Newt Gingrich endorsed the National Popular Vote proposal two years ago

As you might know, there is a proposal floating around to guarantee that the winner of the popular vote becomes president.  It involves states with enough electoral votes to control the presidency (270) agreeing (via an interstate compact) that they will cast their electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote.  Eleven states (including Massachusetts) have signed on, representing 165 electoral votes.

Interestingly for present purposes, Newt Gingrich is an enthusiastic endorser of this idea.  In 2014, he wrote to the head of the National Popular Vote initiative, explaining:

America would be better served with a presidential election process that treated citizens across the country equally.  The National Popular Vote bill accomplishes this in a manner consistent with the Constitution and with our fundamental democratic principles.

Of course, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote – and it appears that she did so by more than Al Gore did in 2000, and possibly, in percentage terms, more than Presidents Nixon in 1968 and Kennedy in 1960.  Yet, of course, Donald Trump won the electoral college, and so (barring something highly unexpected) he will be named president on December 19 when the electors vote.

One wonders whether Gingrich thinks this to be a just and democratic set of circumstances.

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Discuss

13 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Who Cares?

    Seriously David, you’re better than this.
    We can not pick all day with these Bozos. Don’t fall in to the trap/
    I think we should be posting more about all the back tracking Donald is doing the is week.
    Suddenly Obama Care has some good things according to Donald and he says he’ll too busy to go after Hillary.

    eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Sat 12 Nov 12:38 AM
  2. Oh sure

    Newt endorsed it two years ago. I endorsed it October 18 right here on BMG. :)

  3. Newt and Trump have said a lot of things over the years...

    Remember the global warming PSA Newt did with Nancy Pelosi?

    But I have a much bigger beef with you David (and apparently millions of progressives) who are going after this shiny object called the Electoral College, until we move on to the next outrage.

    First, I do believe the EC is an antiquated device that can not function in the modern age (and to boost your point…in the first 210 years of our Republic popular vote exceeded the EC vote twice…now in 16 years it’s happened twice…and I believe it will happen more often…especially when viable 3rd and maybe 4th parties evolve in the digital age.

    But to think an attack on the EC that is a direct result of an election, is counter productive.

    The bottomline is the EC has enormous institutional political support and we need 90% (at least) of the public to agree to change it. Or more accurately, as you know, we need 51% of the state legislatures in small states (many, but not all, red states) to approve a constitutional change. Basically these states need to be convince to give up the power of having a disproportionate weight in presidential elections. Having blue state, big city protests days after the election is not a persuasive tool.

    Ultimately, I’m afraid we need to spiral down a bit more before the problem with the EC hits rock bottom.

    • Trump saying a lot of things over the years...

      …is the one glimmer of hope I try to hold on to. Much of what he has said many of us would agree with. He’s a master marketer and campaigned on what he thought would sell. If we’re lucky, just maybe he has done a spectacular job punking all of us for the past year and a half and will revert to some of his previously expressed views once in office.

    • No constitutional change is needed.

      NPV is an interstate compact that takes effect once states representing a majority (270) of electoral votes sign on. They’re well over halfway there. If you don’t want to do it, fine, but the difficulty of amending the Constitution is irrelevant to this debate.

      • NPV has probably hit its ceiling of support

        Massachusetts adopted this already, so I’m not sure what more we can do to pass the NPV. We need red state and purple state adopters and both are unlikely for a long time, but if you have more optimistic news on this front I’m all ears.

      • Count me opposed to a compact...

        …in which a Democrat wins the EC but loses the popular vote and then all the Blue states in the compact vote for the GOP candidate. Yet if the Republican loses the EC and wins the popular vote, and all the Red states NOT in the compact, vote for the GOP candidates and and the Dems state in the Compact vote for the Republican.

        How is that a solution? You either have everyone of the same page, or not. The NPV movement is fraught with some much risk that right now it is akin to a Democrat Compact for a sucicide mission.

  4. President-elect Trump endorses direct election

    On the 60 minutes interview he said he recognizes he won by this method but still supports a direct method of election. Like many of his stances, odd and contradicting and probably worthless, but interesting all the same.

  5. The Duke says to axe the EC

    Dukakis says reform should be “at the top of the Democratic priority list” in light of the EC’s expected failure to elect the majority winner.

  6. Does the Electoral College favor any demographic group?

    The EC favors small states: a vote in Wyoming (pop. 568,000) is equivalent to 3 in the US overall, while a vote in California is, on the same scale, really worth about 7/8 of a vote. I was curious about how that works out for frequently discussed demographic groups: white, black, under/over 55, rural/urban, college degreed, and poor (“below poverty line”). Based on the 2010 Census:

    White (only – not White/Hispanic): 1.02, Black: 0.98
    Age 18-55: 1.05, Over 55: 0.94
    Rural: 1.06, Urban: 0.99
    Poor, College degree: both 1.0

    If I limit the same calculation to the eleven “2016 swing states”, those differences drop to 1% or less.

    richardsaffran   @   Mon 14 Nov 3:01 AM
    • Eh

      This is interesting, but I’m not statistician enough to know if it holds water. California has many more electoral votes than Wisconsin, and winner-take-all should have some effect on the weighting.

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