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With 2 weeks left in session, key House Dems divided on national popular vote

Rep. Ed Jutila (D-37) is a supporter of the bill.
Rep. Ed Jutila (D-37) is a supporter of the bill. (Photo by Hugh McQuaid)

HARTFORD, Conn. – Following more than a week of counting votes, national popular vote supporters haven’t managed to wrangle the support needed for a floor debate in the House, where the speaker personally opposes the bill.

“I think we are far enough off it that it’s going to be difficult in the last two weeks of the session to get us where we need to be,” Rep. Ed Jutila, a proponent of the bill, said Tuesday.

Jutila, co-chairman of Government Administration and Elections Committee, and other supporters have been measuring support among their colleagues for a proposal to join other states in casting Connecticut’s Electoral College votes in favor of the presidential candidate who receives the most votes nationally.

Supporters in the General Assembly raise the bill nearly every year. So far they have been unsuccessful in getting it signed into law. Lawmakers in the House approved the bill in 2009, but the Senate did not act on it that year.

See the complete story at CT News Junkie.

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14 responses to “With 2 weeks left in session, key House Dems divided on national popular vote”

  1. EveT

    I don’t see the point of CT throwing out the results of its own election. If the entire United States decided to abandon the Electoral College and go with poplar vote, that would be one thing. For an individual state to throw in the towel, that’s another. The Electoral College was devised as a way to give smaller states (like CT) and rural states a fighting chance against large and urbanized states. There’s a lot wrong with our elections, but I am not convinced that this bill would be a remedy.

  2. the donut hole

    This would really be the crown jewel of the worst General Assembly in the state’s 350 year history.
    .
    Not content with destroying our financial condition and presiding over the only state in the union still in recession, these geniuses are looking to throw away what sovereignty we have left all from a movement of freaks that still can’t get over Bush v. Gore.

  3. mvymvy

    National Popular Vote would not throw out the results of any election. The Electoral College would not be abandoned. No state would throw in the towel.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country and the majority of Electoral College votes. It does not abolish the Electoral College.

    The National Popular Vote bill would replace state winner-take-all statutes that award all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who get the most popular votes in each separate state (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), to a system guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes for, and the Presidency to, the candidate getting the most popular votes in the entire United States.

    The bill preserves the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections. It ensures that every voter is equal, every voter will matter, in every state, in every presidential election, and the candidate with the most votes wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

    Under National Popular Vote, every voter, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the state counts and national count.

    When states with a combined total of at least 270 electoral votes enact the bill, the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the needed majority of 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. The bill would thus guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes and the majority of Electoral College votes.

    National Popular Vote would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state. Now their votes are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for. Now they don’t matter to their candidate. In 2012, 56,256,178 (44%) of the 128,954,498 voters had their vote diverted by the winner-take-all rule to a candidate they opposed (namely, their state’s first-place candidate).

    And now votes, beyond the one needed to get the most votes in the state, for winning in a state are wasted and don’t matter to candidates. Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004. 8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

    With National Popular Vote, elections wouldn’t be about winning states. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. Every popular vote, everywhere would be counted equally 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. The political reality would be that when every voter is equal, the campaign must be run in every part of the country.

    When and where voters matter, then so do the issues they care about most.

  4. mvymvy

    Anyone who supports the current presidential election system, believing it is what the Founders intended and that it is in the Constitution, is mistaken. The current presidential election system does not function, at all, the way that the Founders thought that it would.

    Supporters of National Popular Vote find it hard to believe the Founding Fathers would endorse the current electoral system where 80% of the states and voters now are completely politically irrelevant.
    ** 10 of the original 13 states are ignored now.
    ** Four out of five Americans were ignored in the 2012 presidential election.
    ** After being nominated, Obama visited just eight closely divided battleground states, and Romney visited only 10.
    ** More than 99% of campaign attention was showered on voters in just the ten states in 2012 where they were not hopelessly behind or safely ahead, and could win the bare plurality of the vote to win all of the state’s electoral votes.
    ** Now the majority of Americans, in small, medium-small, average, and large states are ignored.
    ** Only 3 small states receive any attention.
    ** None of the 10 most rural states is a battleground state.
    ** 24 of the 27 lowest population states, and 16 medium and big states like CA, GA, NY, and TX are ignored.
    That’s over 85 million voters, more than 200 million Americans.

    Once the conventions are over, presidential candidates now don’t visit or spend resources in 80% of the states, like Connecticut.

    Candidates know the Republican is going to win in safe red states, and the Democrat will win in safe blue states, so they are ignored.

    States have the responsibility and power to make their voters relevant in every presidential election.

    With National Popular Vote, with every voter equal, candidates will truly have to care about the issues and voters in all 50 states and DC. A vote in any state will be as sought after as a vote in Ohio and Florida. Part of the genius of the Founding Fathers was allowing for change as needed. When they wrote the Constitution, they didn’t give us the right to vote, or establish state-by-state winner-take-all laws for awarding electoral votes, or establish any method, for how states should award electoral votes. Fortunately, the Constitution allowed state legislatures to enact laws allowing people to vote and how to award electoral votes.

