Monday, July 12, 2010

Electoral College in MA Update

A top Republican leadership source in the Massachusetts State Senate informs me that there is considerable concern that the National Popular Vote proposal could pass the State Senate. This anti-Electoral College measure would open up the possibility of making Massachusetts award its electoral votes to whatever candidate wins the national popular vote. The measure has already passed the Massachusetts House. If the measure passes the Senate, it would still need to go to the desk of Governor Deval Patrick, who has offered tentative words of support for the proposal in the past.

This source also reminds me, though, that this anti-Electoral College proposal has passed both branches of the Massachusetts legislature in previous sessions and still not made it to the governor's desk. Here's a good narrative of the debate about the Electoral College in Massachusetts over the past few years.

The legislative session ends on July 31. Defenders of the Electoral College would be wise to contact their state senators now. My source indicates that the bill is on the calendar to debate tomorrow, though Senate debate on this measure has been pushed back numerous times. There are both Republican and Democratic defenders of the Electoral College in Massachusetts. This is not a done deal in the Commonwealth, but supporters of the Electoral College will need to fight hard.

1 comment:

  1. A survey of 800 Massachusetts voters conducted on May 23–24, 2010 showed 72% 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?"

    By political affiliation, support for a national popular vote was 86% among Democrats, 54% among Republicans, and 68% among others. By gender, support was 85% among women and 60% among men. By age, support was 85% among 18-29 year olds, 75% among 30-45 year olds, 69% among 46-65 year olds, and 72% for those older than 65. By race, support was 72% among whites, 82% among African-Americans, and 58% among Others. The survey was conducted by Public Policy Polling, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 1/2%.

    Massachusetts voters were also asked a 3-way question:

    "Do you prefer a system where the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states on a nationwide basis is elected President, or one like the one used in Nebraska and Maine where electoral voters are dispensed by Congressional district, or one in which all of the state's electoral votes would be given to the statewide winner?"

    The results of this three-way question were that 68% favored a national popular vote, 16% favored awarding its electoral votes by congressional district, and 16% favored the existing statewide winner-take-all system (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most votes statewide).