National Popular Vote Initiative - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

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There's an effort underway to change how we select the president of the United States.
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1 - 16 of 16 Comments Last updated Oct 19, 2011
Raidersteve

Charlottesville, VA

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#1
Jul 27, 2011
 

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The founding father's put in the electoral college for a reason; so every state will have a say in the election. If it were left to just popular votes than there would be zero reason to travel to any state other than the most populist.There are 12 states with less than 1.3 million people & 8 staes with 10 million or more. California 35 mil...Texas..24 mil...the founding father's were much smarter than the idiots we have running this country now.
Dennis

Charlottesville, VA

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#2
Jul 28, 2011
 
This reporting is confusing. The electoral vote ALREADY goes, in most states, to the candidate that wins the popular vote in the state. What the proposal is, I suspect, is to DIVIDE the electoral vote among the candidates, so that one might get 8 and another 7, based as closely as possible on the fraction of the state vote. This would serve to ensure that in almost all cases the national winner would be the one to get the most popular vote. I think it's a good idea, and could also enable third party candidates to capture some electoral votes. The argument against this is that far more often, NEITHER candidate would get a majority of the electoral votes. This would throw the decision into the House of Representatives (I believe) to decide among the top two candidates. Can you imagine how our dysfunctional House would select the best candidate?

Adam, either you don't understand, or wrote it poorly. We really expect better from you.
Ann

Charlottesville, VA

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#3
Jul 28, 2011
 

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The United States of America was founded as a Republic NOT a Democracy. The Founding Fathers feared a true democracy since it ammounted to mob rule... and they were right.
oldgulph

Santa Clara, CA

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#4
Jul 28, 2011
 
Raidersteve wrote:
The founding father's put in the electoral college for a reason; so every state will have a say in the election. If it were left to just popular votes than there would be zero reason to travel to any state other than the most populist.There are 12 states with less than 1.3 million people & 8 staes with 10 million or more. California 35 mil...Texas..24 mil...the founding father's were much smarter than the idiots we have running this country now.
The current system of electing the president ensures that the candidates, after the primaries, 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. The reason for this is the state-by-state winner-take-all method (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since 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.

Presidential candidates concentrate their attention on only a handful of closely divided "battleground" states and their voters. In the 2012 election, pundits and campaign operatives agree already, that, at most, only 14 states and their voters will matter. None of the 10 most rural states will matter, as usual. Almost 75% of the country will be ignored --including 19 of the 22 lowest population and medium-small states, and 17 medium and big states like CA, GA, NY, and TX. This will be more obscene than the 2008 campaign,when candidates concentrated over 2/3rds of their campaign events and ad money in just 6 states, and 98% in just 15 states (CO, FL, IN, IA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, PA, VA, and WI). Over half (57%) of the events were in just 4 states (OH, FL, PA, and VA). In 2004, candidates concentrated over 2/3rds of their money and campaign visits in 5 states; over 80% in 9 states; and over 99% of their money in 16 states.

2/3rds of the states and people have been merely spectators to the presidential elections.

Policies important to the citizens of ‘flyover’ states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

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.
oldgulph

Santa Clara, CA

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#5
Jul 28, 2011
 
Dennis wrote:
This reporting is confusing. The electoral vote ALREADY goes, in most states, to the candidate that wins the popular vote in the state. What the proposal is, I suspect, is to DIVIDE the electoral vote among the candidates, so that one might get 8 and another 7, based as closely as possible on the fraction of the state vote. This would serve to ensure that in almost all cases the national winner would be the one to get the most popular vote. I think it's a good idea, and could also enable third party candidates to capture some electoral votes. The argument against this is that far more often, NEITHER candidate would get a majority of the electoral votes. This would throw the decision into the House of Representatives (I believe) to decide among the top two candidates. Can you imagine how our dysfunctional House would select the best candidate?
Adam, either you don't understand, or wrote it poorly. We really expect better from you.
The National Popular Vote bill could 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. There would no longer be 'battleground' states where voters and policies are more important than those of other states.

