Is there a conservative case for National Popular Vote?

posted at 4:30 pm on August 15, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

A few days ago, I got an invitation from my friend Laura Brod to discuss the National Popular Vote initiative.  Laura served several terms in the Minnesota legislature, rising to assistant GOP leader in her last two sessions (majority, then minority), and she has organized and served conservatives for her entire public career.  Given that, I was a little surprised to hear that Laura backed the NPV.  The proposal gets a lot of mischaracterizations; it doesn’t bypass the Electoral College, for instance, and since it relies on states voluntarily deciding to change how they allocate their Electoral College votes, it doesn’t violate the Constitution, either.  My skepticism rests mainly on my perception that an NPV arrangement would mainly serve the interests of high-population, mainly coastal states — and solve a problem that has only arisen twice in the preceding 134 years.

After meeting with Laura and Pat Rosenstiel from Red Cap Strategy, I was still skeptical, but at least intrigued by their argument that NPV would benefit smaller-population states and limit the kind of pandering that helped create Medicare Part D, for instance, and other big-ticket federal programs.  Laura wrote a brief essay for Hot Air introducing their case that conservatives should support NPV, and I’m curious to see how Hot Air readers respond.  I’ll have more to say at the end of the essay.

======

Don’t Rush to Judgment: There is a Conservative Story to be told about the National Popular Vote

Recently there has been a lot of discussion in the news and blogosphere about the National Popular Vote Plan to guarantee the awarding of state electors to the candidate who wins the National Popular Vote in all 50 states.  Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of misstatements and rhetoric surrounding the issue.

I have recently read, due to passing of the bill in Massachusetts, that this is a “partisan” or even “liberal” effort.  This could not be further from the truth.  Just look at the experience and support of this legislation throughout the country with over 1935 supporting legislators from all political points of view across the political spectrum. In my home state of Minnesota, some of the most conservative members of our legislature are co-authors of the National Popular Vote Bill.  In the recent New York Senate vote on the legislation; Conservative Party endorsed Republicans favored the bill by a 20-3 margin.

The National Popular Vote Bill is not a Democrat or Republican bill.  It is not even a liberal or conservative bill.  The National Popular Vote Bill is a bill for Americans interested in both preserving our Electoral College and reforming the shortcomings of our current “winner-take-all” system that awards all the electors of one state to the candidate who wins in that particular state and which has led to a concentration of efforts in few states at the expense of many.

Like many conservatives, I view most ‘election reforms’ through a skeptical eye.  I share a reverence for the Constitution and our founding documents. In fact, when I first saw the National Popular Vote Plan, I defaulted to a “No” position on the concept.  But, I was curious enough to read the legislation, re-read the Constitution, and re-read some relevant Federalist Papers.  After evaluating the pros and cons of the current winner-take-all approach, I moved toward a position of support of both the concept and the legislation.  This plan rightfully utilizes the states’ rights, as explicitly spelled out in the Constitution, for full authority to award their electoral votes as they see fit.

Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution says:

“Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors… “

These words in the Constitution point out an important states’ right that the National Popular Vote Plan recognizes and, as a conservative, a right which I support.

Let’s be clear.  The National Popular Vote legislation being voted on and supported by legislators across this great nation does NOT abolish the Electoral College that is crucial to the stability of our republic – it preserves the Electoral College and each state’s right to award their electors.

I am one of a growing number of conservatives who support the National Popular Vote legislation because, contrary to what some folks suggest in rhetorical opposition, the many conservative supporters of the idea know that the National Popular Vote Plan is not in conflict with the Constitution and not an end run around the Constitution.  In actuality, the legislation is an exercise of power by the states that is explicitly granted through the Constitution.

Legislators across this great country—in red states and blue states, large states and small states— support this legislation because they are bound by one thing: the fact that their states are ‘flyover’ states.  When 98% of all presidential campaign spending and visits occur in only 15 states, the great majority of states are effectively ignored in presidential elections.  Legislators know this is not good for their state, their citizens, or their entire slate of candidates.  Many conservative legislators from across the country have recognized that policies important to the citizens of ‘flyover’ states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.  And, over time we have seen too much profligate spending based on what moves electoral votes, rather than a real focus on holding spending and debt in check to ensure economic security and real economic opportunity for Americans.

I believe this is a center-right country and that our conservative ideas and ideals will win the day if we take the argument to all people, not just those in battleground states.  We leave many conservative votes on the table in red and blue states because candidates are not competing for those votes.  We allow greater opportunity for fraud because the cheaters know how and where to cheat to make one illegal vote equal many electoral votes.

I am one of the growing number of conservatives who support the concept of reforming our system through an agreement of the states for a National Popular Vote Plan that keeps the stability of our Republican form of government by preserving our Electoral College, keeps the checks and balances in place to ensure the protection against so-called mob rule, and keeps the states’ rights intended by the Founder’s securely intact.

The National Popular vote plan being discussed by legislatures across the country does exactly that.

