Skip to comments.Is a National Popular Vote Good for California and the GOP?
Posted on 08/15/2011 10:45:37 AM PDT by Aunt Polgara
National Popular Vote is good for conservatives, the GOP, and public policy. Period.
Having been active in support of the initiative for over a year now, I have met and talked to hundreds of conservative leaders, activists, and elected officials. I have found most of those who reflexively oppose it do so because they think it is a process to amend the Constitution, dont understand how it works or how it would affect outcomes, or are convinced of some grand conspiracy to turn America into a permanent Democrat hegemony.
The reality is the current system disenfranchises millions of conservatives from the process of electing the president, encourages pandering that transcends ideology (ethanol for Iowa, steel tariffs for West Virginia), and excludes 35 states from relevance in determining the Leader of the Free World.
National Popular Vote is not ideological. In fact, both sides of the divide have found reasons to support the plan. What else can explain the strange union of Tom Tancredo and (allegedly) George Soros?
But its complicated. Since conservatives, me included, think hell no! the first time they hear about it, it takes time to understand it and realize how much it helps our nations governance and our movements objectives. I have been in meetings with dozens of Republican legislators, spending hours going through how it works, constitutional history, Founders intent, and the impact it would have on the process.
Almost all of them begin the discussion opposed to the idea. After taking the time to learn more, Id say 80% leave supporting it. These policymakers were not brainwashed, but rather took considerable time to consider the plan on the merits.
The fact is, however, it takes 30 seconds to oppose National Popular Vote and 30 minutes to support it. In todays world, thats a tough sell.
National Popular Vote has been signed into law in California, unfortunately without the Republican support it deserved. A number of elected Republicans were subjected to threats and harassment for a bill considered to be a fait accompli, and it just wasnt worth the political capital to remain in support. Such is the hallmark of the California Republican Party: it is better to fight each other over anything than fight Democrats. It is this kind of intramural fratricide that has helped us become a party lacking any relevance whatsoever in public policy.
In 2008, California donors contributed $150 million to John McCain and Barack Obama. Of that, a mere $29,000 was spent in the state. Our irrelevance, as the largest state in the union and the 8th largest economy in the world, is terrifying. Look around our state and see what unchallenged liberal governance has gotten us.
Hows the economy doing? How about your tax bill? Making a lot of progress on protecting the unborn? Feeling a little bit safer with your concealed carry permit? Proud of Senate and Assembly Republicans impact on the FY12 budget?
What Republicans have been doing in California is not working. Forcing the RNC and our presidential nominees to commit to California and make the kind of infrastructural investment required to be competitive down ballot is critical to rebuilding our party. Absent that, I guarantee you the movement to moderate the GOP to be attractive to independents will only increase, leaving conservatives in the dust.
Our ideas are right and we should not abandon them.
They lost me when they used “California” and “GOP” in the same sentence.
(a) There is no California GOP.
(b) California’s contribution to the presidential election is an automatic 55 electoral votes for the democrat in the race.
(c) This isn’t going to change anytime soon.
What an awful idea! Stick with the Constitution. We certainly should have left the selection of Senators to the state legislatures, as the Founders established it, rather than allowing them to be elected by the people. This would be grossly compounding our errors.
This idea will work just great with our wide-open southern border and Libs welcoming illegals with every incentive under the sun!
We are a Republic - not a Democracy!
I highly doubt his own grandmother believes it.
What a crock!
Actually if anything it needs to start going the other way.
For example ages 25-65 can vote, veterans can vote, you can only vote for a congressman after living in the district for at least two years etc.
Too many cooks in the kitchen leads to terrible food.
I always wonder why the liberals are pushing this plan, rather than amending the constitution, since they want to get rid of the electoral college.
The rationale for the NPV is BOGUS - the states with the HIGHEST populations will get the MOST attention and reliably partisan states will be bypassed [AS THEY ARE NOW].
The ONLY fair method [and the ONLY one that puts the election on an equal footing] is the Congressional District method ...
In this method, EACH electoral vote [representing a Congressional district] in EACH state is given equal weight
by awarding the vote to the winner of the Congressional district ...
The remaining two votes within a state [representing the Senate seats] are awarded to the winner of the majority vote within the state as a “bonus” ...
In this manner, candidates [without a SNOWBALL’S CHANCE IN HELL of winning a particular state] WOULD be VERY ENCOURAGED to campaign within that state to garner individual district electoral votes ...
The true irrelevance is the millions of conservatives who live in California and are entirely powerless to stop any of the radical leftist agenda that is festering there.
CA conservatives need to do us all a favor and move to a battleground state where they will make a real difference. Leave Commiefornia to the illegals and leftists.
This will be a boon for urbanites, who are mostly liberal Democrats.