When the bill is enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes-- enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

http://www.NationalPopularVote.com
oldgulph

Santa Clara, CA

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#6
Jul 28, 2011
 
Ann wrote:
The United States of America was founded as a Republic NOT a Democracy. The Founding Fathers feared a true democracy since it ammounted to mob rule... and they were right.
National Popular Vote has nothing to do with whether the country has a "republican" form of government or is a "democracy."

In a republic, the citizens do not rule directly but, instead, elect officeholders to represent them and conduct the business of government in the periods between elections.
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 has been the case in 48 states) or at district-level (as has been the case in Maine and Nebraska) or at 50-state-level (as under the National Popular Vote bill).

The National Popular Vote bill would end the disproportionate attention and influence of the "mob" in a 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. Similarly, 98% of ad spending took place in these 15 "battleground" states.
oldgulph

Santa Clara, CA

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#7
Jul 28, 2011
 
A survey of 800 Virginia voters conducted on December 21-22, 2008 showed 74% overall support for a national popular vote for President.

By age, support for a national popular vote was 82% among 18-29 year olds, 75% among 30-45 year olds, 75% among 46-65 year olds, and 68% for those older than 65.

By gender, support for a national popular vote was 82% among women and 65% among men.

By political affiliation, support for a national popular vote was 79% for a national popular vote among liberal Democrats (representing 17% of respondents), 86% among moderate Democrats (representing 21% of respondents), 79% among conservative Democrats (representing 10% of respondents), 76% among liberal Republicans (representing 4% of respondents), 63% among moderate Republicans (representing 14% of respondents), and 54% among conservative Republicans (representing 17% of respondents), and 79% among Others (representing 17% of respondents).

http://nationalpopularvote.com/pages/polls.ph...
Real History

Washington, DC

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#8
Jul 28, 2011
 
Popular Vote is a bad idea...The Electoral College was devised by the founding fathers as a compromise between the election of a President by popular vote and by the Congress. The College currently consists of 538 electors -- based on the total number of Representatives and Senators, plus three District of Columbia electors. The electors are a popularly elected body chosen by the states and the District of Columbia on the day of the general election (November 2, 2004). The slate of electors for the Presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes is recorded on a Certificate of Ascertainment.

To have a purely popular vote would leave many States without a significant say in who the next President is, and the most populous States essentially "running" the White House.

If you want to really debate the merits of the Electoral College, stick to why it was created, and how it benefits the whole country...not where candidates spend time and money. To argue those points only cheapens our society and distracts from the real history and reasons for having it.

As for votes counting; all votes count. Only ~25% of our Nation bothers to do it. That means 75% either don't care, or don't bother to make the effort to so it (yes I know some folks can't, or are too dumb to figure out which way is up). This is another reason why the electoral college is important (so that states get a say despite the "citizens" not voting).
Real History

Washington, DC

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#9
Jul 28, 2011
 
oldgulph wrote:
A survey of 800 Virginia voters conducted on December 21-22, 2008 showed 74% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
Yeah...800 people out of a population of 7.8+ million - real good sample size there (hope you can see the sarcasm). Popular vote is VERY dangerous, and a bad idea. Read the other post I have.
oldgulph

Santa Clara, CA

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#10
Jul 28, 2011
 
The presidential election system we have today is not in the Constitution. State-by-state winner-take-all laws to award Electoral College votes, are an example of state laws eventually enacted by states, using their exclusive power to do so, AFTER the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution,

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."

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 method) 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, and only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all method to award electoral votes.

The current 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method (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 entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. It 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 method.

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

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 method is used by 48 of the 50 states. States can, and frequently have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years.
oldgulph

Santa Clara, CA

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#11
Jul 28, 2011
 
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.

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).
oldgulph

Santa Clara, CA

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#12
Jul 28, 2011
 
The small states are the most disadvantaged group of states under the current system of electing the President. Political clout comes from being a closely divided battleground state, not the two-vote bonus. The reason for this is the state-by-state winner-take-all method (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but 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.

None of the 10 most rural states (VT, ME, WV, MS, SD, AR, MT, ND, AL, and KY) is a battleground state.
The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes does not enhance the influence of rural states, because the most rural states are not battleground states.

