One of the silver linings of the 2016 election—and it is a very thin lining—is that the majority of Americans who voted realized that their vote had been cheapened. Hillary Clinton received 2,868,692 more votes than Donald Trump, yet lost to Trump in the Electoral College. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would guarantee that states would allot their electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote.
The National Popular Vote interstate compact will go into effect when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough to elect a President (270 of 538). At that time, every voter in the country will acquire a direct vote for a group of at least 270 presidential electors supporting their choice for President. All of this group of 270+ presidential electors will be supporters of the candidate who received the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC—thus making that candidate President.
A Civiqs survey of 1,548 registered U.S. voters, held Sept. 21-24, asked respondents if they support the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. More than half—52%—said they would support a “one person, one vote” initiative such as the NPVIC. Breaking down the numbers, the division is strictly along party lines: 89% of Democratic voters supported a popular vote initiative, while 78% of Republicans opposed the idea.
This in and of itself is not at all surprising. In the last few decades, if it weren’t for antidemocratic systems and machinations in place, we would not have had a single Republican president, and we would likely have a considerably more liberal judicial branch as well. For 200 years now, the go-to argument against popular vote initiatives has been that the Electoral College protects the rights of smaller, less-populous states. It’s bogus, of course, and the Republican arguments for keeping the Electoral College are as hypocritical and about as sound as the 1800s Democratic Party’s arguments for keeping slavery. And like slavery, the implicit racism of the Electoral College, whether conscious or not, is borne out by the numbers, with 47% of white people opposing, and 45% supporting, a national popular vote. Why? Because a popular vote in an ever-diversifying country lessens white hegemonic voting power.
On the brighter side, polling shows that most people, regardless of where they live, do want everyone’s vote to have equal value. Civiqs’ breakdown of support for the NPVIC by region makes it clear, with 48% of the Midwest, 50% of the Northeast, 51% of the South, and 57% of the West preferring a popular vote system to the current Electoral College system. California, most obviously, has a higher support and lower opposition rate than the rest of the country, but not a single region opposed a national popular vote at a higher rate than the national average.
This is good news. While it is depressing that Republican ideology has clearly superseded rational thought, the divisions between us are not as regional as red-and-blue maps can make them seem. This is the fundamental truth driving a new Daily Kos project, Little Blue Pockets. There is not a state in our union that does not have residents (and voters) who believe in democracy for all the people, by all the people, and while there may always be Election Day disappointments in those states, it’s undeniable: The times are changing.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.