national sovereignty – moving power upwards, which is the wrong direction.

    People have mentioned the Maine/Nebraska plan, but I like the plan we are trying to pass in Alabama better.

    It would make American democracy more representative of reality

    No, it would just get rid of some more of the checks and balances in the system. The constitution divided power between different levels and branches of government for a good reason.


    and therefore I don’t care if third parties are hurt on a national scale – it’s not like the LP or GP have been doing anything on that level anyway.

    Of course they have. They have been getting their ideas into the debate, and forcing major parties to consider them to some extent, and adopt watered down versions of them to some extent. They have been building their organizations by adding people who come in through presidential campaigns. The Libertarian Party probably would never have taken off in the way it did if it did not get an electoral vote way back in 1972, when it was on the ballot in only two states.


    It’s one of those instances where you’ve got to think beyond your immediate interest and sacrifice a bit for the health of our democracy.

    In this case, I think our immediate interests ARE what is healthy for our greater freedom.

  23. Ross Levin

    I think the Maine/Nebraska plan is a dangerous thing because it would subject presidential elections to gerrymandering. The proportional plan (that is where number of electoral votes corresponds to percentage of the vote, right?) could be a good one, I just don’t know much about it.

    And frankly, state sovereignty in this case means little or nothing. It’s a national election. We are citizens of the US voting for our president.

    This system has been a failure, even if it was intended as a check on something (on what, I’m not sure). It has produced some pretty nasty results, like Rutherford B. Hayes’ election and the end of reconstruction or George Bush’s election and, well, we all know what happened with that.

  24. paulie

    The proportional plan (that is where number of electoral votes corresponds to percentage of the vote, right?) could be a good one, I just don’t know much about it.

    It’s pretty simple. Divide the percentage that each candidate got of the state’s presidential vote. Then correspond it to the closest number of delegate votes it rounds off to.

    For example, California has (I think) 55 electoral votes, so anyone who got 1/55 (about 2%) would get an electoral vote. The Democrat and Republican would each get the percentage of electoral votes most closely corresponding to their percentage of the popular vote for president in that state.

    And frankly, state sovereignty in this case means little or nothing. It’s a national election. We are citizens of the US voting for our president.

    We are also citizens of our state and it helps to maintain that divided loyalty to keep absolute power from being accumulated at the top.

    This is also my issue with NI4D. I like initiatives and want to see them adopted in every state, but I don’t like decisionmaking power concentrated at higher levels.

    Whatever small role role the electoral college plays in giving the states a say is a good thing.

    This system has been a failure, even if it was intended as a check on something (on what, I’m not sure).

    You can’t say it has been a total failure since we have no way of knowing how much worse things could be without it. It’s a check on too much power being gathered in DC, with less being left at the state level and below.

    George Bush’s election and, well, we all know what happened with that.

    Yeah, nepotism and stolen elections. But that doesn’t mean a Gore presidency would have been a good thing either.

  25. Ross Levin

    I don’t think this is a concentration of power. It is a redistribution of power, that’s for sure. Rural areas are giving up their over-representation in the Electoral College and urban voters will be better-represented.

    Same thing with the Ni4D – the power is already there. It is not an issue of the power existing or not existing, it is a matter of who manages the power.

  26. Steven R Linnabary

    It has produced some pretty nasty results, like Rutherford B. Hayes’ election and the end of reconstruction or George Bush’s election and, well, we all know what happened with that.

    Democrats of Hayes era were adamantly opposed to reconstruction. If anything, Hayes was stealing the democrats issue.

    And as Paulie points out, Gore would not have been any prize either. Quite possibly worse even than Bush.

    NPV proponents seem rather content to describe their proposal as “election reform”. But any “election reform” that does not allow any opposition on the ballot might be a lot of things. But reform it ain’t.

    PEACE

  27. paulie

    I don’t think this is a concentration of power. It is a redistribution of power, that’s for sure.