  5. mvymvy

    A survey of Connecticut voters showed 74% overall support for the idea that the President of the United States should be the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states. Voters were asked:

    “How do you think we should elect the President: Should it be the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states, or the current Electoral College system?”

    Support for a national Popular Vote, by political affiliation, was 80% among Democrats, 67% among Republicans, and 71% among others.

    By gender, support was 81% among women and 66% among men.

    By age, support was 82% among 18-29 year olds, 69% among 30-45 year olds, 75% among 46-65 year olds, and 72% for those older than 65.

    Then, voters were asked a second question that emphasized that Connecticut’s electoral votes would be awarded to the winner of the national popular vote in all 50 states, not Connecticut, vote. In this second question, 68% of Connecticut voters favored a national popular vote.

    “Do you think it more important that Connecticut’s electoral votes be cast for the presidential candidate who receives the most popular vote in Connecticut, or is it more important to guarantee that the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states becomes president?”

    Support by political affiliation, was 74% among Democrats, 62% among Republicans, and 63% among others.

    By gender, support was 75% among women and 59% among men.

    By age, support was 75% among 18-29 year olds, 57% among 30-45 year olds, 68% among 46-65 year olds, and 70% for those older than 65.

    NationalPopularVote

  6. Don’t Panic

    I beg to differ. What it will do is change the focus from what are now referred to as “swing states” to two sets of states: the ones with the most populous cities that are heavily democratic and the ones with the most populous cities that are heavily republican, because efficiency will dictate that your resources be moved to where you can contact and persuade the most votes with the fewest resources.
    .
    While it wouldn’t “abolish” the electoral college, it would render it moot, as it would eliminate the states’ determination of how to allocate their electoral votes. Save for state laws restricting how electors are charged with voting, there is nothing in the constitution that directs the electors to vote in any particular way based upon state tallies or national tallies, so states are able to make laws to determine whatever its own voters have deemed to be their best representation.

  7. mvymvy

    National Popular Vote would not eliminate the states’ determination of how to allocate their electoral votes. National Popular Vote is states determining that their states are best represented by awarding their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote.

    States have the responsibility and power to make their voters relevant in every presidential election.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided).
    Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls
    in recent or past closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA –75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%;
    in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%;
    in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and
    in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%.

    With National Popular Vote, every voter everywhere would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. 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 the current handful of swing states.

    Campaigning is more than just visits.

    The main media at the moment, TV, costs much more per impression in big cities than in smaller towns and rural area. Candidates get more bang for the buck in smaller towns and rural areas.

  8. mvymvy

    With National Popular Vote, big cities would not get all of candidates’ attention, much less control the outcome.

    16% of Americans live in rural areas. None of the 10 most rural states matter now.

    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 15% 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 voter 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. In the 4 states that accounted for over two-thirds of all general-election activity in the 2012 presidential election, rural areas, suburbs, exurbs, and cities all received attention—roughly in proportion to their population.

    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 voter is equal, a campaign must be run everywhere.

    With National Popular Vote, when every voter is equal, everywhere, it makes sense for presidential candidates to try and elevate their votes where they are and aren’t so well liked. But, under the state-by-state winner-take-all laws, it makes no sense for a Democrat to try and do that in Vermont or Wyoming, or for a Republican to try it in Wyoming or Vermont.

    Even in California state-wide elections, candidates for governor or U.S. Senate don’t campaign just in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and those places don’t control the outcome (otherwise California wouldn’t 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.

    With a national popular vote, every voter everywhere will be equally important politically. There will be nothing special about a vote cast in a big city or big state. When every voter is equal, candidates of both parties will seek out voters in small, medium, and large towns throughout the states in order to win. A vote cast in a big city or state will be equal to a vote cast in a small state, town, or rural area.

    Candidates would have to appeal to a broad range of demographics, and perhaps even more so, because the election wouldn’t be capable of coming down to just one demographic, such as waitress mom voters in Ohio.

  9. Don’t Panic

    If you really expect presidential candidates to campaign everywhere and for all votes to matter equally, the cost of elections is going to move into the trillions of dollars. Not gonna happen. The focus will shift to areas of concentrated populations instead of rural ones.
    .
    Of course NPV will eliminate the states’ determination of how to allocate their electoral votes. By your own words “The National Popular Vote bill would REPLACE state winner-take-all statutes that award all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who get the most popular votes in each separate state (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), to a system guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes for, and the Presidency to, the candidate getting the most popular votes in the entire United States. “

  10. mvymvy

    Presidential candidates currently do everything within their power to raise as much money as they possibly can from donors throughout the country. They then allocate their time and the money that they raise nationally to places where it will do the most good toward their goal of winning the election.

    Money doesn’t grow on trees. The fact that candidates would spend their money more broadly (that is, in all 50 states and DC) would not, in itself, loosen up the wallet of a single donor anywhere in the country. Candidates will continue to try to raise as much money as economic considerations permit. Economic considerations by donors determines how much money will be available, not the existence of an increases number of places where the money might be spent.