There could be some conservative candidates who choose to spend no money in the more expensive big markets and funnel all of their advertising to less expensive rural areas, but then that will just exacerbate the Red State / Blue State rift.
And how the heck do you handle a recount if the vote is close?
Yes, they certainly do want to get rid of that "pesky" electoral college, but they'll never be able to amend the Constitution because at least two-thirds of the states want nothing to do with it.
Hence, this stealth campaign to reinstitute "fairness" into our elections.
These people truly hate our country and our Constitution.
If they were all lined up and prepped to be shot for sedition, I would go buy popcorn.
We already tried that. It's called Colorado. You know, that once reliably conservative state (even the Democrats were conservative on most issues) that is now leaning liberal Democrat.
Be careful what you ask for ...
If this actually helped the GOP it would never be pushed by the dims. Granted the dims are stupid and it could backfire on them but if so they would do a 180 on this issue in a New York minute.
There are also constitutional concerns, should this ever go into effect. But, SCOTUS will not ever rule on this UNLESS electoral votes are ever awarded to the winner of the NPV - due to its “ripeness” doctrine ...
In general, SCOTUS has previously ruled that each state has a “plenary” right in the method of selection of its electors ...
BUT, SCOTUS has ALSO ruled that [once a state has granted its citizens the right to vote for electors] 14th Amendment Equal Protection applies AND that those rights CANNOT be infringed [such as countermanding the majority vote within the state] ...
Headed to Court - IF it ever happens ...
Since I live in Commiefornia, I don’t even need to think about who I would vote for President in 2012.
The decision has already been made for me...
I know this is radical in our day, but I believe the Founders set up a system where each congressional district voted for an elector who went to Washington and chose a president.
In essence, your congressional district chose the guy in their district they thought would best serve the nation as president.
Those electors gathered and chose the president from their number of outstandingly qualified electors or from other outstandingly qualified Americans.
I like that republican system better.
It brought us George Washington.
And when the popular vote goes Republican and he gets the Cali votes,California will want to know what that conservative administration can do for California.There will still be no GOP presences outside of the inland areas,no offense meant to anyone from San Diego.
Basically President Obama disappointed them by not giving them everything so now they’re throwing the towel.
So Republicans should like this because it ostensibly “helps our side”?
Last time I checked, principles were principles. Just because something supposedly “helps our side” doesn’t make it right.
Choosing your stance on an issue based on whether it’s good for you personally is exactly what’s wrong with our politics today.
How about we instead decide on a core set of principles and stick to them? Gee, what a novel idea...
California will come back into play, when Conservatives go there and fight for the state. No, they may not win the first election, but exposing the voters of California to sound Conservative principles will pay off.
When people see those principles lofted with that great a spot-light on them, they will see the value of them. Right now, in California those values are argued quietly in small setting, which many people tend to never hear about, or ignore.
If the Republican party would contest California broadly, with ten visits, it would help to turn the state around. We would see more local Republican leaders. We would see more state level Republican leaders. We would see the state move more to the right. We would see our presidential contenders return to a viable status in the state.
Folks, we haven’t had a serious full blown Republican presidential campaign in the state since Ronald Reagan. We’re talking 1984. 27 years without a serious Republican presidential run in the state, and we’re asking why the state is so far Left.
Pete Wilson was a luke warm milk-toast. Since him the Republican leadership has only supported Leftist leaning Republicans for governor here. Conservative guys didn’t get any state or federal support.
By Contrast, the Democrats bring out big names even for local elections. They compete for every single office in the state. Our Party doesn’t.
It’s like having a student show up to Biology class for five days one semester, and then question why he didn’t pass the class.
We have to expose the populace to Conservative principles with a very loud bullhorn. We’ve been doing it with a whisper.
Exactly! If, as is widely expected, the GOP candidate wins in 2012, we can expect the Rats to challenge NPV in court and for Brown to refuse to defend it (the same way Arnie refused to defend Prop. 8). It's a win-win for the rats in CA. If the GOP candidate wins the NPV, the rats still take CA through the courts. If Obama wins the NPV, the rats take CA through NPV. If you are a rat, what's not to love??
No no and NO. There is a reason why the founders, some of the wisest men to ever walk the face of the earth, established the electoral college. They warned us over and over and over of mob rule and pure democracy and the dangers therein. Too bad some so called conservatives are buying into this.
No, actually, the original method was that the state legislatures selected the electors for their state, which gave the states a lot more power than they have now, which I actually think was a better method. It made for a much more balanced state/federal power structure. Gradually, more and more states went with the direct election of the electors, most states opting for a winner-take-all system for their state.
A system that allots electors by congressional districts also erodes the power of the states, but some states have gone that way. We truly do need to get back to a system in which the states have more power up against the feds.
Right now, there are three and only three states which decide presidential elections-- Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida. Win any two and you eek out a narrow win (Bush in 2004, 2004). Win all three and it is a cakewalk (Clinton in 1992, 1996, Obama in 2008).