    Redistribution of power upwards to the federal level = concentration of power.

  28. paulie

    Rural areas are giving up their over-representation in the Electoral College and urban voters will be better-represented.

    By this same logic you would also get rid of the US Senate, and just have the House.

    These design features are there for a reason, even if they don’t work perfectly.

  29. Ross Levin

    I don’t think this is redistribution of power “upwards.” We would be electing a federal official either way.

    As for hurting third parties, I don’t think it would do that. Sure, they probably wouldn’t get any electoral votes (that is, if all of the states went with the NPV plan, which is not needed), but electoral votes would take on a different meaning if all or almost all of them were rewarded to a single candidate/party. Third parties would still be able to get whatever percentage of the vote they would have gotten before, which is what really matters.

  30. paulie

    I don’t think this is redistribution of power “upwards.” We would be electing a federal official either way.

    True, but under the NPV, candidates for that office have less incentive to pay attention to smaller states and their voters, thus redistributing some power that they currently hold as leverage upwards.

    As for hurting third parties, I don’t think it would do that. Sure, they probably wouldn’t get any electoral votes (that is, if all of the states went with the NPV plan, which is not needed), but electoral votes would take on a different meaning if all or almost all of them were rewarded to a single candidate/party.

    Thus, it would take away one of the most powerful ways for alternative parties to get noticed and make an impact in the current system.

    Third parties would still be able to get whatever percentage of the vote they would have gotten before, which is what really matters.

    I don’t agree that is the only thing that really matters. A look at the early history of the Libertarian Party clearly shows why.

    Or, to take another example, see the 1968 election. Wallace was not anywhere close to winning, but the fact that his votes were concentrated in several states gave him a lot more leverage to swing the election.

    I haven’t looked at how the math would have worked out in 1968 under NPV, and I’m not saying Wallace was a good candidate. But this clearly would take away the ability of a smaller party to gain leverage by building a regional base in several states.

    Smaller parties get to have more of a say through several different means, not just popular votes. Electoral votes, or the potential to gain or swing electoral votes, is one of these means, and this plan destroys that portion of our bargaining power, thus entrenching the power class even more.

  31. Ross Levin

    Personally, making third parties a bit less powerful on the national level is a sacrifice I’d be willing to make in order to ensure that the winner of the popular vote becomes president.

    The proportional allocation idea sounds interesting, I’ll have to look at that.

    And I don’t think candidates would spend less time in small states, because they don’t really spend time there now anyway. They go to swing counties in swing states… I live in one and Obama and McCain were near me dozens of times by the end of the election. A small fraction of states right now get a vast majority of the attention, and swing voters (like the NRA’s constituency, for instance) have a disproportionate amount of power.

    I’m not saying that Gore would have been a better president (although I do think that), it’s just that he won the popular vote, so the people wanted him, so he should have been president, IMHO.

  32. paulie

    Personally, making third parties a bit less powerful on the national level is a sacrifice I?d be willing to make in order to ensure that the winner of the popular vote becomes president.

    Not me.

    And I don?t think candidates would spend less time in small states, because they don?t really spend time there now anyway. They go to swing counties in swing states?

    Some of these are in small states, some in large. That makes the audience that a winning presidential candidate has to win over more diverse than the one a winning candidate would have to win over under NPV.

    A small fraction of states right now get a vast majority of the attention

    This could also easily be the case under NPV. See

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2009/03/oregon-house-passes-national-popular-vote-bill/comment-page-1/#comment-46246

    A small fraction of states right now get a vast majority of the attention

    Proportional representation within each state would help fix this problem.

    swing voters (like the NRA?s constituency, for instance) have a disproportionate amount of power.

    There would be some kind of swing voters no matter what the voting arrangement, although not necessarily the same group of people.

