If the ‘National Popular Vote’ Proposal Gets on the 2022 Ballot, Would It Drive Up Democratic Turnout? Could It Win?
It’s actually logical that Brewer would succumb to Anuzis’s argument because, if the NPVC ever becomes law, it would favor Democrats compared with the current electoral college system, which advantages the GOP. That’s why, if the initiative ever comes before the Michigan Legislature, a Republican majority in either chamber would kill it. However, that means NPVC would automatically go on the ballot for a statewide vote. Could it be approved?
If NPVC is approved by Michigan voters and enough other states to total 270 electoral college votes, regardless of which candidate might garner a majority of Michigan’s votes for president, the state’s electoral votes would go to whoever receives the largest popular vote nationwide. For example, if NPVC had been operative in 2016, Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, would have been awarded Michigan’s 16 electoral votes because she won the popular vote count nationally.
Considering the results of presidential elections in 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016 (all of which Republican nominees won despite getting fewer votes than their rival Democrats), it’s likely that lots of Michigan voters will view the NPVC as favoring the Democratic Party.
Question 1): Would having a “national popular vote” proposal on the 2022 statewide ballot be an automatic winner for the Democrats because so many additional Democratic voters would turn out? And would it be likely to win?
Answer 1): No, and no. This is an attempted “end-run” around the Electoral College that has been around for years, funded by national organizations and donors, principally Democrats. It’s not something coming from a groundswell in Michigan, where voters are unlikely to appreciate being told that whoever wins Michigan can be denied victory because a majority of the rest of the country voted the other way. Michigan currently enjoys a role as a battleground state, buttressed by Trump’s narrow victory in 2016 (and loss in 2020). It should be easy for NPVC opponents to make an argument that Michigan should not be denied battleground status by having its vote subsumed in a national wave. Anuzis argues that Michigan would still be relevant because presidential nominees would be forced to campaign “differently.” The renegade Republican contends that Trump might have won California and/or New York in the last two elections if the NPVC had been in effect because The Donald would have “nationalized” his campaign and caused the “system” to work in his favor. Really? Does anybody really believe that? And, no, no knowledgeable political observer of either major party believes that this hard-to-explain proposal would drive up Democratic turnout, or Republican, for that matter.
Question 2): Can either major political party count on the mask and vaccination mandate issues presenting a clear divide between Democratic and Republican voters in 2022?
Answer 2): To the extent COVID-19 issues are still front-and-center center during the 2022 campaign, they’d probably help Democrats, because polls show by and large the general public supports these mandates, although the opposition is noisy and intense. However, opposing COVID-19 measures will continue to play well among Republicans running in August primaries. In the general election, both political parties can pretty much count on the current political divide remaining unchanged with respect to pandemic-related health measures as long as COVID-19 and its variants are still sickening and killing at rates such as we see now.
Question 3): President Biden’s approval ratings are currently in the 40s. But this is 2021, not 2022, so it doesn’t matter, right?
Answer 3): We’ll know more by the end of this month, depending on how things turn out in Washington, D.C. on the epic battle being waged over the bi-partisan infrastructure bill and the multi-trillion dollar so-called Build Back Better “reconciliation” measure. Sure, President Biden’s mistakes and floundering agenda right now seem to be having a corrosive effect on Michigan Democrats, particularly Gretchen Whitmer, whose own numbers are underwater. That is why she and her outriders like Michigan Democratic Party flack Rodericka Applewhaite are laying the groundwork for a personality battle between the governor and all of the possible Republican nominees, who the Dems are working overtime trying to smear in every way possible. And, oh yes!, there’s still that Donald Trump guy, even if he won’t be on the ballot.
Question 4): If the list had to be produced today, what would be the four (4) top issues Gov. Gretchen Whitmer should run on?
Answer 4): It will take a lot of chutzpah, but that’s what politicians are all about, right? Whitmer is already claiming that Michigan has had the third-fastest economic “recovery” from the pandemic in the country during the past few months, ignoring the fact that the state was driven farther into the basement than most states, and had nowhere to go but up. She’ll argue that her response to COVID-19 “saved lives,” although that is an argument impossible to prove. It’s more likely that her mandates actually COST lives. And, believe it or not, she’s likely to claim she’s delivered on her 2018 promise to “Fix the Damn Roads,” because the state is flush with money (mainly federal) and much of it will go to transportation and infrastructure repair, plus there is her unilateral bonding program, undertaken without legislative approval. And, by the way, Republicans are either terrorists or outright loony in their response to the pandemic and other issues like abortion, “suppressing the vote,” racial disparities, and law and order.
TIMOTHY K SULLIVAN says
Nice analysis as always, Bill.
John Smietanka says
Your analysis is thoughtful. I do accept your caution that it’s a year away for the mid-terms, and Lord knows what odd events will churn things up more than they are now, or calm them down, due to some (generally awful) event that coalesces the public one way or the other. Currently, my contacts with friends of all political and social groupings lead me to the pretty strong likelihood that…if the election were held now, there would be a strong gain for the Rs on a national level…the House and Senate, but unsure how would come out here for statewide offices.
A topic for a future column might be: Will President Biden be at the head of the D ticket in 2024, and if not, who would replace him? While these questions seem to be 3 years premature, it is yet an undercurrent in discussions that I have with the aforesaid pretty diverse and universal folks I talk to. Thee is more of an urgency in people’s views now than ever I have seen or heard before on such a topic. I don’t know how you accurately poll for such a question, but it truly is out there right now. The thoughts are expressed differently as to cause or effect from person to person, but the issue is there and strong.
Matt Crehan says
Answer #1 This proposal is simply an insane, idiotic idea that will never gain traction when it is seriously examined. It is an underhanded assault on the Electoral College, which was instituted to preclude MOB RULE (If there are 4 wolves and 1 sheep and the majority decides on mutton for dinner, guess who is getting roasted?) My long-time suspicions that Anuzis is a RINO are hereby confirmed! His smarmy statement that this goofball proposal will require presidential candidates to campaign “differently”, is not only absurd, it is preposterous. All candidates go where the votes are, and this proposal means any state with a small population will be ignored even more than they are now.
Answer #2 Now that the mask fiasco has come front and center, we are seeing unmasked anger by those on both sides of the argument. What will keep the emotional level at full-tilt is the foolish idea that elementary students should/must wear a mask. (I’ll agree, but only on October 31st) As far as shots are concerned, there is far too much evidence that they are dangerous. After all, who ever heard of a vaccine being brought to market is such a short period of time? So its a benefit to Trump Republicans.
Answer #3 We are witnessing DEMentia Joe’s slippery slide into oblivion. He can’t answer spontaneous questions from the press, nor can he hold his own at international conferences. The decline actually began in 1988, when his plagiarism came to light. His only usefulness has been speaking at state funerals. Even the Lame Stream Media, who mostly adore him, have started to take notice. Biden’s handlers will just cover up for him, like they did for Woodrow Wilson after the stroke.
Answer #4 First, she will be in control of one helluva LOT of COVID-1984 money, which can be lathered over her base, and sprinkled on independent voters just enough to make a difference. Second, she can surreptitiously attack the dozen or so republican candidates so none will be able to gain any traction against her. Third, when anybody mentions Biden, respond by saying “Joe Who”? Fourth, keep the left-wing looney tunes on lock down until the election is over.