Former First Lady Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election of 2016, and the Democrat’s defeat at the hands of Donald Trump was the biggest story in the world. In September of 2017, Clinton went on record that the electoral college helped Donald Trump win the presidency and told CNN, “I think it needs to be eliminated. I’d like to see us move beyond it.” The proclamation did not get as much traction as her defeat, but the 2016 loser wasn’t done.
“I win the coast, I win, you know, Illinois and Minnesota, places like that,” proclaimed Clinton in a March, 2018 speech in Mumbai, India. “So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward.” Clinton was on record that eliminating the electoral college was a move ahead, so by implication without that, “arcane election body,” as CNN put it, the progressive Democrat would win in a landslide.
Establishment media have been slow to track Democrat efforts to eliminate or weaken the electoral college. Fortunately, Tara Ross has been keeping watch for the Daily Signal.
In Nevada last week, the state senate approved National Popular Vote legislation. The NPV would render the electoral college irrelevant by requiring electors to vote for the national vote-winner instead of the candidate capturing the most votes in their states. Ross finds the basic structure of the NPV to be dishonest.
The Constitution provides that America’s state-by-state presidential election system cannot be changed without the consent of three-quarters (38) of the states. The NPV, Ross notes, “seeks an end run around this process. It wants states to sign a simple interstate compact instead.”
In that deal, states agree to give their presidential electors to the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of the outcome within a state’s borders. The compact kicks in when states holding 270 electors have signed on. As Ross notes, that would be enough to win the presidency, and Ross finds trickery afoot in the NPV ranks.
In Minnesota, legislators concealed the NPV compact in an elections omnibus bill, and when that failed they stuck it in an appropriations measure. Hearings on the NPV have been hastily scheduled, making it difficult for supporters of the electoral college to testify. Supporters of the electoral college have also been excluded from allegedly “educational” sessions on the NPV compact.
By Ross’s count, a full 14 states plus the District of Columbia have signed on, and these states hold 189 electors. If Nevada’s Democrat governor Steve Sisolak signs the state senate bill, that brings the total to 195, only 75 electors short of 270. If Maine and Oregon approve the compact, Ross notes, “National Popular Vote will be only 64 electors short of its goal.” The NPV “relies on the state-based aspects of the system when convenient, but then switches to reliance on a national tally when that’s convenient.” So NPV wants to have it both ways.
Ross finds the NPV dishonest, deceptive, and infantile, like a kid who takes his football and goes home. “You don’t change the rules of the game just because you lost,” Ross explains. “Instead, you work on your weaknesses, improving so you can win next time.” NPV is a flat rejection of that course by the Democrats who, instead of developing coherent policy, are determined to topple Trump any way they can. And as Ross finds California making noises about keeping Trump’s name off the ballot in the Golden State.
NPV critics are right that the scheme would concentrate power in states like California and New York with the largest population centers. As Nevada assemblyman Jim Wheeler noted, with a national popular vote, why would candidates “even bother coming here.” Wheeler voted no on NPV “because I don’t want Nevada to be a flyover state.” Mr. Wheeler thus restates the purpose of the electoral college, to prevent a candidate from becoming president of the entire country by winning only a few populous states.
As Tara Ross recognizes, if Hillary Clinton had won the electoral college in 2016, none of this would be happening. And if Hillary Clinton had won, nobody would know about Midyear Exam, Crossfire Hurricane, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and the rest of the Clinton coup clan.
Meanwhile, last Friday in Houston, Hillary Clinton delivered a fiery speech blasting President Trump as “running scared” and the “very real constitutional crisis that this president has put us in.” As Dom Calicchio of Fox News explained, that “may have sounded like a campaign speech to some listeners.”
And some political observers “have suggested that Clinton could make a third bid for the presidency in 2020 if none of the more than 20 Democrats currently in the running emerges as a clear threat to deny Trump a second term.”
So the surging National Popular Vote may be gearing up for a new Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. As 2020 approaches, voters and legislators in all states have plenty to ponder.