What the hell is Thompson thinking? The result of this would be that future elections would be controlled by liberals and government dependents in the urban mega-plexes.
It would be very difficult to truly verify the national popular vote totals.
Consider the 2000 election, for example. On election night 2000, Bush was ahead in the national popular vote by about 300,000 votes. The next afternoon, as vote counting continued, the media announced that Al Gore was actually ahead in the popular vote, by about 500,000 votes. How did that happen.
(all of this ignores the Florida electoral vote recount. But the point is, under a national popular vote, the Florida recount wouldn’t have happened that way. There would have had to be a national recount instead.)
In 2000, did the Democrats pad the vote totals for Al Gore, to get him to be ahead in the mythical national popular vote, so they could claim some legitimacy as they pursued the Florida recount? It’s something to think about.
Senator Thompson prefaced his SRLC remarks by saying:
“A lot of fright and generalities and big cities and all that kind of stuff, you break it down, and it’s just not there.”
With National Popular Vote, big cities would not get all of candidates attention, much less control the outcome.
The population of the top five cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia) is only 6% of the population of the United States and the population of the top 50 cities (going as far down as Arlington, TX) is only 19% of the population of the United States. Suburbs and exurbs often vote Republican.
If big cities controlled the outcome of elections, the governors and U.S. Senators would be Democratic in virtually every state with a significant city.
A nationwide presidential campaign, with every vote equal, would be run the way presidential candidates campaign to win the electoral votes of closely divided battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida, 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.
The itineraries of presidential candidates in battleground states (and their allocation of other campaign resources in battleground states) reflect the political reality that every gubernatorial or senatorial candidate knows. When and where every vote is equal, a campaign must be run everywhere.
Even in California state-wide elections, candidates for governor or U.S. Senate dont campaign just in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and those places dont control the outcome (otherwise California wouldnt have recently had Republican governors Reagan, Dukemejian, Wilson, and Schwarzenegger). A vote in rural Alpine county is just an important as a vote in Los Angeles. If Los Angeles cannot control statewide elections in California, it can hardly control a nationwide election.
In fact, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland together cannot control a statewide election in California.
Similarly, Republicans dominate Texas politics without carrying big cities such as Dallas and Houston.
There are numerous other examples of Republicans who won races for governor and U.S. Senator in other states that have big cities (e.g., New York, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts) without ever carrying the big cities of their respective states.
The National Popular Vote bill would not change the need for candidates to build a winning coalition across demographics. Candidates would have to appeal to a broad range of demographics, and perhaps even more so, because the election wouldnt be capable of coming down to just one demographic, such as voters in Ohio.