Protecting the Electoral College from the Progressive Assault

By | 2017-06-02T18:30:05+00:00 November 21, 2016|
Print Friendly

diagram_of_the_federal_government_and_american_union_editProgressives want to eliminate the Electoral College. They argue that the American constitutional system of electing the president unfairly advantages the votes of people in smaller states. This argument, deceptive to its core, only seems plausible because of radical changes to the Constitution imposed by the Progressives themselves.

A little history should make this more clear. And an additional benefit of understanding the Electoral College as the Founders understood it is that it will enable you to understand why the United States of America has its curious name which, remarkably, claims that it is (a nation) made up of states.

Imagine for the moment that you are a member of the Founders’ generation, America’s actual Greatest Generation. You are already a citizen of a functioning state, one of the original 13. Your state and the other American states have just defeated the world’s greatest superpower. The 13 states have conducted the war as a kind of wartime alliance. (The ratification of the Articles of Confederation did not occur until March 1, 1781, the same year as the military victory at Yorktown, and even under the Articles each state remained sovereign and independent.)

Now, just a few years later, along come Washington, Madison, and others with a proposal for a new “federal” government. It would, they explain, carry out for your state functions that could better be carried out by a government representing all 13 states. It would have powers to deal with states for the states—with foreign states and to a lesser extent with the American states in matters such as interstate commerce. Here is how Madison described it in Federalist 45:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce…The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

Please note: the “several States” reserve all state powers, except those “few and defined” powers they delegate to the proposed federal government. Because in America the citizens are sovereign, it is up to you as a member of the Founders’ generation to decide the question of which powers should be delegated to the federal government.

Fast forward to our present day and the contrast could not be more stark. It is clear that we do not have the kind of government the Founders’ generation voted for, isn’t it? Today the federal Leviathan crushes the states, regulates the individual in an uncountable number of ways, and intrudes into everything from your local zoning commission and your local school board to that dry creek bed behind your house that only has water after a rain. What went wrong?

In the Framers’ plan, the Senators represented the state governments. Because the federal government’s main purpose was to take over certain state responsibilities the people had determined were better managed on a national scale, the United States Senate was to hold legislative power over those functions—“war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce”, and the Senators, quite logically, were chosen by the legislatures of the various states to legislate and supervise federal use of the delegated powers.

The citizens’ representatives in the federal government were called—well, Representatives—and they made up the House of Representatives. The Representatives were chosen directly by the voters, apportioned by population. The House was given the power of the purse—which the Founders’ generation understood to be paramount (“no taxation without representation”)—and which meant every Representative had to face the voters with frequency and regularity.

Each state got two electoral votes by virtue of its two Senators, and one vote for each Representative. Please note that under the original Constitution each state government was treated perfectly equally. Each state government got two Senators. No disparity there! Only when the progressives overthrew this system by means of the Seventeenth Amendment did a kind of disparity appear. The 17th Amendment instituted the direct election of Senators, the system we now have. It took away from the states the power to appoint the Senators who were to represent them in the federal government and to oversee federal execution of the responsibilities the states had delegated to the federal government. The result was a diminishing of the power of the states and the growth of the gargantuan central government we have today.

The 17th Amendment reneged on a deal honorably entered into by honorable men, and approved by the voters of the Founders’ generation. The method of election so perfectly suited to choosing the Representatives, and so imperfect for the function of the Senate, was imposed on the Senate by the progressive “reform.” Today, Progressives use the disparity which resulted from what they did as a reason to go even further—and abolish the Electoral College.

That’s why they are called Progressives; they never stop their assaults on the Constitution.

We may ask: did the Constitution fail America or did Americans fail the Constitution? The question answers itself. The generation which ratified the Seventeenth Amendment failed in its primary responsibility as citizens, its responsibility to understand and defend the Constitution. We are living with the consequences of their failure—a federal Leviathan operating in an increasingly post-Constitutional America

One can legitimately take hope from this election in which the Electoral College may have again saved the Constitution—or at least given us another chance to save it.

