As I have said several times, the simplest answer is probably the best: End the “winner-take-all” apportionment of EC delegates and distribute them based on the popular vote in each state.
Had this been the case in 2016, Hillary Clinton would have won by a small margin in the Electoral College. This is based on the state-by-state popular votes results.
Mrs. Clinton’s popular vote victory was the result of the popular vote in just two states: California and New York. Donald Trump won the total popular vote in the remaining 48 states and the District of Columbia.
So, had Mrs. Clinton won based solely on the popular vote, we would no doubt be having the same conversation but with the roles reversed. “Tyranny of the masses” would doubtless be frequently heard.
The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) is stupid, unnecessary, and lazy. It’s an excuse created to relieve the states of the responsibility for cleaning up their own messes.
It actually makes the problem worse because it requires member states to ignore their own popular votes. Since that’s the case, it’s more likely to increase voter apathy and drive turnout down even more.
Let’s face it, what’s the point in making the effort to go to the polls when whoever wins in a few highly populated states is going to make your vote irrelevant.
Turnout in the midterm elections will give you an idea of what could well be the wave of the future.
It’s also worth noting that every state that has joined to date is one in which Hillary Clinton not only won the popular vote, she won with a significant majority of the total vote, averaging 58% in the 14 states that are signatories to the NPVIC and the District of Columbia, another member.
Then there’s the whole “flyover issue.” I am not sure how anyone could delude themselves into thinking the NPVIC could make campaign visits and spending more evenly distributed. Why would it? You have a number of states that are “safe” for one party or the other. Why bother devoting any effort to them when all the candidate has to do is not lose them?
Based on the 2016 election results, there were only six states where the winner had a margin of less than five percent. So the candidates would focus on Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
One other problem with the NPVIC: it will most likely require congressional approval. The U.S. Constitution prohibits the states from entering into agreements such as this without Congress’ blessing. This means the Senate as well as the House.
Yes, the states could have looked at Maryland, the trailblazer, and simply said, “That’s a swell idea” and enacted similar legislation. Perfectly constitutional and requiring no approval from the federal government. But, continuing the exercise in legislative stupidity, they had to make a multi-state agreement.
There aren’t any shortcuts to electoral Nirvana. Might as well admit it and get down to the hard work of persuading 48 states to apportion their electors.