A presidential election determined by the national popular vote would once again put Virginia on the map.
The Old Dominion, once reliably Republican “red,” has shifted dramatically in recent years. Just a couple of election cycles ago it was considered purple and one of the country’s battleground states. Today, most would agree it is ‘blue’ since Democrats have won every statewide campaign since 2009.
Heading into 2020, Republicans will focus on keeping purple-trending Arizona, Georgia and Texas in their column, despite some suggestion that recent scandals in Richmond could flip the commonwealth to President Trump.
This only confirms that Virginians are irrelevant. But that would change under the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
The compact is completely different from what national Democrats are proposing. Notably, it preserves the Electoral College as-is.
The only change is the voting method used to award electors of the states that have adopted the compact. Currently, 48 states use what is called the winner-take-all method. By contrast, states that join the compact would give their electors to the winner of the national popular vote.
As of now, 15 states and the District of Columbia, with a total of 196 electoral votes, have joined the compact. It would take effect only if the number of compacting states is equal to 270 electoral votes — the magic number to win a presidential election.
Changing from winner-take-all to the national popular vote is fully consistent with intent of the federal Constitution. Under Article 2, Section 1, a state legislature has the exclusive authority to determine the method used to award their state’s electors.
Importantly, winner-take-all is not the voting method of the Founding Fathers, including the many distinguished sons of Virginia, who crafted the Constitution. At no point did they ever consider winner-take-all.
It is also a myth to say Hillary Clinton would be president had the compact been in place back in 2016.
Don’t take my word for it. Here’s what Trump said during an interview with “Fox & Friends” on the Fox News Channel: “I would rather have a popular election, but it’s a totally different campaign. I would rather have the popular vote because, to me, it’s much easier to win the popular vote.”
Opposing the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact on facts is one thing, but opposing it on myths and falsehoods masquerading as facts is something else.
Ashley Herzog is a nationally published political and cultural writer.