May we prove worthy of this opportunity.

About the Author:

Robert Curry
Robert Curry is the author of Common Sense Nation: Unlocking the Forgotten Power of the American Idea from Encounter Books. You can preview the book at: http://www.amazon.com/Common-Sense-Nation-Unlocking-Forgotten/dp/1594038252
  • Robert Burke

    Great article. I highly recommend the book “Common Sense Nation.”

    The following three speeches clarify our current situation’s problems, how we fight those problems, and how we win and deal with the win. [Countering the 100-year war of hidden rebellion against the Constitution and America’s Founding by Progressive/Socialist/Tyranny mentalists who use NLP-blinding shenanigans to achieve victory against American Liberty.]


    Fourth of July 2016 Speech (Proposed) Lincoln-like, if you will… Lyceum, the pattern.


    Declaration of Independence, Version 2.0


    On 9/11, Terrorism, Solution, Absolution and Re-Constitution

  • Bill NeoCon Kristol

    I’m so depressed I’m gonna toss myself in an oven.

  • Lalanya Love

    Blah Blah Blah . . Yes The Electoral College was designed to promote slaveowners & their plantations, point blank. Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, the 1st, 3rd, 4th & 5th presidents all were Virginia slave holders. “The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects
    which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties,
    and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and
    prosperity of the State.” << PROPERTIES of the people, you see. This way the fewer white male voters in the south could have the same political pull as the several white male voters that resided in northern populated cities through the electoral system. Otherwise the North would always outweigh/ outnumber the south politically, so rural southern plantation owners could count their slaves heads (as property) in order to get more electoral votes based on land size instead, without the slaves having a say so or any real actual vote in the matter.

    • WalkingHorse

      Utter nonsense. You, through ignorance or mendacity, are misrepresenting the so-called “3/5 compromise”, which was pressed by the early abolitionists among our Founders.

      • Lalanya Love

        & so? The 3/5ths compromise should be YOUR clue that this is based off racism, like duh? They actually had to “compromise” to decide to only gives black MEN the equivalent of being 3/5ths that of a white man.

        • WalkingHorse

          Have you considered taking a course in reading comprehension?

          The Founders who opposed slavery engineered the 3/5 compromise to reduce the influence of the states dominated by slave-holders. In the absence of that compromise the slave-holding states would have wielded greater influence in the House of Representatives by having more representatives reflecting the higher census numbers. In the absence of that compromise, laws making it harder to weaken the institution of slavery may well have been enacted over the objections of abolitionists.

          The Founders were playing the hand they were dealt in the day they were dealt it, and you imposing your notion of contemporary piety upon the choices they made in a different time is snotty at best. Or are you clinging to a blood libel upon the Founders to nurse your resentment?

          There are a few things true about slavery. First, slavery being a world-wide phenomenon, everyone on this planet has at least one ancestor who was a slave. Second, it is likely everyone on this planet has at least one ancestor who held slaves. Third the version of slavery in the United States was imported from Africa and Europe. Fourth, it didn’t happen to you. Fifth, I didn’t do it.

          Get over yourself, drop the resentment, and go live your life. You need not limit your prospects by nursing a grudge over past events none of us can change.

    • AEJ

      Lincoln won 39% of the popular vote but crushed it in the electoral college. We can thank the EC system for crushing the pro-slavery DEMs. Period.

  • Lalanya Love
  • Marilyn James

    Four or five very populated states should not decide who the president and vice-president will be. This is a republic, if we can keep it.

    • toto

      Scott Walker (R) noted in 2015, “The nation as a whole is not going to elect the next president. 12 states are.”

      Because of state winner-take-all laws, the vast majority of voters get ignored. Candidates only campaign in a handful of closely divided “battleground” states. Candidates ignore states where they are hopelessly behind.
      Candidates take for granted states where they are safely ahead.
      In the 2016 general-election campaign:

      • Over half (57%) of the campaign events were in just 4 states (Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Ohio).

