Obama won’t run a true “50 state campaign,” no matter what this email says. While new battlegrounds like Virginia may be explored, and there may be some token activity in safe states, nearly all resources will be poured into the usual suspects – a dozen swing states, especially Ohio, Pennsylvania, and of course Florida.
In 2004 and in 2000 those three states got close to two thirds of the advertising budget for the general election. Obama’s 2008 budget for North Dakota will be, shall we say, smaller.
But the pledge is great rhetoric because the idea of a national campaign is enthralling to Americans as well as being good public policy. A telephone survey conducted June 3rd of 800 likely Massachusetts voters showed that 73 percent support a national popular vote for the President as opposed to the current Electoral College. This parallels polling done nationwide and in other states, although Mass Democrats are even more in favor of the idea than the national average-a full 82% of likely Democratic voters support the idea.
We have a chance to make Plouffe’s pledge a reality in the 2012 election. The National Popular Vote bill (H. 678), which would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states, has been holding steady on the calendar of the Massachusetts House for some months. Sponsored by Representative Charley Murphy and Martin Walsh and Senators Joan Menard and Robert Creedon plus 100 other endorsers and cosponsors, the bill must be voted on soon because time is running out.
National Popular Vote has been discussed on BlueMass Group several times. The plan is an interstate compact where member states agree to give all of their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote in all 50 states, but only after states representing a majority of the Electoral College sign on (that is 270 of the 538 electoral votes, roughly equal to half of the population, and most likely around 25 states). The reform will ensure a true 50 state campaign, make all votes equal in weight regardless of the state from which they were cast, and of course ensure that the candidate with the most votes from real people wins the election. No more election 2000, or 1888, 1876, and 1824.
Identical legislation has been introduced in 47 states, passed by 18 legislative chambers, and has been enacted in Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, and Illinois.
Massachusetts should be the next state to join the compact. Please help us pass this important reform by contacting your legislators ASAP. We need a vote in the House in the next three weeks or it will be too late. You can use a canned email or better yet write or call. For more information visit www.nationalpopularvote.com or www.commoncause.org/ma