These three are really only all that matters, because they are the best demographic representation of America as a whole.
Turn them all into the CD method and a Republican has incentive to campaign in California; a Democrat in Texas. Under the NPV method, only the biggest population centers of the biggest states matter.
If anything, a state like California would like lose a LOT of influence with a national popular vote in place because representation in Congress (and hence, Electoral Votes) is based on population, not registered voters. So a state where illegal immigrants or other unregistered voters make up a sizeable portion of the population is going to see its influence diminished compared to other states.
If California wants to split its electoral votes in the name of fairness that’s just fine with me. Hopefully just New York, Illinois, and Oregon would follow suit.
“If California wants to split its electoral votes in the name of fairness thats just fine with me. Hopefully just New York, Illinois, and Oregon would follow suit.”
That will never happen as long as CA is a reliable rat state because it will dilute rat power here.
Yes! The 17th Amendment has shown such wonderful effect, we should definitely use direct election for the POTUS. In fact we should completely eliminate the outmoded Constitution and all public offices and go with direct democracy for every issue. It is only fair and everyone knows that mob rule is best. Look at London, France and Greece.
“They lost me when they used California and GOP in the same sentence.”
Do you know when the States moved to winner take all? Honest question, I do not know. The Constitution provides for multiple candidates from the states.
At one time or another, some 19 states used the congressional district method. Today, only Maine and Nebraska do so.
“They lost me when they used California and GOP in the same sentence.”
You do know that Jim Robinson lives here in CA, don’t you?
It's actually popular here in CA among the leftist circles that think Al Gore was cheated out of the election because he won the popular vote but lost the election. There's far more liberals supporting it than conservatives in CA (even by percentage).
I don't know that *I* support it. Part of me feels like if you're going to effectively circumvent the Constitution, you may as well just amend it. The electoral college was a good counterweight to the power of cities, until the cities got so large they engulfed whole regions. Now, it's not a counterweight, but an anchor around our neck. The electoral college basically creates huge power centers which are havens for voter fraud and entitlement mobocracy.
The entire point of the elector college has been turned on it's head, so getting away from it is probably a net gain for conservatives in a major way.
This is a rare instance where the Democrats math-crippling passion actually might work in our favor.
THAT is ANOTHER Constitutional quesion ...
Can a state [say MA] that participates in the NPV Compact DEMAND a recount in ALL 50 states and the territories if the initial result of the NPV goes the GOP way in a close election ???
Good to hear from you.
In order to FULLY understand this, you need to do the electoral math ...
With winner-take-all, a given candidate simply BYPASSES the SMALL states with 4 or less electoral votes [whether they are heavily FOR or AGAINST] since there is no bang for the buck. States FOR and AGAINST are gonna vote that way NO MATTER WHAT and the pay-off in electoral votes is marginal. A given candidate ALSO bypasses LARGE states that are going to vote the other way NO MATTER WHAT - IT IS A LOST CAUSE. ONLY the swing states are the battleground ...
With NPV, it is THE SAME as winner-take-all - ONLY drilled down to the state level. It IS TRUE that a given candidate will have MORE incentive to campaign in a given state, BUT population centers within the state leaning heaavily ONE WAY or the OTHER will STILL be bypassed. Only the swing population centers are the battleground ...
With the Congressional District method, EACH District IN ALL 50 states is given EQUAL weight [with the remaining 2 votes going to the state-wide winner]. WILL there STILL be districts BYPASSED? OBVIOUSLY - but to a MUCH LESSER degree than with winner-take-all or NPV. A given candidate has MUCH MORE incentive to campaign in the state since he can pick up electoral votes on a district-by-district basis ...
AND, in a CLOSE state-wide election, a candidate that LOSES in the total District electoral count can ACTUALLY win the 2 outstanding electoral votes, if he wins the state popular vote ...
IS IT PERFECT - HELL NO !!! BUT, it is MORE fair and MORE representative of a state’s will than EITHER winner-take-all OR NPV ...
Yes and I do too so that makes two of us. Anyway, I didn’t mean there were no Republicans, just no real party.
That would make it a purely "republican" process. It was placed in the hands of the electors.
|Method of choosing Electors||State(s)|
|each elector appointed by the state legislature||Connecticut
New York (a)
|each elector chosen by voters statewide; however, if no candidate wins majority, state legislature appoints elector from top two candidates||New Hampshire|
|state is divided into electoral districts, with one elector chosen per district by the voters of that district||Virginia (b)
|electors chosen at large by voters||Maryland
|state had not yet ratified the Constitution, so was not eligible to choose electors||North Carolina
(a) New York's legislature deadlocked, so no electors were chosen.
(b) One electoral district failed to choose an elector.