      • Virtually all (94%) of the campaign events were in just 12 states (with only 30% of the country’s population)

      Former Bush presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer said, “If people don’t like it, they can move from a safe state to a swing state.”

    • toto

      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.

      In 2004, among the 11 most populous states, in the seven non-battleground states, % of winning party, and margin of “wasted” popular votes, from among the total 122 Million votes cast nationally:
      * Texas (62% Republican), 1,691,267
      * New York (59% Democratic), 1,192,436
      * Georgia (58% Republican), 544,634
      * North Carolina (56% Republican), 426,778
      * California (55% Democratic), 1,023,560
      * Illinois (55% Democratic), 513,342
      * New Jersey (53% Democratic), 211,826

      To put these numbers in perspective,
      Oklahoma (7 electoral votes) 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) 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).

    • Like_wow

      If popular votes are to be decisive then we must move to a runoff system, French-style. requiring a majority. A plurality created by urban centers isn’t fair. I note that Johnson supporters would probably break for Trump and Stein supporters for Hillary. Also, that McMullin guy’s votes would break for Trump. Guess who wins the popular vote? Speaking hypothetically, if popular votes are to be determinative, a runoff system is required. Liberals would hate it.

  • WalkingHorse

    The one thing I would suggest be done with the Electoral College is to apportion Electors according to the vote in each congressional district, which would blunt the disproportionate influence of urban population centers.

    • toto

      Voters in the biggest cities are almost exactly balanced out by rural areas in terms of population and partisan composition.

      16% of the U.S. population lives outside the nation’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Rural America has voted 60% Republican. None of the 10 most rural states matter now.

      16% of the U.S. population lives in the top 100 cities. They voted 63% Democratic in 2004.
      The population of the top 50 cities (going as far down as Arlington, TX) is only 15% of the population of the United States.

      Suburbs divide almost exactly equally between Republicans and Democrats

      • Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD

        State Electoral College allocations — beyond the initial 2 — are tied to the Census that takes place every 10 years.

        Deciding the presidency according to the popular vote is an administrative and logistical mess.

        • toto

          States with 3 electoral votes have populations ranging from less than 600,000 to almost 1 million.

          The number of electors in each state is equal to the number of members of Congress to which the state is entitled, while the Twenty-third Amendment grants the District of Columbia the same number of electors as the least populous state, currently three.

          Electoral votes are not distributed evenly proportionally among states by population.

          The only logistical and administrative change is the enacting states adding the official state popular vote counts to determine the winner of the national popular vote.

          You can see how they can easily even find that online, by looking at 2012 – https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/2012/popular-vote.html

    • Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD

      Today’s congressional districts look like schizophrenic ink blots, intended to produce a predetermined outcome. Bad idea.

      One still cannot gerrymander a state.

  • toto

    Trump, November 13, 2016, 60 Minutes
    “ I would rather see it, where you went with simple votes. You know, you get 100 million votes, and somebody else gets 90 million votes, and you win. There’s a reason for doing this. Because it brings all the states into play.”

    In 2012, the night Mitt Romney lost, Donald Trump tweeted.
    “The phoney electoral college made a laughing stock out of our nation. . . . The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.”

    Recent and past presidential candidates who supported direct election of the President in the form of a constitutional amendment, before the National Popular Vote bill was introduced: George H.W. Bush (R-TX-1969), Jimmy Carter (D-GA-1977), Hillary Clinton (D-NY-2001), Bob Dole (R-KS-1969),Michael Dukakis (D-MA), Gerald Ford (R-MI-1969), and Richard Nixon (R-CA-1969).