As a conservative, I ask you to hold off on making a rush to judgment on this issue and hope you will consider all sides of the issue, judge for yourself, and not allow the rhetoric of the opposition too often lacking in hard facts to stand without question.  Whatever side you come down on, one thing is certain; there is a conservative story in favor of a National Popular Vote to be told.

Representative Laura Brod (R-Minnesota)

Representative Brod has been in the Minnesota House since 2002 and is the Ranking Republican member of Minnesota’s House Tax Committee.

=====

Laura points out a good article from Rich Bolen, a Constitutional law scholar and a member of the Federalist Society, rebutting arguments against NPV, such as the basis of my skepticism, the impact on smaller states in presidential elections:

Objection: Won’t small states be ignored if we eliminate winner-take-all rules and adopt the National Popular Vote?

Response: No, because even in states that are reliably red or blue a bigger margin of victory or smaller margin of defeat can offset losses in other states. Candidates will work hard in states they will definitely win so they can get out more of their supporters to influence the total number of votes cast for them nationally. In fact, in strongly supportive states, candidates can get a better return for their campaign investment.

During our meeting, we spent quite a bit of time on this question, and I’m still not entirely convinced it will have the intended effect — but I’m more open to the point than I was previously.  States like Utah, South and North Dakota, and Oklahoma are usually so overwhelmingly Republican that candidates don’t bother spending much time or effort there; the same is true for Democratic states like Vermont, Connecticut, and so on.  Their winner-take-all EC policy means that if a candidate is more or less guaranteed to win it all without lifting a finger, then they won’t — because the margin of overall victory doesn’t matter.  In an NPV system, every vote would count, and both parties will be forced to compete in smaller states to either maximize or minimize the eventual margin of victory — and that means every state will get attention.

Also, the NPV system would only “activate” under specific circumstances.  If the popular vote winner doesn’t get the EC victory, then each state would have to fulfill their requirement under the interstate compact to allocate their EC votes to the popular-vote winner, and only if enough states have joined the compact to get to 270 votes.  (Interstate compacts are perfectly legal, by the way, when they involve only powers properly held by the states — and allocation of Electoral College votes is completely a state’s decision.)  But the possibility that an election will hinge on these outcomes will force candidates to campaign in all 50 states, NPV advocates argue.

I’m still at least somewhat skeptical.  Adopting NPV essentially means that all presidential elections are popular-vote contests, which does make the EC less relevant while retaining its form and Constitutional finality.  I’m not sure at all that the NPV will actually get candidates to spend time in smaller states, especially Democrats, who will use their GOTV votes in urban areas to build huge popular-vote leads in New York, California, and other coastal states in a cost-efficient manner that may not be replicable in exurbs or rural areas.  However, the NPV advocates rightly note that the current system means fewer down-ticket resources applied in those areas in both parties because of the perceived lack of need for those votes now in national elections.

It’s worth debating, but given the relative lack of crises in the last 134 years, it will probably be difficult to move states into accepting such a change.


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CWforFreedom on August 15, 2010 at 5:23 PM

CW, you are the punk.

AshleyTKing on August 15, 2010 at 5:31 PM

If states so strongly believe that the NPV is a good idea for their state, let them divide up their EV’s by the NPV total. Nothing stops them. CA – divide up your EVs by whatever the popular vote in the country is.

But they never suggest this. Therein, again, lies the problem.

lorien1973 on August 15, 2010 at 5:31 PM

Come and make me
Dark-Star on August 15, 2010 at 5:26 PM

Seriously, how old are you?

CWforFreedom on August 15, 2010 at 5:31 PM

Sorry for the OT and I posted this earlier but don’t think anybody saw it.
Alert to all southern Nevadans:

Monday, August 16th, 6:00PM to 7:30PM, Sharron Angle will be at her NLV headquarters talking to folks. 5710 Simmons street (northeast corner of Ann road and Simmons). Hope to see some of you there.

VegasRick on August 15, 2010 at 5:32 PM

Couldn’t a few corrupt states then swing the entire election in any direction they want?

They would have a powerful incentive to do so if they make out like bandits via electoral promises.

sharrukin on August 15, 2010 at 5:32 PM

Koa on August 15, 2010 at 5:29 PM

Yep. I think it’d take 2-3 elections, but once small states realized that their votes are being drowned out by the big cities, people would stop participating. And that fact would be pounded into their head over and over again too.

lorien1973 on August 15, 2010 at 5:33 PM

How so?

American Idol

hahahaaha

CWforFreedom on August 15, 2010 at 5:30 PM

Here’s how:

NPV goes national and maybe 20 cities will ever be visited by a candidate. Why would you go outside those areas? And thus, winners are determined by who hands them the most money.

NPV actively suppresses small town/state vote by magnifying the importance of large cities/states.

lorien1973 on August 15, 2010 at 5:25 PM

American Idol, voting edition, with a ~25 city ‘tour’.

Not a pretty thought.

Dark-Star on August 15, 2010 at 5:33 PM

Now go back and watch Tv

CWforFreedom on August 15, 2010 at 5:23 PM

I bet if you offered him a 7-11 Burrito he’d get back into his little red wagon that leads to the utopian dream of obamaville.

/The question is… who’s towing this load?

