Jul 30, 2007

North Carolina's electoral votes

Via Political Wire, North Carolina's House is expected to pass a bill to assign Electoral College votes by congressional district rather than the winner-take-all system, which is in place everywhere except for Maine and Nebraska. The bill almost guarantees that the 2008 Democratic nominee peels off reliably Republican electoral votes, and thus the measure has served as an indicator of party loyalty: not a single GOP legislator supports it, while only a few Democrats are in opposition.

Supporters contend it will cause both national parties to pay North Carolina more attention, while detractors say that even if such a tight race were to occur (one where 3 electoral votes could make the difference), it would only affect a few areas. Frankly, since the bill helps the party of the state's governing majority, it's hard to see it as anything other than partisan.

But on the bright side, its passage could be the dawn of a bi-partisan solution.

Given the impending bill, North Carolina Republicans would definitely prefer a National Popular Vote law, like the one recently signed by Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, in which the state pledges its electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote regardless of the in-state winner, only to be enacted when enough states (possessing an Electoral College majority of 270) do the same. That way, the winner of the national popular vote is sure to have enough Electoral College votes to become president.

The latest information shows that all sponsors of the National Popular Vote in North Carolina are Democrats. Don't be surprised if Republicans are soon its most enthusiastic supporters.

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