    Recent and past presidential candidates with a public record of support for the National Popular Vote bill that would guarantee the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency to the candidate with the most national popular votes: Congressmen John Anderson (R, I –ILL), and Bob Barr (Libertarian- GA), Senator Birch Bayh (D-IN), Senator and Governor Lincoln Chafee (R-I-D, -RI), Governor and former Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean (D–VT), U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R–GA), Senator and Vice President Al Gore (D-TN), Ralph Nader, Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD), Jill Stein (Green), Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO), and Senator Fred Thompson (R–TN).

    • Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD

      Toto, should we assume you’re in favor of the National Popular Vote bill? You spend a lot of space here talking about it.

      The real question to pose to you is: If Hillary had won the Electoral College, and Trump won the popular vote, would you be prattling on the way you are now?

      Only you know for sure, but a little intellectual honesty would go a long way.

      • toto

        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 (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states) (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided).

        Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in every state surveyed recently. In the 41 red, blue, and purple states surveyed, overall support has been in the 67-81% range – in rural states, in small states, in Southern and border states, in big states, and in other states polled.

        Most Americans don’t ultimately care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state or district . . . they care whether he/she wins the White House. Voters want to know, that no matter where they live, even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was equally counted and mattered to their candidate. Most Americans think it is wrong that the candidate with the most popular votes can lose. We don’t allow this in any other election in our representative republic.

        • ADM64

          That didn’t answer the question.
          Bottom line is the Founders created a particular system precisely to limit popular will. They also assigned the task of electing the electors to the States. Just as they assigned the task of selecting Senators to the States. We’ve changed the latter, and I’d argue not for the better given the effect on Federalism. It is possible for the States to change the former, but let’s be clear that if we do so, the electors of the States will no longer represent their constituents, but will instead be beholden to a national vote that could very well be swung by a handful of populous states. That will have a host of its own problems. You should keep that in mind. Decades of Progressive tinkering without our national political foundations now threaten the entire, carefully designed structure of constitutional government. And each change that was justified as improving things has actually produced a host of negative consequences.

          • toto

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

            There is nothing in Article II (or elsewhere in the Constitution) that prevents states from making the decision now that winning the national popular vote is required to win the presidency.

            Now a difference of a few thousand voters in one, two, or three states would have elected the second-place candidate in 5 of the 16 presidential elections since World War II. Near misses are now frequently common. There have been 8 consecutive non-landslide presidential elections since 1988.
            537 popular votes won Florida and the White House for Bush in 2000 despite Gore’s lead of 537,179 (1,000 times more) popular votes nationwide.
            A difference of 60,000 voters in Ohio in 2004 would have defeated President Bush despite his nationwide lead of over 3 million votes.
            In 2012, a shift of 214,733 popular votes in four states would have elected Mitt Romney, despite President Obama’s nationwide lead of 4,966,945 votes.

            After the 2012 election, Nate Silver calculated that “Mitt Romney may have had to win the national popular vote by three percentage points on Tuesday to be assured of winning the Electoral College.”

  • toto

    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 (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states) (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided).

    Support for a national popular vote for President is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in every state surveyed recently. In the 41 red, blue, and purple states surveyed, overall support has been in the 67-81% range – in rural states, in small states, in Southern and border states, in big states, and in other states polled.

    Most Americans don’t ultimately care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state or district . . . they care whether he/she wins the White House. Voters want to know, that no matter where they live, even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was equally counted and mattered to their candidate. Most Americans think it is wrong that the candidate with the most popular votes can lose. We don’t allow this in any other election in our representative republic.

    • Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD

      Ridiculous. If this scheme is enacted, candidates will campaign in the largest population centers, and that’s it. There will be ballot-stuffing and graft on a huge scale because there is no Electoral College to act as a prophylactic against widespread voter fraud.

      And we do not live in a “representative republic.” We live in a constitutionally-limited federal republic. States perform an important organizing function. This is not a direct democracy.

      And Gallup got out of the political polling business because they were terrible at it, as were almost all polling companies in this election.

