Op-Ed: Popular vote makes Craig and Moffat County relevant
Coloradans deserve an open and honest discussion on the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which appears on November’s ballot.
Unfortunately, opponents are denying them that discussion by propagating myths and falsehoods that do nothing to make voters in Moffat County and elsewhere across northwestern Colorado relevant in presidential elections.
The compact does not abolish the Electoral College, the constitutional framework for electing the president the United States. It also does not change or undermine the Electoral College, despite what some have claimed.
As former Republican National Committee Chairman and former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele wrote in Politico Magazine, “The compact would leave the Electoral College in place, recognizing that states already have the authority, under Article 2, Section 1 of the [United States] Constitution, to award their electors in any way they see fit.”
Opponents of the compact intentionally conflate the Electoral College with the state-based, winner-take-all method currently used by Colorado and most — but not all — states to allocate electoral votes. Not only is this method not prescribed by the U.S. Constitution, but it was never discussed by the Founding Fathers at the constitutional convention.
Moreover, other states use a different method of allocating electoral votes while preserving the Electoral College just as the Founding Fathers intended. In fact, Massachusetts has changed its method 11 times since the first presidential election. Elsewhere, Michigan changed methods three times in less than six years.
Opponents often claim that large cities would silence rural voters. If you believe in math then this is demonstrably false.
The five biggest cities in the 2010 census — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia — make up just 6 percent of the national population, according to census data. Meanwhile, the top 50 cities are just 15 percent of the population, according to the same census data. As such, it is impossible for 15 percent of the country to out-vote the remaining 85 percent, unless we live in an alternative universe in which math and facts do not matter. As The Hill confirmed, “Big cities could never dominate under a national popular vote.” It is an undeniable fact that Moffat County and northwestern Colorado have become politically irrelevant as Colorado has become Democratic ‘blue’ state over the last three presidential elections: 2008, 2012 and 2016. As a result, the 3.4 million votes cast by Coloradans for the last three presidential nominees of the Republican Party have been for naught since zero of the state’s electors were allocated to Republicans.
Voters in Moffat County are irrelevant in the same way that rural voters in Wyoming, Montana, the Dakotas and Kansas are ignored.
This changes under the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
The constitutionally conservative reform guarantees the presidency to the candidate who receives the most votes. By doing so, it amplifies the voice of rural ‘red’ voters.
No longer would the campaign be decided by Florida and the handful of other battleground states. Instead, presidential candidates would run a truly national campaign, which would put the interests of rural voters on the front burner. Every Colorado voter would be relevant again.
This explains why President Donald J. Trump has said he supports a popular vote. Trump knows he would win if suddenly ‘red’ America mattered.
The bottom line: Right now, we elect a president of the Battleground States. Under the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, we would have a president of the United States elected in large part by the voters of rural America, including in northwestern Colorado.
Dennis Lennox is campaign manager of Conservatives for Yes on National Popular Vote. Find out more at http://www.conservativesforyesonnationalpopularvote.com.
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