Twice failed Democratic Congressional candidate Jim Mowrer (defeated badly by Congressman Steve King in 2012 and Congressman David Young in 2016) has launched a PAC today that would destroy Iowa’s influence in the presidential election not to mention our Republic.

His PAC, The Majority Rules, focuses on getting states to adopt a compact that would circumvent the Electoral College by encouraging states pass laws that would allocate electors based on the National Popular Vote.

Politico’s Morning Score reported this morning:

The PAC, Majority Rules, will back candidates for office and ballot initiatives intended to support states’ adoption of the so-called “National Popular Vote” initiative, which has already been adopted in 10 states. Mowrer will begin his effort by targeting Oregon and Connecticut as the next states to join the compact.

His PAC released the following video:

We already covered why this would be an asinine move, here are some reasons why switching to a National Popular Vote is a colossally bad idea.

First the method they are using subverts the Constitution. If Mowrer wants to get rid of the Electoral College they should work toward a constitutional amendment. The NPV contract also ignores the will of the people in the state. For instance Mowrer wants Iowa’s electors to go to Hillary Clinton since she had the most votes nationally even though Donald Trump trounced her in the state. Doesn’t he see this as disenfranchisement?

The Electoral College decentralizes control over the election. On election day we literally have 51 separate presidential elections with different election codes. Because of this having just one national pool of voters would be unfair as each state has different laws regarding early voting, voter registration, qualifying for the ballot, felon voting, and different recount triggers. This could negatively impact voters in another state, and if you think the potential for lawsuits is bad now just wait if NPV goes into effect.

Plus the potential for voter fraud to adversely impact the election increases under NPV. With the Electoral College it is very difficult to anticipate in what states ballots need to appear and disappear, under NPV they don’t need to be concerned about that at all.

Plus the National Popular Vote encourages a candidate to concentrate their efforts in the biggest cities and the biggest states. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by just shy of 3 million people. She won California by 3 1/2 million.

Mowrer as an Iowan should support the Electoral College as it keeps us relevant and it makes sure that our issues are heard by the candidates.  I know he’s trying to find some way to remain relevant until he can run for Congress again (presumably in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District this time), but he should find something to do that actually serves Iowa’s interests instead of sabotaging our influence.

14 comments
  1. Unable to agree on any particular method for selecting presidential electors, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method exclusively to the states in Article II, Section 1
    “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors….”
    The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as “plenary” and “exclusive.”

    Neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, universal suffrage, and the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation’s first presidential election.

    In 1789, in the nation’s first election, a majority of the states appointed their presidential electors by appointment by the legislature or by the governor and his cabinet, the people had no vote for President in most states, and in states where there was a popular vote, only men who owned a substantial amount of property could vote, and only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all method to award electoral votes.

    The current winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes is not in the U.S. Constitution. It was not debated at the Constitutional Convention. It is not mentioned in the Federalist Papers. It was not the Founders’ choice. It was used by only three states in 1789, and all three of them repealed it by 1800. It is not entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all method. The winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes became dominant only in the 1830s, when most of the Founders had been dead for decades, after the states adopted it, one-by-one, in order to maximize the power of the party in power in each state.

    The constitutional wording does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for awarding a state’s electoral votes.

    States have the responsibility and constitutional power to make all of their voters relevant in every presidential election and beyond. Now, 38 states and their voters are politically irrelevant in presidential elections.

    1. They agreed on the Electoral College. Giving the electors to the winner of the NPV instead of the winner of the state’s popular vote would make the Electoral College meaningless.

      Pretty sure that’s not what they are after.

      1. The constitutional wording does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for awarding a state’s electoral votes.

        Anyone who supports the current presidential election system, believing it is what the Founders intended and that it is in the Constitution, is mistaken. The current presidential election system does not function, at all, the way that the Founders thought that it would.

        Supporters of National Popular Vote find it hard to believe the Founding Fathers would endorse the current electoral system where 38+ states and voters now are completely politically irrelevant.
        10 of the original 13 states are ignored now.

  2. When states with a combined total of at least 270 Electoral College votes enact the National Popular Vote bill, the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the needed majority of 270+ Electoral College votes from the enacting states.