      • toto

        A successful nationwide presidential campaign of polling, organizing, ad spending, and visits, with every voter equal, would be run the way presidential candidates campaign to win the electoral votes of the 4 closely divided battleground states, that had 57% of total 2016 attention, under the state-by-state winner-take-all methods. The big cities in those battleground states do not receive all the attention, much less control the outcome. Cleveland and Miami do not receive all the attention or control the outcome in Ohio and Florida. In the 4 states that accounted for over two-thirds of all general-election activity in the 2012 presidential election, rural areas, suburbs, exurbs, and cities all received attention—roughly in proportion to their population.

        The itineraries of presidential candidates in battleground states (and their allocation of other campaign resources in battleground states, including polling, organizing, and ad spending) reflect the political reality that every gubernatorial or senatorial candidate knows. When and where every voter is equal, a campaign must be run everywhere.

        With National Popular Vote, when every voter is equal, everywhere, it makes sense for presidential candidates to try and elevate their votes where they are and aren’t so well liked. But, under the state-by-state winner-take-all laws, it makes no sense for a Democrat to try and do that in Vermont or Wyoming, or for a Republican to try it in Wyoming or Vermont.

        The main media at the moment, TV, costs much more per impression in big cities than in smaller towns and rural area. Candidates get more bang for the buck in smaller towns and rural areas.

      • toto

        With the current system (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), a small number of people in a closely divided “battleground” state can potentially affect enough popular votes to swing all of that state’s electoral votes.

        537 votes, all in one state determined the 2000 election, when there was a lead of 537,179 (1,000 times more) popular votes nationwide.

      • toto

        Being a constitutional republic does not mean we should not and cannot guarantee the election of the presidential candidate with the most popular votes. The candidate with the most votes wins in every other election in the country.

        Guaranteeing the election of the presidential candidate with the most popular votes and the majority of Electoral College votes (as the National Popular Vote bill would) would not make us a pure democracy.

        Pure democracy is a form of government in which people vote on all policy initiatives directly.

        Popular election of the chief executive does not determine whether a government is a republic or democracy.

        The presidential election system, using the 48 state winner-take-all method or district winner method of awarding electoral votes used by 2 states, that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers. It is the product of decades of change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by states of winner-take-all or district winner laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution

        The Constitution does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for how to award a state’s electoral votes

        The National Popular Vote bill is 61% of the way to guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency in 2020 to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by changing state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), without changing anything in the Constitution, using the built-in method that the Constitution provides for states to make changes.

        • Severn

          The presidential election system, using the 48 state winner-take-all
          method or district winner method of awarding electoral votes used by 2
          states, that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by
          the Founding Fathers. It is the product of decades of change
          precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by
          states of winner-take-all or district winner laws, not mentioned, much
          less endorsed, in the Constitution.

          If you actually believe that nonsense then you are staggeringly historically illiterate. This country was very explicitly founded as a federal republic, in which the individuals states retained considerable power with respect to the federal government. For example, the fact that every state, irrespective of population, gets two seats in the US Senate is a manifestation of our governments federal character. The fact that the Presidency is decided on a state by state allotment of electoral votes is another such manifestation. The Founders could certainly have instituted a “national popular vote” for President if they had so wished. Instead they considered and rejected the idea.

          Try reading a history book sometime.

          • toto

            The Constitution does not prohibit any of the methods that were debated and rejected. Indeed, a majority of the states appointed their presidential electors using two of the rejected methods in the nation’s first presidential election in 1789 (i.e., appointment by the legislature and by the governor and his cabinet). Presidential electors were appointed by state legislatures for almost a century.

            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, a majority of the states appointed their presidential electors by appointment by the legislature or by the governor and his cabinet, the people had no vote for President in most states, and in states where there was a popular vote, 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 winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes is not in the U.S. Constitution. It was not debated at the Constitutional Convention. It is not mentioned in the Federalist Papers. It was not the Founders’ choice. It was used by only three states in 1789, and all three of them repealed it by 1800. It is not entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all method. The winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes became dominant only in the 1830s, when most of the Founders had been dead for decades, after the states adopted it, one-by-one, in order to maximize the power of the party in power in each state.

