Tennesseans overwhelmingly favor popular election of nation’s president
Posted: Friday, June 3, 2011 8:01 pm
Four out of five Tennesseans want the presidential candidate who receives the most votes to win the White House, according to a poll conducted earlier this month.
When asked to agree or disagree with the following statement: “The presidential candidate who gets the most votes always should be the winner,” 83 percent of those polled agreed, and 14 percent disagreed.
“We are perpetually rolling the dice in presidential elections in this country and risking electing someone who didn’t get the most votes,” Senator Fred Thompson says.
Earlier this month, he was named a co-champion of the National Popular Vote campaign.
The poll was conducted by John McLaughlin, a well-respected national pollster. Every political demographic group across the state favors changing to a system driven by the popular vote, the poll showed. When Republicans were asked,”How should the President be elected, by who gets the most votes in all 50 states or by the current winner-takes-all system?” 73 percent of them favored the popular vote.
Of all Democrats asked the same question, 78 percent favored the popular vote system.
When respondents who agree with Tea Party values were asked, 72 percent of them preferred the popular vote.
Supporters of the Popular Vote system argue that millions of votes don’t count with the winner-takes-all system, in which all of a state’s electors go to the candidate with the most votes in that state. For example, in California, usually carried by the Democratic presidential candidate, the thousands of votes cast for the Republican simply don’t count when the Electoral College votes are tallied.
Popular Vote proponents also point out that the few states with the most electoral votes get most of the attention during a presidential campaign. Tennessee, for example, was virtually ignored.
In 2008, the state was visited once by a presidential candidate. Despite the fact that Tennesseans contributed almost $8 million to the presidential campaigns that year, a mere $9,955 was spent on ads in the state out of the more than $160 million spent by the campaigns on ads during the peak period. The non-partisan National Popular Vote campaign has filed legislation in a number of states, including Tennessee, to reform the electoral system and ensure that the presidential candidate who receives the most votes wins. For more information, visit www.tnpopularvote.com.