End-run on Electoral College gains, but Americans don’t like it


It doesn’t really matter how you or other Americans feel about substituting the presidential popular vote total for the Electoral College with a constitutional amendment.

It’s not going to happen. Live with it.

But still the folks over at Gallup keep asking that old question — and a new one. It’s a hot topic since what’s-her-name won the popular vote in 2016 — 48.2 to 46.1 percent with a pathetic 55.7 percent voter turnout.

However, her fellow New Yorker Donald J. Trump easily took the Electoral College with 57 percent — 304 to 227. So, he’s President of the United States. And now he’s setting about doing it again.

In its latest survey, Gallup found continuing support among adult Americans for basing their presidential selections on popular vote totals — 55 percent wanting to change the Constitution to accomplish that and 43 percent opposing.

That gambit is an ancient one that came closest back in the early 1970s when the House overwhelmingly approved the idea and President Nixon said he’d sign it. But those old fogeys in the Senate killed the plan with a filibuster.

Even if all of Washington’s apparatus had passed the amendment, it would have taken three-quarter of the states’ legislatures also approving. Can you realistically see 38 of our beloved 50 states agreeing on anything these days, let alone during the Vietnam War?

So, proponents of change are taking another line of attack to undermine the Founding Fathers’ carefully-engineered plan that guaranteed the most populous states would not dominate the others.

They’re going state-by-state with what they’re calling the National Popular Vote Interstate Company, or NPVIC.

They’re getting state legislatures to sign on and agree to cast their Electoral College votes for whomever wins the national popular vote for president, regardless of how citizens in that state vote. In effect, overruling that state’s voters.

Hillary Clinton likes the idea. And so, so far, do 14 states and the District of Columbia. The compact requires that once the approving states’ electoral votes total 270, the number to elect a president, the compact would take effect.

The current total approving is 189 with other states still pondering.

Nowadays, Gallup is asking about this compact’s end-run around the Constitution. It found that 52 percent do not like the idea, while 45 percent do.

Either way, it won’t have anything to do with 2020.

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