Key West Reader on August 15, 2010 at 5:34 PM

sharrukin- corruption in politics? You kid right? /

——————————————-

We have are not a Democracy . It is plain and simple and we have the EC for good reason.

CWforFreedom on August 15, 2010 at 5:34 PM

Seriously, how old are you?

CWforFreedom on August 15, 2010 at 5:31 PM

Ahem. The POTUS is 12.

Key West Reader on August 15, 2010 at 5:35 PM

Popular vote.

The majority of the objections seem to me that switching to that system will be a disaster due to current voting patterns. And they’re right; the liberal cities would rapidly monopolize the voting scene.

But what if that weren’t the case?

Dark-Star on August 15, 2010 at 5:29 PM

Oh, OK. Well, yeah, I’d still be against it. Again, it would be a move towards more democracy and less of the old Republic. I’m not a fan of democracy. While I understand that currently there is a strong conservative populist movement, the current popular movement isn’t (at least uniformly) promoting the idea of say mob rule … more demanding that their representatives actually represent them properly.

Also, as lorien points out, there is a good chance that the votes of certain people living in highly populated urban centers is more valuable. While one could argue that the vote of an individual in a swing state is of the highest value, right now… at least it still seems consistent with the notion of Federalism instead of urban democracy.

MeatHeadinCA on August 15, 2010 at 5:35 PM

Sorry but I’m not even skeptical..to heck with this idea!..Leave it alone :)

Dire Straits on August 15, 2010 at 5:35 PM

I’ll give you a good reason not to support this, Minnesota. I’m not convinced that Al Franken didn’t steal the Minnesota election and, until I believe the Democrats are more concerned with fair and proper elections, rather than just winning, I’ll never support it. You can call me narrow minded, if you wish, but I just don’t trust the Democrats to do the right thing. They’ve proven to me they’re only interested in winning and they are willing to make people question the whole election process, when they don’t win.

If we don’t have an open and fair election process, we’re Venezuela.

bflat879 on August 15, 2010 at 5:35 PM

We could more closely reflect the actual distribution of the national vote if states simply made one change to how they allocate electoral votes:

2 electoral votes go to the winner of the state popular vote (accounting for the two electors representing the Senate seats in Congress)

1 electoral vote to the winner of each congressional district in the state (accounting for the electors representing that state’s House seats).

Simple .. done. No longer do you have the winner of the main metro carrying the entire state and disenfranchising the rural districts. The winner of Chicago no longer carries ALL the electoral votes of Illinois, the winner of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia no longer carry the entire vote of Pennsylvania, etc.

The electoral vote will then more closely match the popular vote nationally and there will be practically no chance of anyone winning the electoral votes but losing the popular vote.

It gives everyone a say, allows their district’s vote to be counted and does not disenfranchise anyone.

crosspatch on August 15, 2010 at 5:35 PM

Dark-Tard – you seem to know a lot about a TV show for someone who does not watch.

hmmmmmmmm

Could someone be lying?

You are Matthew Yglesias aren’t you? /

CWforFreedom on August 15, 2010 at 5:36 PM

American Idol, voting edition, with a ~25 city ‘tour’.

Not a pretty thought.

Dark-Star on August 15, 2010 at 5:33 PM

Thank you, Dark-Star. Not only for making a complete A@@ of yourself, but for exposing what the Progressives are trying to do, after the 2010 Elections, that will prop up your Obama for 2012.

Ed? Well done! He got the WH to respond and that is a “big effin’ deal”.

Key West Reader on August 15, 2010 at 5:37 PM

Laura points out a good article from Rich Bolen, a Constitutional law scholar and a member of the Federalist Society, rebutting arguments against NPV, such as the basis of my skepticism, the impact on smaller states in presidential elections:

The last thing I need to convince me is a Constitutional law scholar advising me that something will happen because he thinks it will happen, probability and statistically speaking, but doesn’t do any probability or statistical analysis (with political strategists advising).

I was going to say the same thing for Laura Brod, but at least she makes a stab at it with,

We leave many conservative votes on the table in red and blue states because candidates are not competing for those votes.

But even that doesn’t go to the heart of the potential benefit, which is that conservatives in heavily blue states will have some influence on a trigger for beating the odds if they do get out and vote. But that is just theoretical. We had an example in FL for the last House special election wherein the R’s could have easily taken the vote if they had just voted. But they didn’t and it was lost in an election with a minuscule vote total.

So like I said, I need a whole lot more convincing that this method would do anything whatsoever to address politicians ignoring most states during campaigns.

Dusty on August 15, 2010 at 5:38 PM

Er..,NO!

JimK on August 15, 2010 at 5:39 PM

Conservatives are usually opposed to incrementalism, messing with the EC is surely the beginnings of something far more sinister than these folks pushing the NPV system.

fourdeucer on August 15, 2010 at 5:39 PM

If the voters were better informed Id agree but there are too many ill informed and uneducated voters out there who think Uncle Sugar is suppose to take care of them for their entire lives.

William Amos on August 15, 2010 at 5:40 PM

BTW… though I disagree with Laura here, good post, Ed.

