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Electoral college end seen as ‘dangerous’

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Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 8:58 am

A move by several states to change the “electoral college” into a popular vote for president would be “very dangerous” and would “give up our sovereignty,” former US Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco said Tuesday.

Canseco, who was elected to the 23rd Congressional District that includes Alpine in the Republican landslide of 2010, said the election of the president was to be decided by the electoral college to protect the smaller states when the US Constitution was created.

Changing to a straight popular vote would mean Presidents would only have to run in the larger cities like New York, Chicago, Dallas and Houston, and smaller areas would have no voice.

“That would be the end of the Republic,” he said, referring to the fact that the United States is a republic in which individual voters select people to represent them in government.

The preface to the US Constitution says “We the people,” not “we the politicians,” he said. Ours was the first country in the world to put sovereignty in the hands of the people, not the government, and current policies in Washington endanger that balance, Canseco said.

There was great concern as the Constitution was debated about protecting smaller areas and minorities. 

“There are anomalies, to be sure,” he said. “If Al Gore carried the popular vote but George [W.] Bush won the electoral vote, that’s an anomaly. So be it. That’s our system and it has worked very well for more than 220 years.”

Canseco faces Will Hurd of San Antonio for the Republican nomination in the runoff May 27. The winner of the runoff will face Democrat Pete Gallego of Alpine in November.

In a wide-ranging discussion with supporters at the Reata Restaurant Tuesday night and the Bread and Breakfast Wednesday morning, Canseco said a rapidly-growing economy would do help the country deal with a deficit of more than $17 trillion far more than tax increases would.

One key tool would be trade with our neighbors and the US does not currently have a Latin American trade policy.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • toto posted at 1:44 pm on Thu, Apr 24, 2014.

    toto Posts: 3

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided).

    Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls
    in recent or past closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA --75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%;
    in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%;
    in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and
    in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%.
    Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    The bill has passed 33 state legislative chambers in 22 rural, small, medium, and large states with 250 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 11 jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.


  • toto posted at 1:41 pm on Thu, Apr 24, 2014.

    toto Posts: 3

    With National Popular Vote, every voter would be equal. Candidates would reallocate their time, the money they raise, and their ad buys to no longer ignore 80% of the states and voters.

    Presidential candidates concentrate their attention on only a handful of closely divided "battleground" states and their voters. There is no incentive for them to bother to care about the majority of states where they are hopelessly behind or safely ahead to win.
    10 of the original 13 states are ignored now.
    Four out of five Americans were ignored in the 2012 presidential election. After being nominated, Obama visited just eight closely divided battleground states, and Romney visited only 10. These 10 states accounted for 98% of the $940 million spent on campaign advertising. They decided the election.
    None of the 10 most rural states mattered, as usual.
    About 80% of the country was ignored --including 24 of the 27 lowest population and medium-small states, and 13 medium and big states like CA, GA, NY, and Texas.

    16% of Americans live in rural areas.

    With National Popular Vote, big cities would not get all of candidates’ attention, much less control the outcome.
    The population of the top five cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia) is only 6% of the population of the United States and the population of the top 50 cities (going as far down as Arlington, TX) is only 15% of the population of the United States.

    Suburbs and exurbs often vote Republican.

    If big cities controlled the outcome of elections, the governors and U.S. Senators would be Democratic in virtually every state with a significant city.

    Republicans dominate Texas politics without carrying big cities such as Dallas and Houston.

    There are numerous other examples of Republicans who won races for governor and U.S. Senator in other states that have big cities (e.g., New York, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts) without ever carrying the big cities of their respective states.

    Now with state-by-state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), presidential elections ignore 12 of the 13 lowest population states (3-4 electoral votes), that are non-competitive in presidential elections. 6 regularly vote Republican (AK, ID, MT, WY, ND, and SD), and 6 regularly vote Democratic (RI, DE, HI, VT, ME, and DC) in presidential elections. Voters in states that are reliably red or blue don't matter. Candidates ignore those states and the issues they care about most.

    Kerry won more electoral votes than Bush (21 versus 19) in the 12 least-populous non-battleground states, despite the fact that Bush won 650,421 popular votes compared to Kerry’s 444,115 votes. The reason is that the red states are redder than the blue states are blue. If the boundaries of the 13 least-populous states had been drawn recently, there would be accusations that they were a Democratic gerrymander.

    Support for a national popular vote is strong in every smallest state surveyed in recent polls among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group. Support in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK -70%, DC -76%, DE --75%, ID -77%, ME - 77%, MT- 72%, NE - 74%, NH--69%, NE - 72%, NM - 76%, RI - 74%, SD- 71%, UT- 70%, VT - 75%, WV- 81%, and WY- 69%.

    Among the 13 lowest population states, the National Popular Vote bill has passed in nine state legislative chambers, and been enacted by 4 jurisdictions.

  • toto posted at 1:37 pm on Thu, Apr 24, 2014.

    toto Posts: 3

    National Popular Vote would not end the Electoral College or any state's sovereignty.
    The Electoral College would still decide and elect the President.

    The bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of Electoral College votes—that is, enough to elect a President (270 of 538). The candidate receiving the most popular votes from all 50 states (and DC) would get all the 270+ Electoral College votes of the enacting states.

    National Popular Vote did not invent popular elections. Having election results determined by the candidate getting the most individual votes is not some scary, untested idea loaded with unintended consequences.

    It makes every vote and voter matter to the candidates. It adds up votes of all voters in each state and the candidate with the most popular votes from the states wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

    We would still be a republic, in which citizens continue to elect the President by a majority of Electoral College votes by states, to represent us and conduct the business of government.

    The current statewide winner-take-all rule (used by 48 of the 50 states) is not in the Constitution. It was not the Founders’ choice (having been used by only three states in the nation’s first presidential election in 1789). It was not debated at the Constitutional Convention, and it was not mentioned in the Federalist Papers. ) It is not entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all method. The Founders were dead for decades before the winner-take-all rule became prevalent.

    With the current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), it could only take winning a bare plurality of popular votes in only the 11 most populous states, containing 56% of the population of the United States, for a candidate to win the Presidency with a mere 23% of the nation's votes!

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