Saturday, February 09, 2013

Saturday Politics: Even GOP Supports Popular Vote

It appears as if the Republican plan to attempt to rig the 2016 presidential election by changing how certain blue states (that have Republican-controlled legislatures and Republican governors) like Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin assign electoral votes by congressional district is not working. Only Pennsylvania has not decisively rejected that idea, but they are currently proposing a similarly GOP-skewed scheme.

Interestingly, some Republicans are coming around to supporting a plan to change how electoral votes are allotted that I would support, the National Popular Vote or NPV.
That said, there is polling evidence that GOP voters are become more interested in a national popular vote as 2000 fades into the distance and Democrats expand their reach into more swing states. A Gallup poll this month found 63 percent of respondents supported replacing the Electoral College with a national vote. But the big news was that 61 percent of Republicans now favor the change, a huge shift in support since 2000, when only 41 percent said they were were pro-popular vote. Even in 2011, only a slight majority of GOPers wanted to ditch the current system. 
This might have something to do with the previous race. A week before the 2012 election, Republicans were a lot more worried that Mitt Romney might win the popular vote and lose the election than Democrats were about President Obama thanks to the latter’s relative strength in Ohio, Colorado, Nevada, and Iowa. 
Meanwhile, the conservative movement’s electoral reformers may not have the biggest megaphone in the party, but it is getting louder. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) came out for a national popular vote shortly after the election, complaining it put too much attention on swing states. (So did Donald Trump, for what it’s worth.)
I don't know how I feel about supporting an idea that both Jan Brewer and Donald Trump both support! But that doesn't mean that NPV is a bad idea; if it passed then every single person's vote everywhere in the country would have equal weight in deciding the presidential election, which is a much more democratic system than the system we have now based on the electoral college.

Hat/tip to Talking Points Memo.

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