MeatHeadinCA on August 15, 2010 at 5:40 PM

No, no, and again NO!

The Electoral College is not what’s broken. Try to fix it and you’ll easily end up irreversibly turning voting into a politicalized American Idol.

Dark-Star on August 15, 2010 at 4:55 PM

Can any conservative seriously think today’s crop of morons and psychopaths, fascists and marxists, would improve on what the Founding Fathers set up or set into motion?

Tav on August 15, 2010 at 5:41 PM

crosspatch on August 15, 2010 at 5:35 PM

LOL. Republicans would destroy Democrats each cycle that way.

lorien1973 on August 15, 2010 at 5:41 PM

If anything, the popular vote concept should be moved AWAY from a national scale and if forced upon us, be moved more locally to an electoral vote per whatever precinct(s) the EV is representing.
Thankfully its not being forced on anyone (except Mass. and that was by their own foolish votes) and is hopefully going to go nowhere anytime soon.

Koa on August 15, 2010 at 5:41 PM

sharrukin- corruption in politics? You kid right? /

CWforFreedom on August 15, 2010 at 5:34 PM

I’ve heard rumors to that effect.

If a Chicago style machine in New York State can deliver 85% of the state (or even NYC) vote how many small states does that equal throughout the country?

sharrukin on August 15, 2010 at 5:41 PM

I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the power transfer to the mass media where a last-minute unsubstantiated story could swing the election to their favorite candidate. (Guess which party’s!)

honsy on August 15, 2010 at 5:42 PM

If the voters were better informed Id agree but there are too many ill informed and uneducated voters out there who think Uncle Sugar is suppose to take care of them for their entire lives.

William Amos on August 15, 2010 at 5:40 PM

Even if the voters were better informed, I’d be against this. Human nature would probably eventually cause them to become lazy and less informed… oh, there’s a quote by Friedman about people living under tyranny for the majority of history … most likely because the people let themselves lapse back into their sleep.

MeatHeadinCA on August 15, 2010 at 5:42 PM

As Thomas Jefferson said, “When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become corrupt as in Europe.”

And he never even visted Chicago. It’s not surprising that the “blue” strongholds are the big urban areas.

NNtrancer on August 15, 2010 at 5:42 PM

lorien1973 on August 15, 2010 at 5:28 PM

Yeah, that’s the upshot of it all.

Weight of Glory on August 15, 2010 at 5:42 PM

2 words, Al Greene. 2 more, Al Franken. We got your caucuses, primaries, party leader deciders, Washington state free for all, gotta put up the money states, gotta get signatures states. We’re never going to come up with one plan fits all.

Kissmygrits on August 15, 2010 at 5:42 PM

I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the power transfer to the mass media where a last-minute unsubstantiated story could swing the election to their favorite candidate. (Guess which party’s!)

honsy on August 15, 2010 at 5:42 PM

Hmmm… even under the system we have, that could and does happen, though I suppose there could be a media blitzkrieg on NYC and LA :-)

MeatHeadinCA on August 15, 2010 at 5:44 PM

Horrible idea.

greggriffith on August 15, 2010 at 5:45 PM

I’m kinda partial to the idea of a states electors going to the person who won that state. I guess I am old-fashioned that way…

Dawnsblood on August 15, 2010 at 5:45 PM

If you consider that if the money spent to campaign in Alaska, was instead spent for the campaign New York it could produce more votes for a candidate than the eligible voters in Alaska. You should understand the importance of our current system.

Don’t screw with it.

Slowburn on August 15, 2010 at 5:46 PM

But what if that weren’t the case?

Dark-Star on August 15, 2010 at 5:29 PM

It would still be wrong, not just a mistake, but wrong, as it would violate the agreement reached by the small and large population states at the founding of the country.

Tav on August 15, 2010 at 5:46 PM

MeatHeadinCA on August 15, 2010 at 5:42 PM

The problem with America is its facination with the celebrity culture. From Sports Stars to Holliwood Stars to now reality stars. Fame is seen as the way to fortune nowadays.

Is why we have a celebrity president. Its not based on ability but good press.

William Amos on August 15, 2010 at 5:47 PM

Thankfully its not being forced on anyone (except Mass. and that was by their own foolish votes) and is hopefully going to go nowhere anytime soon.

Koa on August 15, 2010 at 5:41 PM

And following this “vote”, we hear the leftist progressives touting the benefits of electing Ted Kennedy’s widow.

Whadda Co-inky-dink!

Key West Reader on August 15, 2010 at 5:48 PM

The problem with America is its facination with the celebrity culture. From Sports Stars to Holliwood Stars to now reality stars. Fame is seen as the way to fortune nowadays.

Is why we have a celebrity president. Its not based on ability but good press.

William Amos on August 15, 2010 at 5:47 PM

I’ll agree that that is one of the reasons … however, I’m of the mindset that be you religious or not, Americans have been pulled (often of their own desire) away from their original values.

