Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The GOP Speaks-Sort Of

The Tennessee Republican Party, through its National Committeeman John Ryder, seems to be taking a position on the so-called "National Popular Vote:"

Some of Ryder's arguments were similar to our own, and in many other ways, John Ryder put a unique spin on why the electoral college is important. What was most telling, however, was not John Ryder's article in the Times, but the fact that yesterday the Tennessee Republican Party felt the need to disseminate that article to via e-mail to its list of press, supporters, and other such interested persons. In choosing to do so, the Tennessee GOP engaged in a kind of tacit endorsement of the Ryder position (which, per Thursday and Monday's columns, is also the Oatney position), and that is important because the party acknowledged, however faintly, the threat to Tennessee's political influence within the Union that is posed by this subversive political movement, one whose supporters are thus far being anything but forward and direct about their ultimate goal, to abolish the federal Electoral College in everything but name.

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At Tuesday, June 07, 2011 10:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry you feel it's subversive for The U.S. House of Representatives to have passed a constitutional amendment in 1969 for a national popular vote by a 338–70 margin (endorsed by Nixon, Ford, G.H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, and contemporary vice-presidential candidates such as Dole and Mondale), or to want to guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC), and have Tennessee not taken for granted and ignored, as usual.

The National Popular Vote bill is a state-based approach. It preserves the Electoral College and state control of elections. It changes the way electoral votes are awarded in the Electoral College. It assures that every vote is equal and that every voter will matter in every state in every presidential election, as in virtually every other election in the country.

Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. Every vote, everywhere would be counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states.

In the 2012 election, pundits and campaign operatives already agree that, only 7-14 states and their voters will matter under the current winner-take-all laws (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in each state) used by 48 of the 50 states. Candidates will not care about at least 72% of the voters-- voters in 19 of the 22 lowest population and medium-small states, and in 16 medium and big states like CA, GA, NY, and TX. Tennessee will be ignored, as usual. 2012 campaigning would be even more obscenely exclusive than 2008 and 2004. In 2008, candidates concentrated over 2/3rds of their campaign events and ad money in just 6 states, and 98% in just 15 states (CO, FL, IN, IA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, PA, VA, and WI). Over half (57%) of the events were in just 4 states (OH, FL, PA, and VA). Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind.

Now, policies important to the citizens of ‘flyover’ states, like Tennessee, are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing, too.

Since WWII, a shift of only a few thousand votes in one or two states would have elected the second-place candidate in 4 of the 13 presidential elections. Near misses are now frequently common. There have been 6 consecutive non-landslide presidential elections. A shift of 60,000 votes in Ohio in 2004 would have defeated President Bush despite his nationwide lead of over 3 Million votes.

The bill would take effect when enacted by states that have a majority of the electoral votes--that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). Then, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The Electoral College that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

States have the responsibility to make their voters relevant in every presidential election. The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. It does not abolish the Electoral College. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

At Thursday, June 09, 2011 12:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

83% of Tennessee voters polled agree that"The presidential candidate who gets the most votes always should be the winner,"

Every political demographic group across the state favors changing to a system driven by the popular vote, the poll showed.

When Republicans were asked,"How should the President be elected, by who gets the most votes in all 50 states or by the current winner-takes-all system?" 73% of them favored the popular vote.

Of all Democrats asked the same question, 78% favored the popular vote system.

When respondents who agree with Tea Party values were asked, 72% of them preferred the popular vote.


At Friday, June 10, 2011 2:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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