National Popular Vote is a bad idea t...

National Popular Vote is a bad idea that hurts Vermont

There are 9 comments on the Brattleboro Reformer story from Feb 11, 2010, titled National Popular Vote is a bad idea that hurts Vermont. In it, Brattleboro Reformer reports that:

The Vermont House is working hard to pass a bill to strip Vermont of its constitutional influence in the Electoral College.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Brattleboro Reformer.

kohler

Mountain View, CA

#1 Feb 12, 2010
75% OF VERMONT VOTERS SUPPORT A NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE FOR PRESIDENT

A survey of 800 Vermont voters conducted April 26, 2008 showed 75%–25% overall support for a national popular vote for President.

By party, support is 86%–14% among Democratic voters; 61%–39% among Republicans, and 74%–26% for Others.

By age, support is almost the same across all age groups. Specifically, support is 78%–22% among 18–29 year olds; 74%–26% among 30–45 year olds; 74%–26% among 46–65 year olds; and 74%–24% among 65-and-older.

By gender, support is 82%–18% among women and 67%–33% among men.

By race, support is 76%–24% among whites, 60%–40% among African-Americans (representing 3% of respondents), 57%–43% among Hispanics (representing 1% of respondents), and 67%–33% among Others.

see www.NationalPopularVote.com/pages/polls.php#V...
kohler

Mountain View, CA

#2 Feb 12, 2010
Under the current system of electing the President, presidential candidates concentrate their attention on a handful of closely divided "battleground" states. Vermont is not one. 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 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.
kohler

Mountain View, CA

#3 Feb 12, 2010
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.

See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com
kohler

Mountain View, CA

#4 Feb 12, 2010
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.
kohler

Mountain View, CA

#5 Feb 12, 2010
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.

Another way to look at this is that there are approximately 300 million Americans. 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 is only 19% of the population of the United States. Even if one makes the far-fetched assumption that a candidate could win 100% of the votes in the nation's top five cities, he would only have won 6% of the national vote.

Further evidence of the way a nationwide presidential campaign would be run comes from the way that national advertisers conduct nationwide sales campaigns. National advertisers seek out customers in small, medium, and large towns of every small, medium, and large state. National advertisers do not advertise only in big cities. Instead, they go after every single possible customer, regardless of where the customer is located. National advertisers do not write off Indiana or Illinois merely because their competitor has an 8% lead in sales in those states. And, a national advertiser with an 8%-edge over its competitor does not stop trying to make additional sales in Indiana or Illinois merely because they are in the lead.
kohler

Mountain View, CA

#6 Feb 12, 2010
75% OF VERMONT VOTERS SUPPORT A NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE FOR PRESIDENT

A survey of 800 Vermont voters conducted April 26, 2008 showed 75%–25% overall support for a national popular vote for President.

By party, support is 86%–14% among Democratic voters; 61%–39% among Republicans, and 74%–26% for Others.

By age, support is almost the same across all age groups. Specifically, support is 78%–22% among 18–29 year olds; 74%–26% among 30–45 year olds; 74%–26% among 46–65 year olds; and 74%–24% among 65-and-older.

By gender, support is 82%–18% among women and 67%–33% among men.

By race, support is 76%–24% among whites, 60%–40% among African-Americans (representing 3% of respondents), 57%–43% among Hispanics (representing 1% of respondents), and 67%–33% among Others.

see www.NationalPopularVote.com/pages/polls.php#V...
Bill Smith

Charleston, SC

#7 Feb 12, 2010
Remember, voters do not decide who gets into office, the ones that count them do.
kohler

Mountain View, CA

#8 Feb 12, 2010
Sorry about the formatting before.

75% OF VERMONT VOTERS SUPPORT A NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE FOR PRESIDENT ON APRIL 2008 POLL

A survey of 800 Vermont voters conducted April 26, 2008 showed 75% overall support for a national popular vote for President.

By party, support is 86% among Democratic voters; 61% among Republicans, and 74% for Others.

By age, support is almost the same across all age groups. Specifically, support is 78% among 1829 year olds; 74% among 3045 year olds; 74% among 4665 year olds; and 74% among 65-and-older.

By gender, support is 82% among women and 67% among men.

By race, support is 76% among whites, 60% among African-Americans (representing 3% of respondents), 57% among Hispanics (representing 1% of respondents), and 67% among Others.

see http://nationalpopularvote.com/pages/polls.ph...
Bill Smith

Charleston, SC

#9 Feb 12, 2010
kohler wrote:
Sorry about the formatting before.
75% OF VERMONT VOTERS SUPPORT A NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE FOR PRESIDENT ON APRIL 2008 POLL
A survey of 800 Vermont voters conducted April 26, 2008 showed 75% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
By party, support is 86% among Democratic voters; 61% among Republicans, and 74% for Others.
By age, support is almost the same across all age groups. Specifically, support is 78% among 1829 year olds; 74% among 3045 year olds; 74% among 4665 year olds; and 74% among 65-and-older.
By gender, support is 82% among women and 67% among men.
By race, support is 76% among whites, 60% among African-Americans (representing 3% of respondents), 57% among Hispanics (representing 1% of respondents), and 67% among Others.
see http://nationalpopularvote.com/pages/polls.ph...
So if a majority of people want to boil the minority in oil, that would be okay right? Democracy in action?

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