MeatHeadinCA on August 15, 2010 at 5:49 PM

What will happen is that big city states such as California (L.A.), Illinois (Chicago), Pa. (Philadelphia) and New York (NYC) will, combined, generate a couple of million ghost votes-it would have to be a landslide in order for the Republicans to overcome dead people, cartoon characters and totally fictitious entities.

MaiDee on August 15, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Instead of “progressing” and changing our fundamental laws of the the land, let’s go back to the original 12 Amendments to the Constitution. Period.

BowHuntingTexas on August 15, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Straight popular vote for POTUS? Why not? It’s worked so well in the Senate.

MMW on August 15, 2010 at 5:50 PM

Exhibit A for popular vote: Robert Byrd.

MeatHeadinCA on August 15, 2010 at 5:50 PM

I’m all for the Founding Fathers’ forethought and vision. They KNEW what was coming for us. Bombs and bullets be damned, it’s the Progressive Movement that seeks our necks.

They knew. And they protected us.

Key West Reader on August 15, 2010 at 5:51 PM

PS-Republicans would also have to overcome individuals constantly shuffling around various precincts voting 37 times each.

MaiDee on August 15, 2010 at 5:52 PM

Ed, here is the map you should focus on. This map features a map of the US if done by population. Notice the deep blue areas. It’s just about as I said – 17-20 metro areas. If you 2 metro areas in CA (LA and SF) account for that much of the vote. Add in NY and CHI metro areas. A few other areas and you have an unbeatable majority.

This map, while generally used to show Dems have a lot of national support, shows the exact opposite. It’s a virus contained to relatively few metro areas. Thus, their goal would be to magnify the importance of those areas by eliminating state boundaries. Lo and behold here is the plan. And a bunch of slack jawed useful idiots on the right think it’s a good idea. When it’s the exact opposite.

lorien1973 on August 15, 2010 at 5:52 PM

After meeting with Laura and Pat Rosenstiel from Red Cap Strategy, I was still skeptical, but at least intrigued by their argument that NPV would benefit smaller-population states and limit the kind of pandering that helped create Medicare Part D, for instance, and other big-ticket federal programs.

Oh for heavens sakes, Ed, people in the midwest use this program and support it too. And besides, the Democrats hated that program worse than conservatives did and that is why Obamacare forces the program to go from public/private program to just plain public..which is what they wanted all along.

In fact a lot of people who live in the midwest and states that do not have a lot of electoral votes have older populations anyway and program has been very popular in those states and people have not indicated that they wanted to get rid of it.

It is one thing to support a National Public vote, but to use it to attack a program like this seems a bit far fetched for me.

Terrye on August 15, 2010 at 5:53 PM

As for those that would point out that minority rural voters (those in NY, CA, and such) would suddenly have their voice heard; may I suggest they consider breaking off and starting their own state?

MeatHeadinCA on August 15, 2010 at 5:53 PM

I’ll agree that that is one of the reasons … however, I’m of the mindset that be you religious or not, Americans have been pulled (often of their own desire) away from their original values.

MeatHeadinCA on August 15, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Neo-Liberalism is about destroying values to create new ones in its place.

Is why Conservativism is important. We fight to preserve what made us great. They fight to create an illusion of greatness.

Conservatives value America, Its moral strengths, Its leadership in the world on freedom.

Liberals would trash all of that just to create a nation in its own image. A fake America that is more like the rest of the world and less like itself.

William Amos on August 15, 2010 at 5:53 PM

joe_doufu on August 15, 2010 at 5:15 PM

Exactly–this point cannot be stressed enough. It is why I am opposed to term limits and favor a repeal of the 17th Amendment.

DrMagnolias on August 15, 2010 at 5:54 PM

PS-Republicans would also have to overcome individuals constantly shuffling around various precincts voting 37 times each.

MaiDee on August 15, 2010 at 5:52 PM

You didn’t even mention the Dead vote! Just think. The cities with the most cemeteries might actually have an edge…

MeatHeadinCA on August 15, 2010 at 5:55 PM

Honestly wonder what would happen if America divided into blue and red countries seperate from each other.

Try like a one year speration where the Federal government would stay neutral and not take sides and let Red and Blue states run things the way they wanted.

Could California and New York and Massachusetts exist without the Federal Government to bail them out ? Would texas and the other red States be able to turn things around if the Feds didnt interfere.

Would be a useful and insightful thing to find out.

William Amos on August 15, 2010 at 5:56 PM

In an NPV system, every vote would count, and both parties will be forced to compete in smaller states to either maximize or minimize the eventual margin of victory — and that means every state will get attention.

Don’t buy that. I really don’t think it would change anything. If candidates were going after the total popular vote, why would they bother to campaign in a small state wiht only a few EC votes any more or less than a state with only a relatively few popular votes?

Right now the popular vote in a state determines who gets the EC votes. This just moves that situation to the national level.

If I’m trying to win the EC votes of PA, do I campaing more in Philly and Pittsburgh, or Carbon County? Transfer that answer to the natoinal level, and we’re back at first base.

It’s not that it’s a distinction without a difference however. The law of unintended -unforeseen- consequences lurks in the future, where we can’t see it. If it turns out to be a disaster, those who benefit from the new disaster will form a potent new political force, and if they constitute the majority, we’re stuck with whatever problems the current system was founded to prevent.

