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GOP factions unite against presidential popular vote push
Idea to be debated at Republican summer meeting
Mr. Anuzis‘ lobbying efforts have upset some fellow RNC members, but he argues that the change would “guarantee that every vote matters, every state is relevant, every town and community would have the same value to each candidate for president in every presidential election.”
To illustrate his point, he recalled that during in 2008, GOP nominee John McCain estimated that Michigan’s 17 electoral votes were out of reach and so stopped campaigning there in order to focus time and money on battleground states such as Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Missouri in the campaign’s final days.
“McCain abandoned conservatives in Michigan and made it difficult to win seats for U.S. Congress and the Michigan Legislature,” Mr. Anuzis said. ‘With national popular vote, the McCain campaign would have fought for every GOP vote in Michigan right up until Election Day.”
Delaware GOP Chairman John Sigler, comes at it from the opposite perspective, saying that preserving the Electoral College, as called for in the Constitution, is also simple logic that honors the intentions of the founders.
“To create this constitutional republic, each state gave up some rights to become part of the union as a grand bargain,” Mr. Sigler said. “This national popular vote would give more rights to the large population centers in the big states.”
Republican opponents of a national popular vote also note that some of the idea’s biggest supporters, including the family of billionaire liberal donor George Soros, are not friendly to the conservative movement or the Republican Party. Mr. Soros‘ son Jonathan wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal in 2008 backing the concept.
Former Republican National Chairman Mike Duncan warned the national vote idea opened up the way for increased voter fraud.
He noted that “another Soros-funded agency, Acorn, was discredited and bankrupted after being involved in vote fraud in several states. I fought Acorn and their associated organizations during my tenure as general counsel and chairman of the RNC because I believed their methods were deplorable, unlawful and would undermine the Constitution.”
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About the Author
Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
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