I’m surprised there haven’t been more articles like this one:
Here’s how the plan would work. Individual states pass legislation to join an interstate compact, under which member states will award all their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. When states representing 270 electoral votes — the number needed to become president — have signed on, the plan goes into effect. Thus it’s in the power of state Legislatures and governors to catalyze the move.
So far, the bill has been introduced in 47 states. It has been passed into law in Illinois (21 electoral votes) New Jersey (15), Maryland (10 ), and, just last week, Hawaii (4), and is under active consideration in any number of others. In Massachusetts, the bill has a majority in both the House and the Senate, says Pam Wilmot, executive director of Common Cause of Massachusetts.
If the plan goes into effect, it would change the nature of campaigns in a big way. Right now, it doesn’t matter if a candidate wins a state by 10 votes or 10,000; once you have a majority, every additional vote is essentially wasted. Thus there’s little point of campaigning in states that lean strongly for either party.
Al Gore, whose margin of popular victory in 2000 was four times bigger than John F. Kennedy’s in 1960 and only a little smaller than Richard Nixon’s in 1968, has never made a secret of his disagreement with the infamous Supreme Court decision that put his outvoted opponent in the White House. But Gore has been silent, as far as I know, about the over-all electoral system that makes it possible for the Presidency, alone among American elected offices, to be denied to the candidate who comes in first and awarded to the one who comes in second. Until now.
Last Thursday, while leading a panel discussion on Current—the cable network he founded, runs, and, during the conventions, anchors—Gore casually endorsed the National Popular Vote initiative, this blog’s favorite cause…
I’m pretty sure that Gore’s long hesitancy about backing the N.P.V. was due less to a reluctance to seem self-pitying (remember “Sore Loserman”?) than to a desire to keep the plan from becoming a purely partisan political football.