Never thought the day would come - at least in this lifetime - I’d give Donald Trump credit for anything positive. Just seemed absolutely impossible. But, while that “credit” is awfully tangential, it’s his nonetheless.
Hold that thought. A bit of background is required.
The Governor of Connecticut has signed into law legislation allowing that state to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC). A mouthful, to be sure. But, it’s important.
NPVIC was formed several years ago to make an end run around existing federal law in the way the Electoral College works. Presently, each state has the same number of College votes as it does members of Congress. Idaho, for example, has four - two Representatives and two Senators. Oregon has seven; Washington 12, California 55, Texas 38 and so on.
Currently, if a presidential candidate amasses an Electoral College vote total 270 in several large states, the popular vote winner could lose. In reality, we’d have a minority president. Trump-Clinton. Bush-Gore.
What the Compact represents is states changing their own laws so the popular vote winner is the real winner in future presidential elections. If the Compact can reach the 270 vote total - the same Electoral College number a presidential candidate has to get to win now - future races would go to the popular vote victor. Minus considerable legal challenges to that end run.
With the addition of Connecticut, the Compact currently has 172 electoral votes coming from California, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and D.C.. So, the hunt is on for a total of 98 more. A few “biggies” like Ohio (18), Texas (38), Michigan (16) and Florida (29) could put things “over-the-top.”
While there many folk - corporate and political - who don’t want to change - and many reasons (or excuses) for not doing so - the one indisputable argument on the table is simple: all other elections - for anything - are decided by the majority of the most votes cast. Period. The presidency is the only contest - from dog catcher to Congress - in which the majority can - as we’ve seen recently - lose the race.
“What’s that got to do with giving credit to Trump,” you ask?
Since the 2016 election, according to Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy, more states are asking for information about the Compact and more research is being done on how to draft legislation.
As Connecticut State Rep. Mathew Lesser put it in debate, “The Trump victory appears to have given the issue some added momentum.”
Thanks, Donny! You’ve been a big help.