Akzed on August 15, 2010 at 5:56 PM

MeatHeadinCA on August 15, 2010 at 5:53 PM

I think they tried and were thwarted.

lorien1973 on August 15, 2010 at 5:57 PM

I’m all for the Founding Fathers’ forethought and vision. They KNEW what was coming for us. Bombs and bullets be damned, it’s the Progressive Movement that seeks our necks.

They knew. And they protected us.

Key West Reader on August 15, 2010 at 5:51 PM

In fact, the Founding Fathers did not support popular for President or US Senate.

Terrye on August 15, 2010 at 5:58 PM

It is why I am opposed to term limits and favor a repeal of the 17th Amendment.

DrMagnolias on August 15, 2010 at 5:54 PM

I agree will you on opposing term limits..but I am not for repealing the 17th admendment..:)

Dire Straits on August 15, 2010 at 5:58 PM

America has been ruled by the Liberal Elites and the Progressive Party since 2006. Americans are rejecting this ruling party. We are ready to recover from this recession, but the ruling elites will not allow this.

They will dictate when we recover
They will dictate if we recover
They will dictate and dictate and dictate….

Until the Transcriptionist that is America will refuse to take that dictation. The MSM? Eh. Obsolete. Like the old Hoover vacuum’s. Obsolete.

Key West Reader on August 15, 2010 at 6:00 PM

Very disappoint Ed would fall for this. Of course, sadly, like Allah, he’s a bit of a squish.

We’ve already bastardized the Constitution enough, haven’t we?

Learn all you can about George Soros’ “Secretaries of State” program, where he’s co-opted many, if not most of the states’ Secretaries of State.

That will tell you why this idea is idiotic.

gary4205 on August 15, 2010 at 6:01 PM

It gives everyone a say, allows their district’s vote to be counted and does not disenfranchise anyone.

crosspatch on August 15, 2010 at 5:35 PM

+1. I was going to make this exact same post. This is the ONLY change the EC system that I would ever consider.

Ed, having read the comments, your readers are much smarter than Laura Brod.

Chris of Rights on August 15, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Could California and New York and Massachusetts exist without the Federal Government to bail them out ? Would texas and the other red States be able to turn things around if the Feds didnt interfere.

Would be a useful and insightful thing to find out.

William Amos on August 15, 2010 at 5:56 PM

That could work both ways. California and New York are basket cases, no doubt about it, but a lot of revenue comes from those states as well. So yeah, they would not have the feds to bail them out, but the feds would not have the tax revenues from their large populations either.

Terrye on August 15, 2010 at 6:01 PM

In fact, the Founding Fathers did not support popular for President or US Senate.

Terrye on August 15, 2010 at 5:58 PM

Yeah, I know. My point was that apparently they had the foresight to protect us as a Nation.

Key West Reader on August 15, 2010 at 6:02 PM

Even if the voters were better informed, I’d be against this. Human nature would probably eventually cause them to become lazy and less informed.

MeatHeadinCA on August 15, 2010 at 5:42 PM

Good point and we could start with leaving American Idol out of political discussions.

CWforFreedom on August 15, 2010 at 6:03 PM

Chris of Rights on August 15, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Ed called in the WH Trolls. They played right into his hands. He’s proving that the WH reads the blog.

And that is a good thing.

Key West Reader on August 15, 2010 at 6:03 PM

Main reason why this idea sucks

Part I: How proportional representation brought Adolf Hitler to power

William Amos on August 15, 2010 at 6:03 PM

Ed called in the WH Trolls. They played right into his hands. He’s proving that the WH reads the blog.

And that is a good thing.

Key West Reader on August 15, 2010 at 6:03 PM

I don’t know… I haven’t seen crr … according to lorien, she’s doing nasty things with her hands and the members of ambulance chaser law firm boards.

MeatHeadinCA on August 15, 2010 at 6:07 PM

This is the ONLY change the EC system that I would ever consider.

Chris of Rights on August 15, 2010 at 6:01 PM

The beauty of it is that it does not require any change in the EC system. Each state is allowed to allocate their electors as they please. This could be done right now on a state by state basis with no changes in the constitution or in federal law.

crosspatch on August 15, 2010 at 6:07 PM

Ed called in the WH Trolls. They played right into his hands. He’s proving that the WH reads the blog.

And that is a good thing.

Key West Reader on August 15, 2010 at 6:03 PM

Who? And who on this thread thought NPV is a good idea?

exception on August 15, 2010 at 6:07 PM

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves Laura.

Down here in Texas, I want my State Legislature to clean up the fraud in the voting process and among the votees first.

Then maybe let’s do something about separating the vote for Pres and VP all by itself, nothing else on the ballot. Let’s see who shows up to vote because I think it’s going to be pretty much those who really care about the country.

Put the Senate and House on a separate day.

Put State and Local on a separate day.

Let’s do these first.

