Since the 2000 election, there has been an effort to pass what is called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, most obviously because the popular vote winner, Al Gore, lost the election in the electoral college even though he had 500,000 more votes. That effort has intensified after another popular vote winner, Hillary Clinton, lost the election in the electoral college even though she had 3,000,000 more votes.
I was against this National Popular Vote Interstate Compact over the years after 2000 because I believed the conventional wisdom at the time: that such a result where the popular vote winner loses the Presidency is a rare event and an aberration, and that the electoral college more often than not favored Democrats than Republicans. That conventional wisdom has been turned on its head. Now this supposed aberration has happened twice in sixteen years, allowing the Republicans to have two Presidencies even though they have only won the popular vote once… ONCE… since the 1988 election. Thirty-one years!
Given the demographic changes in the country, where we are becoming not only a majority minority country but also a urban country, where most of our population will be located in urban counties and suburban counties rather than in rural or exurban counties; the electoral college becomes a protection racket for the minority Republican party.
So obviously, something must be done to reform the electoral college. But good luck amending the constitution. That could take years if not decades. You need a two-thirds majority vote of both houses of Congress to pass a proposed constitutional amendment. And that is just the first step. Then you need three-fourths of the states (38 states) to ratify the proposed amendment, either by their legislatures or special ratifying conventions. So yeah, good luck.
That brings us to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. This agreement would have every member state to the compact give its electoral votes to the national popular vote winner if enough states with a majority of electoral votes —270 in total—sign up. Once that threshold is reached, all presidential candidates would have to compete to win the national popular vote rather than the Electoral College vote, effectively ending the Electoral College without needing to amend the Constitution.
Now, there are problems with this compact, in that certain Republican rural states with Republican legislatures and Republican governors will never sign on to the compact, which means if Republicans do ever win the popular vote again, then they are going to get an outsized electoral vote margin, as the compact states would be obliged to turn over their electoral votes to the popular vote winner. But it is better than nothing.
The states in blue on the map above have already passed the compact agreement through their legislatures. That’s 172 electoral votes. Another 47 electoral votes could be added to the compact by the election in 2020 if they pass the compact through their legislatures this year. Those are the states in the darker green, and Delaware is one of them. If those states do pass the compact this year, we are still short of the 270 vote threshold to make the compact active, as there compact would only have 219 electoral votes. However, depending on whether Democrats capture full trifectas of government in the additional states in the light green colored states in the map, another 72 electoral votes can be added to the compact by the election of 2024, and that would mean the compact would be in force and active at 291 electoral votes.
Colorado just passed the compact through their legislature this past work, and this was Senator Bryan Townsend’s reaction:
Delaware passed the compact through the House in 2011, but it never got through the Senate in that session. The House also had passed it in 2009, but again, the Senate was uninterested. But maybe Senator Townsend, the majority whip, can get them interested. And so maybe can the orange haired traitor in the White House.