Green Room

Dem rep: How about 29 extra electoral votes for whoever wins the popular vote?

posted at 4:02 pm on October 26, 2012 by

A month ago, there would have been overwhelming Democratic support for this. Today? Not so much.

Swing states would retain their importance in the Electoral College, but the additional 29 delegates awarded to the popular-vote winner would fundamentally alter the focus of the campaigns. Candidates would have to target voters in states they have no chance of winning, as well as in states they have no chance of losing…

Most analysts believe the 2012 election will be decided by fewer than 29 Electoral College votes.

The timing of the resolution from Israel, the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is curious since there is increasing speculation that for the fifth time in history, the 2012 presidential election could result in a split between the popular vote and Electoral College decision. And in this case, most of the speculation has been that President Obama might win the Electoral College while losing the popular vote.

Yeah, that’s bizarre. He’s thinking, I assume, that this is a perfect moment to try to drum up support for a “National Popular Vote” initiative among normally reluctant Republicans. Romney, as Jim Geraghty notes, looks more and more like he’ll win that vote; Democrats who are playing a long game and expect to outnumber Republicans nationwide in the decades ahead might want to leverage that newfound GOP interest in the popular vote to try to build some momentum for getting rid of the electoral college now. Why he’d do this on the eve of an election, though, when his candidate may well end up winning the presidency but losing the popular vote, I can’t understand. First question for O at his first second-term press conference: “What does it say about your ‘mandate’ to govern that even the head of the DCCC would have awarded the presidency to Romney?”

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