One Detroit senior producer Bill Kubota reports on the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact – a way to make the popular vote count while maintaining the Electoral College when electing the President of the United States.
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Hillary Clinton -voice- Thank you so much.
Bill Kubota It’s heard so often, Hillary Clinton got three million more votes than Donald Trump, she should be president, ahh but for the Electoral College.
-voice- The Electoral College sucks and should be abolished.
Rick Snyder -voice- Donald J. Trump received 16 electoral votes from the state of Michigan.
Bill Kubota Here’s Michigan’s Electoral College in Lansing, 2016. These collegians represent all 4.8 million voters in this state, half who didn’t vote for Trump. Let’s turn on the wayback machine to see President Benjamin Harrison win the Electoral College, but not the popular vote.
Bill Kubota In 1888, 112 years later, -voice- (I George Walker Bush do solemnly swear), the year 2000. Another candidate loses the popular vote and still takes office. A fluke, it can’t happen again right?
Donald Trump -voice- I’ve just received a call from Secretary Clinton.
Bill Kubota Someone to get rid of the Electoral College and go to a straight popular vote, but the Electoral College is etched in the Constitution. Hold on, there’s another way. One that keeps the Electoral College, but ensures the candidate with the most popular votes really wins. Something called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. The idea is to preserve the Electoral College, that is, to retain the state’s rights to do elections their own way, like going with the national popular vote.
Saul Anuzis And my initial reaction was it sounds like a communist plot to make Al Gore president. I said, what a stupid idea. Why would we ever want to do that?
Bill Kubota Saul Anuzis has been a prominent Michigan Republican for years. Now he’s working for the national popular vote.
Saul Anuzis You know, I’ve actually read the book that was about 900 pages long and said this is a brilliant idea.
Bill Kubota Two thousand eight, Obama v. McCain, both candidates campaigned in Michigan, spent money here, we were a battleground state. Until a poll came up, putting McCain twelve points back.
Saul Anuzis So the McCain campaign and the National Party determine we can’t win in Michigan. And so they pull out all the resources, pulled out all the people, pull out all the money and shipped it all to Ohio and Florida. And I sat there and said, what a crazy system we have where Michigan is relevant one day and not relevant the other.
Bill Kubota Anuzis says at least 40 states aren’t relevant during presidential campaigns, it’s predetermined. States like California and New York go Democratic states like Idaho and Oklahoma Republican. Their electoral votes don’t change.
Saul Anuzis And that means there’s only 10 potential battleground states and as the race develops, it usually goes down to anywhere from three to six battleground states. So we end up spending 95 percent of all the resources, ninety five percent of all the presidential visits are spent in those three to six battleground states. So it perverts public policy and a perverts politics.
Bill Kubota States join the compact agreeing to hand over their electoral votes to the candidate that wins the national popular vote, whoever that might be.
Saul Anuzis What the national popular vote does is equalize the system because every voter in every state now becomes politically relevant every time. And one voter here, is the same as one voter anywhere else.
Bill Kubota Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have signed on. Here it passed the Michigan House a few years ago, but went no further. So far, most of the states joining the compact lean Democratic, as do compact supporters.
-voice- You and Elizabeth Warren and Pete Mutagen Edge and George Soros’ kids are all on the same side. So why did a good Republican from Michigan decide to throw in with all those characters?
Bill Kubota Anuzis, he’s been taking some hits because of who he’s been working with.
Saul Anuzis Just because there’s a bunch of liberals backing you think it’s a bad idea?
-voice- So you actually think people are going to campaign in any more states because of your plan. I don’t think anyone’s understanding your distinction. The Electoral College will be meaningless under your……
Bill Kubota For the compact to work it needs more states to sign on. A total of 270 electoral votes, the number needed to win the Electoral College. The compact has a hundred and ninety six electoral votes so far.
Donald Trump -voice- We’ve got problems folks.
Bill Kubota Some poll watchers say recent history could repeat itself yet again. With Trump losing the popular vote by even more, while winning the Electoral College. But if the compact were in place Anuzi says, his man Trump would still win. Trump would just go more places and get more voters. Voters that haven’t turned out because they’ve been in states where the Electoral College has always gone to the Democrats.
Donald Trump -voice- The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.
Bill Kubota The national popular vote seems unlikely this election cycle, but Anuzis keeps looking ahead.
Saul Anuzis More realistically, I think by 2024 we will be running the presidential campaign under a national popular vote.