12 of the 13 lowest population states (3-4 electoral votes) are almost invariably non-competitive, and ignored, in presidential elections. Six regularly vote Republican (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota), and six regularly vote Democratic (Rhode Island, Delaware, Hawaii, Vermont, Maine, and DC) in presidential elections Despite the fact that these 12 lowest population states together possess 40 electoral votes, because they are not closely divided battleground states, none of these 12 states get visits, advertising or polling or policy considerations by presidential candidates.

These 12 states together contain 11 million people. Because of the two electoral-vote bonus that each state receives, the 12 non-competitive small states have 40 electoral votes. However, the two-vote bonus is an entirely illusory advantage to the small states. Ohio has 11 million people and has "only" 20 electoral votes. As we all know, the 11 million people in Ohio are the center of attention in presidential campaigns, while the 11 million people in the 12 non-competitive small states are utterly irrelevant. Nationwide election of the President would make each of the voters in the 12 lowest population states as important as an Ohio voter.

Support for a national popular vote in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): Alaska -- 70%, DC -- 76%, Delaware --75%, Idaho – 77%, Maine -- 77%, Montana – 72%, Nebraska -- 74%, New Hampshire --69%, Nevada -- 72%, New Mexico -- 76%, Oklahoma – 81%, Rhode Island -- 74%, South Dakota – 71%, Utah - 70%, Vermont -- 75%, and West Virginia – 81%, and Wyoming – 69%.

In the 13 lowest population states, the National Popular Vote bill already has been approved by nine state legislative chambers, including one house in, Delaware, the District of Columbia, and Maine and both houses in Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It has been enacted by the District of Columbia, Hawaii, and Vermont.
oldgulph

Santa Clara, CA

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#13
Jul 28, 2011
 
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%.

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 directly and equally counted and mattered to their candidate. Most Americans consider the idea of the candidate with the most popular votes being declared a loser detestable. We don't allow this in any other election in our representative republic.

The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in AR, CT, DE, DC, ME, MI, NV, NM, NY, NC, and OR, and both houses in CA, CO, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA, RI, VT, and WA. The bill has been enacted by DC (3), HI (4), IL (19), NJ (14), MD (11), MA (10), VT (3), and WA (13). These 8 jurisdictions possess 77 electoral votes -- 29% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

http://www.NationalPopularVote.com
A True American

Knoxville, IA

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#14
Oct 18, 2011
 
The founding fathers had it RIGHT ! a few states with a large population of uneducated and illiegals should not be able to tell the rest of the country who the the presidient of the United States should be!!!!!!!!!!
sez me

Monroe, NC

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#15
Oct 19, 2011
 
For the first time here I will claim ignorant to the whys and wherefores of the popular vote and electoral college. I know what they are but not how they interrelate. But two things here, one, I have strong suspicions of any politician wanting to change the electoral process for obvious reasons. Two, regardless of the means the results have been horrendous. We need to look at new laws concerning PACS the obvious payoffs to politicians for votes in congress before we worry about how they get there. OH, we always like to to think of this country as a democracy, which it is not, in a perfect world it would be nice but guess what, this one sucks. Greece lived in a perfect world, at least for a little while, but as long as we live in this corrupt republic we should expect nothing better until we are willing to change it. Have a nice day.
buyerbeware

Charlottesville, VA

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#16
Oct 19, 2011
 
Dennis wrote:
This reporting is confusing. The electoral vote ALREADY goes, in most states, to the candidate that wins the popular vote in the state. What the proposal is, I suspect, is to DIVIDE the electoral vote among the candidates, so that one might get 8 and another 7, based as closely as possible on the fraction of the state vote. This would serve to ensure that in almost all cases the national winner would be the one to get the most popular vote. I think it's a good idea, and could also enable third party candidates to capture some electoral votes. The argument against this is that far more often, NEITHER candidate would get a majority of the electoral votes. This would throw the decision into the House of Representatives (I believe) to decide among the top two candidates. Can you imagine how our dysfunctional House would select the best candidate?
Adam, either you don't understand, or wrote it poorly. We really expect better from you.
That's how Bill Clinton got elected with less than half the popular vote

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