    I?m not saying that Gore would have been a better president (although I do think that), it?s just that he won the popular vote, so the people wanted him, so he should have been president

    Not necessarily. See

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2009/03/oregon-house-passes-national-popular-vote-bill/comment-page-1/#comment-45990

    The proportional allocation idea sounds interesting, I?ll have to look at that.

    Cool! Hope you like it 🙂

  33. revswirl

    The Constitution gives each state the power to decide how they will select their electors. The reason I believe there isn’t a more proportional system in each state is because each state is still controlled by only two parties. Only when third parties start getting influence in state legislatures will we see any sort of Electoral College reform.

  34. TeachingTheWorld

    Under NPV, some fascist-socialist candidate will go to the biggest cities, just 5 could be enough, pander and promote some evil takeover plan, and win without carrying a single state.

  35. Ross Levin

    It looks like there are problems with each system. For now, the NPV represents an improvement that could happen in the near future.

  36. paulie

    The Constitution gives each state the power to decide how they will select their electors. The reason I believe there isn’t a more proportional system in each state is because each state is still controlled by only two parties. Only when third parties start getting influence in state legislatures will we see any sort of Electoral College reform.

    Not necessarily. For example, in Alabama, the Democrats are with us on proportional representation, because it gives them a chance to get electoral votes here. The same would be true of Republicans in lopsidedly Democratic states. And Alabama Democrats do have some clout at the state level, despite the reliably Republican vote in here in presidential races.

  37. Ross Levin

    The only problem I see (and I haven’t thought about it too much, so I could be wrong or there could be more problems) with the proportional plan is how you decide to give away the electoral votes when percentages don’t match up with number of electoral votes. For example, what do you do with a 40-55-5 split if you only have 3 electoral votes?

  38. paulie

    Under NPV, some fascist-socialist candidate will go to the biggest cities, just 5 could be enough, pander and promote some evil takeover plan, and win without carrying a single state.

    While I have made it clear that I oppose NPV, this sounds greatly exaggerated.

  39. paulie

    It looks like there are problems with each system. For now, the NPV represents an improvement that could happen in the near future.

    I think it would make things worse, but proportional representation in states could also happen soon, which would make things better.

  40. paulie

    The only problem I see (and I haven’t thought about it too much, so I could be wrong or there could be more problems) with the proportional plan is how you decide to give away the electoral votes when percentages don’t match up with number of electoral votes. For example, what do you do with a 40-55-5 split if you only have 3 electoral votes?

    Round off to the nearest electoral vote. The 5 rounds off to zero votes under that system, since 1/20 is far from being 1/3.

    It would be 2 electoral votes to the 55%, one to the 40%.

  41. G.E.

    Haven’t read the comments, but here’s the real deal on this: The Constitution allows the states to select electors in any fashion they choose. If you oppose this, fine. If you think Oregon shouldn’t be allowed to do it, you are a anti-constitutional, big-government centralist.

  42. paulie

    Haven’t read the comments, but here’s the real deal on this: The Constitution allows the states to select electors in any fashion they choose. If you oppose this, fine. If you think Oregon shouldn’t be allowed to do it, you are a anti-constitutional, big-government centralist.

    Neither I, nor, to my knowledge, anyone else in this thread who opposes NPV is for prohibiting states from implementing it. Those are two different questions entirely.

  43. mvymvy

    A system in which electoral votes are divided proportionally by state would not accurately reflect the nationwide popular vote and would not make every vote equal.

    Every vote would not be equal under the proportional approach. The proportional approach would perpetuate the inequality of votes among states due to each state’s bonus of two electoral votes. It would penalize states, such as Montana, that have only one U.S. Representative even though it has almost three times more population than other small states with one congressman. It would penalize fast-growing states that do not receive any increase in their number of electoral votes until after the next federal census. It would penalize states with high voter turnout (e.g., Utah, Oregon).

    Moreover, the fractional proportional allocation approach does not assure election of the winner of the nationwide popular vote. In 2000, for example, it would have resulted in the election of the second-place candidate.

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