Texas Gal on August 15, 2010 at 6:07 PM

MeatHeadinCA on August 15, 2010 at 6:07 PM

Tee hee hee. That was a good comment, wasn’t it? :)

lorien1973 on August 15, 2010 at 6:08 PM

I can hardly wait until all the electoral votes in Massachusetts go to a Republican Presidential candidate which would have happened in 2004.

RADIOONE on August 15, 2010 at 6:09 PM

Nope the electoral college was designed so that the smaller states had a say in presidential election.

We’ve been through this crap before with the Senate and look what it did to states. Democracy is not stable, and is to be shunned at every turn.

Anybody for repealing the 17 th Amendment? That would be far better. Doing that would eliminate the 100 Senate fiefdoms responsible to no one. Why should there be a Schumer seat and not a New York seat.

tarpon on August 15, 2010 at 6:09 PM

Really. Bad. Idea. Right now, libs only crank up the vote fraud in urban districts when they need it for a close statewide race. Make the Presidency hang on national popular vote and “voter turnout” in tens of thousands of precincts will skyrocket, thanks to Soros, son of ACORN, etc. etc. Before you know it EVERY park bench and vacant lot will have 500 registered voters, not just the ones in Ohio and other swing states.

BuzzCrutcher on August 15, 2010 at 4:45 PM

The commenters on this blog are so on the ball I have no doubt someone else will come up with the idea I was thinking of as soon as I read the details of the NPV.

Corruption in large urban areas is countered by the fact that there is a diminishing return because once you have won your state there is no point in getting greedy and cheating any more. NPV would eliminate the diminishing return to voter fraud in cities like Chicago.

I am from Chicago and, trust me, they know how to cheat at elections. Any “conservative” who supports NPV is either not one or is an idiot.

Bill C on August 15, 2010 at 6:09 PM

The beauty of it is that it does not require any change in the EC system. Each state is allowed to allocate their electors as they please. This could be done right now on a state by state basis with no changes in the constitution or in federal law.

crosspatch on August 15, 2010 at 6:07 PM

Yes, I’m aware of that. Some states do this already, as a matter of fact.

Chris of Rights on August 15, 2010 at 6:10 PM

MeatHeadinCA on August 15, 2010 at 6:07 PM

Where is AnninCA to give her take on this NPV?..Is she boycotting HA?..:)

Dire Straits on August 15, 2010 at 6:10 PM

Nothing against Laura but this essay is terrible. This says nothing to convince us to support popular vote. Simply stating over and over that you and other conservatives support it is not compelling us to. Really not being rude, but this needs more work to support your ideas.

kongzilla on August 15, 2010 at 6:10 PM

Tee hee hee. That was a good comment, wasn’t it? :)

lorien1973 on August 15, 2010 at 6:08 PM

Oh, it definitely left a stain.

MeatHeadinCA on August 15, 2010 at 6:11 PM

Some states do this already, as a matter of fact.

I believe only one. It was recently defeated in a referendum by the voters in Colorado. It would greatly diminish the electoral clout of the Democrats in Denver so I imagine that is why it failed.

crosspatch on August 15, 2010 at 6:12 PM

RINO Ed Morrissey and RINO Laura Brod would not understand the US Constitution and the Republic form of government if the US Constitution hit them in the face. the whole intent of the election of Senators by State, by State legislatures(amended out of the US Constitution) and the Electoral College is to enfranchise the rural voters and disenfranchise mob purely democrat rule, same as it ever was. BTW changing Electoral votes for votes outside of said State DISENFRANCHISES said State’s voters and VIOLATES the US Constitution on several grounds.

mathewsjw on August 15, 2010 at 6:13 PM

The question is faulty. What the candidates DO is irrelevant. The EC acts exactly as it is intended to – it weights the small states and increases their impact on a national election. The entire point is to decrease tyranny of the masses – it does that, regardless whether candidates acknowledge it by visits and such. All of the ‘thwarting’ of the EC trying to have it more closely mirror the popular vote entirely misses the point. Conservatives doing calculus as to whether they benefit in coming elections is also retarded. The system is not, nor should it be, designed to get the result one side wants, and changes should not be made thusly. Getting rid of the electoral college WILL increase the power of California, New York and Illinois and decrease the power of Rhode Island, North Dakota and Delaware. This isn’t a question of ‘relevance’ or how candidates treat them, it is a matter of mathematical fact. The stupidity of states allowing other states to devalue their electoral impact to ensure the popular vote wins is a form of ignorance and idiocy, though it is certainly within their rights as morons. The fact that there have been presidents elected with a minority of the popular vote proves the wisdom of the forefathers, particularly the recent example if one presupposes that we ARE a center right country, distributed in smaller states disproportionately, then the electoral college worked precisely as intended.

WashingtonsWake on August 15, 2010 at 6:13 PM

Where is AnninCA to give her take on this NPV?..Is she boycotting HA?..:)

Dire Straits on August 15, 2010 at 6:10 PM

To the great disappointment of the participants of HA (at least according to the popular vote), Ann may in fact be boycotting the Hate-Allthetimesarahpalinblog ;-)

MeatHeadinCA on August 15, 2010 at 6:14 PM

MeatHeadinCA on August 15, 2010 at 6:14 PM

LOL!..:)

PS..She will be back when she finds out HA is the best Blog!..:)

Dire Straits on August 15, 2010 at 6:18 PM

Who? And who on this thread thought NPV is a good idea?

exception on August 15, 2010 at 6:07 PM

Valerie? Gibblets? Rahm? Dave?