            The constitutional wording does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for awarding a 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 have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years

          • Severn

            States can, and have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years

            They’ve never abolished their own role in awarding electoral votes, which is what you want them to do.

            The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all method.

            You’re squirting ink. The particular method used by states to carry out their constitutionally mandated role has nothing to do with whether states should have that constitutionally mandated role in the first place. You seek to abolish their constitutionally mandated role in electing Presidents.

  • toto

    In 1969, The U.S. House of Representatives voted for a national popular vote by a 338–70 margin. It was endorsed by Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and various members of Congress who later ran for Vice President and President such as then-Congressman George H.W. Bush, and then-Senator Bob Dole.

    Newt Gingrich summarized his support for the National Popular Vote bill by saying: “No one should become president of the United States without speaking to the needs and hopes of Americans in all 50 states. … America would be better served with a presidential election process that treated citizens across the country equally. The National Popular Vote bill accomplishes this in a manner consistent with the Constitution and with our fundamental democratic principles.”

    The bill was approved this year by a unanimous bipartisan House committee vote in both Georgia (16 electoral votes) and Missouri (10).

    On February 4, 2016 the Arizona House of Representatives passed the bill 40-16-4.
    Two-thirds of the Republicans and two-thirds of the Democrats in the Arizona House of Representatives sponsored the bill.
    In January 2016, two-thirds of the Arizona Senate sponsored the bill.

    On February 12, 2014, the Oklahoma Senate passed the bill by a 28–18 margin.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the President will be the candidate receiving the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, in 2020.

    Every vote in the country would be equal.
    Every voter, in every state, will be politically relevant in every presidential election.

    Since 2006, it has passed 34 state legislative chambers in 23 rural, small, medium, large, Democratic, Republican and purple states with 261 electoral votes, 61% of the votes needed to go into effect

  • toto

    Support for a national popular vote is strong in every smallest state surveyed in recent polls among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group

    Among the 13 lowest population states, the National Popular Vote bill has passed in 9 state legislative chambers, and been enacted by 4 jurisdictions.

    Small state math means absolutely nothing to presidential campaign polling, organizing, ad spending, and visits, or to presidents once in office.

    In the 25 smallest states in 2008, the Democratic and Republican popular vote was almost tied (9.9 million versus 9.8 million), as was the electoral vote (57 versus 58).

    In 2012, 24 of the nation’s 27 smallest states received no attention at all from presidential campaigns after the conventions. They were ignored despite their supposed numerical advantage in the Electoral College. In fact, the 8.6 million eligible voters in Ohio received more campaign ads and campaign visits from the major party campaigns than the 42 million eligible voters in those 27 smallest states combined.

    The 12 smallest states are totally ignored in presidential elections. These states are not ignored because they are small, but because they are not closely divided “battleground” states.

    Now with state-by-state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), presidential elections ignore 12 of the 13 lowest population states (3-4 electoral votes), that are non-competitive in presidential elections. 6 regularly vote Republican (AK, ID, MT, WY, ND, and SD), and 6 regularly vote Democratic (RI, DE, HI, VT, ME, and DC) in presidential elections.

    Similarly, the 25 smallest states have been almost equally noncompetitive. They voted Republican or Democratic 12-13 in 2008 and 2012.

    Voters in states, of all sizes, that are reliably red or blue don’t matter. Candidates ignore those states and the issues they care about most.

    • Severn

      Your ability to cut-and-paste what you have read at “The Progressive” fails to impress me.

      http://www.progressive.org/news/2016/11/189051/clinton-track-win-most-votes-abolish-electoral-college

      The US was created as a federal republic. You want to abolish the states for all practical purposes.

      • toto

        I have no idea what “The Progressive” even is.

        No one wants to abolish the states, in any way.

