National Popular Vote Pretends to Benefit GOP in California
If I were a Republican from California, it would be tempting to dislike the Electoral College. And it would be tempting to join the handful of Republican leaders who advocate passage of the recently proposed National Popular Vote plan, pending in the California Assembly as AB 459. Their claims that NPV will benefit conservatives and Republicans in the state feel so true, don’t they?
Many Californians feel ignored, brushed aside during presidential elections. Californians contributed $151,127,483 during the 2008 election year, only to have a mere $28,288 spent on advertising within the state, as NPV advocates are quick to note. When election results came in, 5,011,781 Californians had cast ballots for John McCain and Sarah Palin, yet not even one Californian elector was awarded to that presidential ticket. Instead, 55 electors were awarded to Barack Obama. Democratic presidential candidates take California for granted, even as Republican candidates ignore the state altogether.
How can a big state such as California take a back seat to smaller states like Ohio, Missouri and Iowa during presidential election years? It feels unfair. Anything that changes this system has to be good for California . . . right?
Wrong. To see why AB 459 is a bad idea for California, two questions must be answered: First, does the Electoral College still serve America and California or should it be eliminated? Second, even assuming the Electoral College needs to be replaced, is NPV the best route toward change?
Further evaluation of the Electoral College and the NPV proposal will show that the current system, while it has its frustrating moments, is by far the best available alternative for a country as large and diverse as our own.
To loosely steal a line from Winston Churchill: The Electoral College is the worst form of presidential elections, except for all the others.
The rest of this article appears at FlashReport.org.