    Presidential candidates concentrate their attention on only a handful of closely divided “battleground” states and their voters. There is no incentive for them to bother to care about the majority of states where they are hopelessly behind or safely ahead to win. 10 of the original 13 states are ignored now. Four out of five Americans were ignored in the 2012 presidential election. After being nominated, Obama visited just eight closely divided battleground states, and Romney visited only 10. These 10 states accounted for 98% of the $940 million spent on campaign advertising. They decided the election. That’s precisely what they should do in order to get elected with the current system, because the voters of 80% of the states simply don’t matter. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the concerns of voters in states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. Over 85 million voters, more than 200 million Americans, are ignored.

    If every voter mattered throughout the United States, as it would under a national popular vote, candidates would reallocate their time and the money they raise.

  11. mvymvy

    National Popular Vote will not eliminate the states’ determination of how to allocate their electoral votes.

    National Popular Vote is states determining to award their electoral votes to the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

    “The bottom line is that the electors from those states who cast their ballot for the nationwide vote winner are completely accountable (to the extent that independent agents are ever accountable to anyone) to the people of those states. The NPV states aren’t delegating their Electoral College votes to voters outside the state; they have made a policy choice about the substantive intelligible criteria (i.e., national popularity) that they want to use to make their selection of electors. There is nothing in Article II (or elsewhere in the Constitution) that prevents them from making the decision that, in the Twenty-First Century, national voter popularity is a (or perhaps the) crucial factor in worthiness for the office of the President.” – Vikram David Amar

  12. Don’t Panic

    There is nothing preventing the 46 or so states from allocatung their delegates proportionally now (except that they have chosen not to).
    .
    With less than half those eligible actually voting and only half of those selecting the president, voter turnout is a far more pressing problem.
    .
    And if you don’t think more donor money is on the way after Citizens United and McCutcheon, then tyou are in for a rude awakening.

  13. mvymvy

    Any state that enacts the proportional approach on its own would reduce its own influence. This was the most telling argument that caused Colorado voters to agree with Republican Governor Owens and to reject this proposal in November 2004 by a two-to-one margin.

    If the proportional approach were implemented by a state, on its own, it would have to allocate its electoral votes in whole numbers. If a current battleground state were to change its winner-take-all statute to a proportional method for awarding electoral votes, presidential candidates would pay less attention to that state because only one electoral vote would probably be at stake in the state.

    If states were to ever start adopting the whole-number proportional approach on a piecemeal basis, each additional state adopting the approach would increase the influence of the remaining states and thereby would decrease the incentive of the remaining states to adopt it. Thus, a state-by-state process of adopting the whole-number proportional approach would quickly bring itself to a halt, leaving the states that adopted it with only minimal influence in presidential elections.

    The proportional method also could result in no candidate winning the needed majority of electoral votes. That would throw the process into Congress to decide.

    If the whole-number proportional approach, the only proportional option available to an individual state on its own, had been in use throughout the country in the nation’s closest recent presidential election (2000), it would not have awarded the most electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most popular votes nationwide. Instead, the result would have been a tie of 269–269 in the electoral vote, even though Al Gore led by 537,179 popular votes across the nation. The presidential election would have been thrown into Congress to decide and resulted in the election of the second-place candidate in terms of the national popular vote.

    A system in which electoral votes are divided proportionally by state would not accurately reflect the nationwide popular vote and would not make every voter equal.

    It would penalize states, such as Montana, that have only one U.S. Representative even though it has almost three times more population than other small states with one congressman. It would penalize fast-growing states that do not receive any increase in their number of electoral votes until after the next federal census. It would penalize states with high voter turnout (e.g., Utah, Oregon).

    Moreover, the fractional proportional allocation approach, which would require a constitutional amendment, does not assure election of the winner of the nationwide popular vote. In 2000, for example, it would have resulted in the election of the second-place candidate.

    A national popular vote is the way to make every person’s vote equal and matter to their candidate because it guarantees that the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states and DC becomes President.

  14. mvymvy

    Under National Popular Vote, every voter, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the state counts and national count.

    National Popular Vote would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state. Now their votes are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for. Now they don’t matter to their candidate. In 2012, 56,256,178 (44%) of the 128,954,498 voters had their vote diverted by the winner-take-all rule to a candidate they opposed (namely, their state’s first-place candidate).

    And now votes, beyond the one needed to get the most votes in the state, for winning in a state are wasted and don’t matter to candidates. Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004. 8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

    In 2008, voter turnout in the then 15 battleground states averaged seven points higher than in the 35 non-battleground states.

    In 2012, voter turnout was 11% higher in the 9 battleground states than in the remainder of the country.

    If presidential campaigns now did not ignore more than 200,000,000 of 300,000,000 Americans, one would reasonably expect that voter turnout would rise in 80% of the country that is currently ignored by presidential campaigns.

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