        The National Popular Vote bill would replace state winner-take-all laws that award all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who get the most popular votes in each separate state (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), in the enacting states, to a system guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes for, and the Presidency to, the candidate getting the most popular votes in the entire United States.

        The bill retains the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections, and uses the built-in method that the Constitution provides for states to make changes. It ensures that every voter is equal, every voter will matter, in every state, in every presidential election, and the candidate with the most votes wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

        Under National Popular Vote, every voter, everywhere, for every candidate, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would matter in the state counts and national count.

        The powers of state governments are neither increased nor decreased based on whether presidential electors are selected along the state boundary lines, or national lines (as with the National Popular Vote).

        All Maryland voters do not agree with Clinton on her issues.
        In 2012, 37% voted for Romney.
        Their votes didn’t matter to Romney.
        Maryland was ignored by the presidential candidates because the plurality predictably votes Democratic

        Issues of importance to non-battleground states are of so little interest to presidential candidates that they don’t even bother to poll them individually.

        Charlie Cook reported in 2004:
        “Senior Bush campaign strategist Matthew Dowd pointed out yesterday that the Bush campaign hadn’t taken a national poll in almost two years; instead, it has been polling [the then] 18 battleground states.”

        Bush White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer acknowledging the reality that [then] more than 2/3rds of Americans were ignored in the 2008 presidential campaign, said in the Washington Post on June 21, 2009:
        “If people don’t like it, they can move from a safe state to a swing state.”

        .

        • Severn

          I have no idea what “The Progressive” even is.

          And yet the words you write are word for word what what is written there. Quite a coincidence.

          No one wants to abolish the states, in any way.

          Replacing state votes with a “national popular vote” very obviously abolishes the states role in electing presidents. In your won words, “a system guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes for, and the Presidency to, the candidate getting the most popular votes in the entire United States.”

          In plain English, the states votes are to be made completely irrelevant.

          The powers of state governments are neither increased nor decreased based on whether presidential electors are selected along the state boundary lines, or national lines

          The power of states, which are distinctly different things from state governments, is clearly abolished under your proposal.

          • toto

            The bill retains the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections,

            States would continue to have the same role in electing presidents.
            All votes of the state would be relevant and counted equally

            Under National Popular Vote, every voter, everywhere, for every candidate, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would matter in the state counts and national count.

            The bill would take effect when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—270 of 538.
            All of the presidential electors from the enacting states will be supporters of the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC)—thereby guaranteeing that candidate with an Electoral College majority.

            The National Popular Vote bill would give a voice to the minority party voters for president in each state. Now their votes are counted only for the presidential candidate they did not vote for. Now they don’t matter to their candidate.

            In 2012, 56,256,178 (44%) of the 128,954,498 voters had their vote diverted by the winner-take-all rule to a candidate they opposed (namely, their state’s first-place candidate).

            And now votes, beyond the one needed to get the most votes in the state, for winning in a state, are wasted and don’t matter to presidential candidates.
            Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004.
            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).
            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).

          • Severn

            The bill retains the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of

            elections,

            You are either being deliberately dishonest or you are very stupid. The bill flagrantly attacks the essence of what this country was created as – a federal republic.

            States would continue to have the same role in electing presidents

            Another lie. States would have no role in electing presidents – that’s the entire purpose of the “national popular vote” agenda. Idaho can no longer vote for the candidate of its choice – instead it must assign its EC college votes to whoever won the national popular vote.

          • toto

            Now 38 states are politically irrelevant in presidential elections.

            With National Popular Vote all the voters of all states would be politically relevant.

            Maryland has enacted the bill.
            Republicans in Maryland would have more power, than none
            The Democratic votes beyond the one needed to win the plurality would matter. Now they don’t.

            A survey of Idaho voters showed 77% overall support for the idea that the President should be the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states.
            Democrats in Idaho would have more power, than none.
            The Republican votes beyond the one needed to win the plurality would matter.
            Now they don’t.

