Talon News - Good Local News

DEAR TALON - Popular Vote


January 4, 2019


A bill to direct New Mexico’s participation in the National Popular Vote (NPV) interstate compact will be introduced in the 2019 legislature. All of our state senators and representatives should support this bill as it will make every vote count and will ensure that the candidate who wins the popular vote nationally will in fact win the presidency.

As it currently stands, presidential candidates ignore “non-battleground” states, like New Mexico. If a state is certain to vote for a candidate, there is no incentive for ANY candidate to campaign there. It’s a waste of their limited resources. As a result, in the 2016 campaign, 94% of campaign visits went to 12 “battleground” states: Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado, Nevada, and Wisconsin. Not California or New York, Texas or Louisiana, because they were “safe” for either the R or D candidate.

The small states are not ignored because of their low population, but because they’re not closely divided battleground states. The 12 small non-battleground states have about the same population (12 million) as the battleground state of Ohio. The 12 small states have 40 electoral ​votes— more than twice Ohio’s 18 electoral votes. However, Ohio received 73 of 253 post-convention campaign events in 2012, while the 12 small non-battleground states received none. Note that New Hampshire, with 4 Electoral College votes (one less than NM) did receive campaign visits.

In addition to not campaigning in non-battleground states, there is also evidence that Presidents while in office pay less attention to non-battleground states, in terms of presidentially controlled grants and disaster declarations.

Passage of the NPV legislation will help guarantee that every vote counts…whether in Ohio, Arkansas, California, Mississippi….or New Mexico.

By Gary Skiba, Aztec


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