National Popular Vote

Monday, 28th November 2016

From Nov. 28, 2016


This is an ongoing proposal, already passed within 11 states with 165 electoral votes, for tying the votes of the electors in each state by law to the national popular vote. No change needed in the Constitution for it to happen. The popular vote becomes the determining factor, which in principle everyone should want (I say “in principle”, because I’m well aware of the demographic issues and the self-interest that would surely exist).

This has more of a chance than other much-needed reforms, like gerrymandering or other districting reforms (which I doubt have much chance in the next 4 years), or campaign finance reforms (ditto). This has been passed by both Democratic and Republican legislatures, and so is partway there. Here’s its status in my state, Florida:

“On January, 2011, Senator Anthony C. “Tony” Hill, Sr. introduced the National Popular Vote bill (SB 440) in the Florida State Senate.

A survey of 800 Florida voters conducted on January 9-10, 2009 showed 78% overall support for a national popular vote for President. By political affiliation, support for a national popular vote was 88% among Democrats, 68% among Republicans, and 76% among others. By gender, support for a national popular vote was 88% among women and 69% among men. By age, support for a national popular vote was 79% among 18-29 year olds, 78% among 30-45 year olds, 76% among 46-65 year olds, and 80% for those older than 65. By race, support for a national popular vote was 80% among whites (representing 70% of respondents), 69% among African Americans (representing 13% of respondents), 79% among Hispanics (representing 13% of respondents), and 72% among others (representing 4% of respondents). The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 1/2%.”

This actually seems like a good idea. In fact, I can see arguments for its adoption across the political spectrum. So, those of you who have looked into this more than I have – what are the downsides to this? Apart from making it happen, that is. Anything?

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