National Popular Vote v Electoral College

In a recent Clear the Air column, Robert Sulnick devoted lengthy paragraphs deploring the effects on U.S. presidential elections of its Electoral College requirements.

In 2010, I spent an entire TV Santa Barbara program excoriating then-governor Arnold Schwarzenneger for twice vetoing the wishes of both California legislative houses to have the state join the National Popular Vote compact, the only viable alternative to have the U.S. president and vice-president elected by majority national vote.

Casting about for a solution for the 2020 presidential election to ensure the defeat of Donald Trump, Sulnick has concluded: Don’t dare vote for a third party candidate. Polls have shown, he tells us, that if no one had supported Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Hillary Clinton would be our president.

As a political independent who concluded years ago that both political parties were corrupted by money, and who voted for Jill Stein, I have some advice for the writer:

Nominate again someone like Hillary Clinton and you’ll get the same result. The support for this money-grubbing politico — who in collaboration with then Democratic Party National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz arranged to have few primary debates with Sen. Bernie Sanders (to Clinton’s advantage); who accepted from former DNC Chair Donna Brazile information as to the questions she would be asked in these debates; who is the only presidential candidate known to me who went to acting teachers hoping to learn likability — is the cause of your disappointment, not our refusal to join in accepting leadership from such a person.

Polls have also shown that had Sanders — who accepted no PAC money — been nominated as the Democratic Party presidential candidate, he would have beaten Donald Trump. In the primaries I voted for Sanders. Did you?

To those who may not have boned up on this issue:

The National Popular Vote is a compact between states, ratified by their legislatures and governors, that agrees that when the electoral votes of joining states achieves an electoral college majority, then all compact states will give their electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the greatest popular vote.

California joined when Democrat Jerry Brown became governor, who accepted the legislatures’ votes. It has been enacted into law in 12 states with 172 electoral votes (CA, CT, DC, HI, IL, MA, MD, NJ, NY, RI, VT, WA.)

The bill is now on the desks of governors in three additional states: Delaware, Colorado, and New Mexico. If all three bills are signed, the National Popular Vote compact will have been enacted into law by states possessing 189 electoral votes — 81 electoral votes short of the number (270) that the bill needs to take effect.


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