/I love it when the WH comes together on a Sunday night.

Key West Reader on August 15, 2010 at 6:18 PM

LOL!..:)

PS..She will be back when she finds out HA is the best Blog!..:)

Dire Straits on August 15, 2010 at 6:18 PM

She’ll be back to troll… cuz that’s what she does.

MeatHeadinCA on August 15, 2010 at 6:19 PM

The Fouding Fathers did not want the popular vote deciding because they didn’t want BOSTON choosing every President…

Regarding the proposal: BLUE STATES – you first!! After CA, NY, IL, and about 7 other GUARANTEED Democrat winners go with the system, we’ll optest for, say, 10-12 national elections… The state vote will be binding, so if a Republical gets the natiional vote REGARDLESS of what CA, IL, NY et. al. think, the Republican gets their electoral votes…

“Well played, Mauer…”

Khun Joe on August 15, 2010 at 6:19 PM

Al Gore won 600 districts. George W. Bush won 2400. Al Gore won the popular vote. There isn’t anything else you need to know to consider whether NPV is good or not. If by winning 4/5th of the country you would still lose, there is a problem.

SnKArcbound on August 15, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Exactly!

ladyingray on August 15, 2010 at 6:19 PM

WashingtonsWake on August 15, 2010 at 6:13 PM

And here we have an essay. Heavy Sigh. Just what I wanted and hoped for. And, the author said, “Retarded”.

I love it when the WH comes to visit.

Key West Reader on August 15, 2010 at 6:22 PM

SnKArcbound on August 15, 2010 at 5:19 PM

What is a ‘district’? States on the east coat have hundreds of little counties, while on the West there might be a dozen at most in a state. Why should the east coast have more of a say just because they’ve decided to sub-divide themselves to infinity or because people are more spread out?

What does ‘one man, one vote’ mean in this context?

Phoenician on August 15, 2010 at 6:25 PM

But what if that weren’t the case?

Dark-Star on August 15, 2010 at 5:29 PM

No. Our constitution is written to protect the minority from the majority. Only liberals want to change that when it suits their purposes.

ladyingray on August 15, 2010 at 6:25 PM

Valerie? Gibblets? Rahm? Dave?

/I love it when the WH comes together on a Sunday night.

Key West Reader on August 15, 2010 at 6:18 PM

They’re not here. Are they’re any comments supporting NPV here?

exception on August 15, 2010 at 6:26 PM

I’m not a big fan of this for many reasons. But here’s one for you:

RECOUNTS

Can you imagine a Florida or Minnesota-like recount situation if the margin of victory was close enough to call for one? Can you imagine the kind of crappy “undervotes” or other ridiculous new ways to count ballots that would arise in some sort of nation-wide recount for the Presidency? It’d put Bush/Gore to shame, and that was more than bad enough to only experience once in this lifetime.

MikeknaJ on August 15, 2010 at 6:27 PM

lorien1973 on August 15, 2010 at 5:52 PM

Nice Art!

tim c on August 15, 2010 at 6:29 PM

Ed, I’m kind of surprised… aren’t you the poll man? In the name of popular vote, you should have included one of your polls!

MeatHeadinCA on August 15, 2010 at 6:32 PM

It’s disturbing that enough legislatures might support this and it happens no matter what. I think when it gets close some states’ populations will back out. Even then, it will make a mess of campaigning. Candidates might not even know what they are voting for.

exception on August 15, 2010 at 6:33 PM

Stupid to encourage electoral shenanigans and voting chaos.

profitsbeard on August 15, 2010 at 6:35 PM

Hmmm… not one person on this thread thinks this is a good idea!

That’s kind of encouraging.

sharrukin on August 15, 2010 at 6:39 PM

sharrukin on August 15, 2010 at 6:39 PM

We are still waiting on ernesto and AnninCA..:)

Dire Straits on August 15, 2010 at 6:41 PM

We are still waiting on ernesto and AnninCA..:)

Dire Straits on August 15, 2010 at 6:41 PM

The first might require one to be part of an oppressed group to vote … the later would only want women to vote ;-)

MeatHeadinCA on August 15, 2010 at 6:44 PM

AnninCA..:)

Dire Straits on August 15, 2010 at 6:41 PM

Think she got sick of the anti-Palin slant and walked.

I suppose ‘The Race Card’ will breeze in from LGF and tell us why we are all racists for… something. He will of course have scientific proof for all of it!

sharrukin on August 15, 2010 at 6:44 PM

No to NPV, which would only further undermine the rights of individual states and further erode our dangling by a thread constitution.

Kermit on August 15, 2010 at 6:45 PM

Abusing my privelege. Sorry

Key West Reader on August 15, 2010 at 6:46 PM

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