Dick Morris: Electoral College in Jeopardy


CORRECTION, April 2, 2019: As originally published, this Op-Ed included the following statement:

“Ten states — totaling 105 electoral votes — have divided legislatures with each party controlling one house. If they were all to pass the compact, it would take effect and the national popular vote would control the outcome. The ten states are: Michigan, Minnesota, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Virginia.”

The column incorrectly listed ten states as having divided state legislatures. In fact, only one state — Minnesota — does.

We have replaced the original Op-Ed with the revised version provided by Dick Morris.

Democrats, impelled by losing the elections of 2000 and 2016 despite winning the popular vote, are seeking to eliminate the Electoral College.

But they are not going about it the normal way — by amending the Constitution.

Instead, they are seeking to circumvent the Electoral College via what they call the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Under the plan, states will vote to instruct their electors to back the winner of the national popular vote regardless of who carried their particular state.

The Compact would take effect when and if states that cast a majority of the Electoral College — 270 votes — ratify the compact.

With these states marching in lockstep, the Electoral College would become irrelevant.

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The Democrats have already passed the Compact in fifteen states and the District of Columbia with a combined 198 electoral votes. (The following states have already approved the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia).

With Democrats in control of both houses of the Oregon legislature, passage there seems likely, adding Oregon’s seven electoral votes to the tally (bringing it to 205).

Ten states — totaling 105 electoral votes — have divided control. In nine, one party controlling the legislature (both houses) and the other the governorship. They are: Michigan with 16 electoral votes, Kansas with 6, Louisiana with 8, Montana with 3, New Hampshire with 4, North Carolina with 15, Pennsylvania with 20, Wisconsin with 10 and Virginia with 13. In the tenth, Minnesota has 10 and there is divided control of the legislature.

These states could easily tip the balance to pass the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact if Republicans are not solid in their opposition or if control of the legislature changes.

What’s wrong with basing the election on the popular vote?

The prime reason not to dump the Electoral College is that doing so expands, exponentially, the possibilities of fraud and makes it easier to steal the election.

With only a handful of states in a position to decide the winner in the Electoral College, the possibilities for fraud are limited.

It doesn’t matter how many phony votes the Democrats can steal in big cities like New York, Chicago or Los Angeles because their electoral votes are already spoken for.

Among the swing states, the opportunities for fraud are more limited, making it easier to police the voting and prevent fraud.

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But if the massive populations of the big states are all in play, the chances for fraud are multiplied, making honest elections difficult to hold and harder to monitor.

Republicans and all fair-minded people must band together to assure that the Republican majorities in the remaining state legislatures are not beguiled by the sweet bi-partisan talk of Compact supporters and reject this dangerous initiative.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Dick Morris is a former adviser to President Bill Clinton as well as a political author, pollster and consultant. His most recent book, "50 Shades of Politics," was written with his wife, Eileen McGann.