If the compact is to succeed, they’ll need to get red states on board—meaning they will need to win over people who share Haynes’ perspective. The compact has passed in 15 states and the District of Columbia—“an average of one state per year,” Koza notes—and its participants total 196 electoral votes, just 74 short of adoption. But all of the states that have signed on are states Biden carried by at least 10.8 points. The latest success was in Colorado, where Koza’s organization fended off a GOP-backed effort to overturn last year’s passage of the compact via a rarely used-direct initiative. Koza’s team and local allies won the statewide vote last month 52–48.
Koza’s success in Colorado marks a particularly significant juncture for the organization. In 2006, when Koza and Fadem were “forming the organization on the fly,” Colorado’s Senate was the first legislative body to try to pass National Popular Vote’s bill. It failed four times, but organizers like Sylvia Bernstein decided to try again when Democrats took over control of the Colorado Senate from Republicans in 2018.
“The No. 1 best message is that every vote should count equally,” Bernstein, who worked as the coalition coordinator for Colorado’s Yes on National Popular Vote campaign, told me of her group’s grassroots messaging strategy. “There are a couple of reasons why every vote doesn’t count equally. Right now, one of them especially reso