          • Severn

            Now 38 states are politically irrelevant in presidential elections.

            You are writing gibberish. Now every state is politically irrelevant in presidential elections. If the ‘popular vote’ scheme was enacted that would no longer be the case. As you admit yourself in your very next sentence.

            With National Popular Vote all the voters of all states would be politically relevant.

            Which is a very different thing from all the states being politically relevant. With national popular vote NONE of the states would be politically relevant. But you can’t seem to wrap your head around the notion that things called states exist and have rights of their own.

  • Robert Curry

    The Progressives reject the Constitution. Their project of abolishing the Electoral College is all about overthrowing the Republic:
    http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/11/the_electoral_college_is_brilliant.html

  • Robert offers a sound historical and Constitutional argument for the Electoral College; which of course means nothing to about half the country.

    The other half should consider this…

    A nationwide popular vote would never end, would never produce a clear winner, or would require a dramatic restructuring of voting, counting, and certifying in every State.

    Today, Hillary leads the popular vote by around 1.5M. There remains (by most estimates) about 6M votes not yet counted. If the popular vote were to determine the winner, there would be another 10M votes not yet found – but would be mysteriously appearing from every nook and cranny of the country. Recounts would already be in progress, and every voting district in the country would be defending a lawsuit accusing them of fraud.

    The State based Electoral system compartmentalizes the vote into manageable and governable entities that are only rarely in dispute.

    If you’re for a national popular vote – you’re for chaos.

    • Robert Curry

      Thank you, Mr. ADW,

      You are so right! And your argument is important.

      In addition, my own seat of the pants guesstimate is that if the vote were everywhere on the square and on the up and up, Trump might have won that count too.

  • random username

    Mr. Curry,

    Thank you for the article! Totally on board with the notion that the progressives have a habit of blaming the Founders for problems they themselves created, but I was hoping you could clarify a couple things for me regarding what those problems are. I cannot quite connect the dots from “17th Amendment is passed, directly elected senators” to “disparity/erosion of states’ power” and “progressive assault on electoral college.” How does the 17th Amendment effect states’ respective powers at all, regarding either the states’ powers in overseeing national legislation or the states’ weight in presidential elections? How were the powers of the states changed by the fact that they are elected from the people of a state rather than the state legislators? I would imagine that each state still has the same number of senators each, and that those senators still do the same job.

    Those questions could probably be answered if you could explain a little more what you mean by the functions imposed upon the senate by the 17th Amendment and “the disparity that resulted” from such a move. What functions were imposed on the senate, and what is the disparity? Does the disparity you speak of regard states’ respective powers to affect the national legislation? Or are you referring to the supposed disparity due to the electoral college in presidential elections? Is the electoral college at all connected to any changes the progressives imposed on government, or is it simply functioning the way the founders intended and thus a go-to progressive scapegoat?

    If you don’t feel like taking the time to answer (totally understandable seeing as though this is a blog and not a university classroom), I would appreciate any references you may know of on the subject that you might have that may answer those questions. Thanks for helping out!

    • Robert Curry

      Dear Random Username,

      Thank you for your thoughtful posting.

      Did you happen to see the link in the posting below?
      http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/11/the_electoral_college_is_brilliant.html

      I believe it will answer your (very good) questions.
      If not, please try again, and I’ll try to be of help.

      Also, the book Common Sense Nation will give you the big picture. It promises the maximum of understanding in the minimum of words.

      With all best wishes,
      Robert Curry

  • AEJ

    I think it will be educational to watch DEMs in the House from here on out, seeing as Pelosi withstood the challenge. Ineffectual Lefty Out of Touch folks at the helm (still) but boy, those majorities on the Coasts make sure nothing changes and the others remain forgotten. This can only be a good thing for the GOP – opposition that doesn’t learn lessons.
    And why again is the EC better?! Let’s watch and learn as this domineering bunch tries to right the ship. Should be interesting if nothing else.