    The National Popular Vote bill retains the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections, and uses the built-in method that the Constitution provides for states to make changes. It ensures that every voter is equal, every voter will matter, in every state, in every presidential election, and the candidate with the most votes wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

    Every voter, everywhere, for every candidate, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would matter in the state counts and national count.

    The bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes and the majority of Electoral College votes.

    We would continue to indirectly elect the President by a majority of Electoral College votes by states

      1. The U.S. Constitution says “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . .” The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as “plenary” and “exclusive.”

        The normal way of changing the method of electing the President is not a federal constitutional amendment, but changes in state law.

        Historically, major changes in the method of electing the President have come about by state legislative action. For example, the people had no vote for President in most states in the nation’s first election in 1789. However, now, as a result of changes in the state laws governing the appointment of presidential electors, the people have the right to vote for presidential electors in 100% of the states.

        In 1789, only 3 states used the winner-take-all method (awarding all of a state’s electoral vote to the candidate who gets the most votes in the state). However, as a result of changes in state laws, the winner-take-all method is now currently used by 48 of the 50 states.

        In 1789, it was necessary to own a substantial amount of property in order to vote; however, as a result of changes in state laws, there are now no property requirements for voting in any state.

        In other words, neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, that the voters may vote and the winner-take-all method) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation’s first presidential election.

        The normal process of effecting change in the method of electing the President is specified in the U.S. Constitution, namely action by the state legislatures. This is how the current system was created, and this is the built-in method that the Constitution provides for making changes. The abnormal process is to go outside the Constitution, and amend it.

  3. The National Popular Vote bill would give a voice to the minority party voters for president in each state. Now their votes are counted only for the presidential candidate they did not vote for. Now they don’t matter to their candidate.

    In 2012, 56,256,178 (44%) of the 128,954,498 voters had their vote diverted by the winner-take-all rule to a candidate they opposed (namely, their state’s first-place candidate).

    And now votes, beyond the one needed to get the most votes in the state, for winning in a state, are wasted and don’t matter to presidential candidates.
    Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004.
    Oklahoma (7 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 455,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004 — larger than the margin generated by the 9th and 10th largest states, namely New Jersey and North Carolina (each with 15 electoral votes).
    8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

      1. In Gallup polls since 1944 until before this election, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided).

        Support for a national popular vote has been strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in every state surveyed. In the 41 red, blue, and purple states surveyed, overall support has been in the 67-81% range – in rural states, in small states, in Southern and border states, in big states, and in other states polled.

        In state polls of voters each with a second question that specifically emphasized that their state’s electoral votes would be awarded to the winner of the national popular vote in all 50 states, not necessarily their state’s winner, there was only a 4-8% decrease of support.

        Question 1: “How do you think we should elect the President: Should it be the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states, or the current Electoral College system?”

        Question 2: “Do you think it more important that a state’s electoral votes be cast for the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in that state, or is it more important to guarantee that the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states becomes president?”

        Support for a National Popular Vote
        South Dakota — 75% for Question 1, 67% for Question 2.
        Connecticut — 74% for Question 1, 68% for Question 2,
        Utah — 70% for Question 1, 66% for Question 2,

        NationalPopularVote

      2. Most Americans don’t ultimately care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state . . . they care whether he/she wins the White House. Voters want to know, that no matter where they live, even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was equally counted and mattered to their candidate. Most Americans think it is wrong that the candidate with the most popular votes can lose. We don’t allow this in any other election in our representative republic.

        We have 2nd place presidential candidates elected by 537 votes in 1 state, or less than 80,000 votes in 3 states. If any other country elected their chief executive like this, Americans would not regard the result as fair.

        The National Popular Vote bill was approved this year by a unanimous bipartisan House committee vote in both Georgia (16 electoral votes) and Missouri (10).
        Since 2006, the bill has passed 34 state legislative chambers in 23 rural, small, medium, large, Democratic, Republican and purple states with 261 electoral votes, including one house in Arizona (11), Arkansas (6), Maine (4), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), New Mexico (5), North Carolina (15), and Oklahoma (7), and both houses in Colorado (9).

  4. Voters in the biggest cities are almost exactly balanced out by rural areas in terms of population and partisan composition.

    16% of the U.S. population lives outside the nation’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Rural America has voted 60% Republican. None of the 10 most rural states matter now.

    16% of the U.S. population lives in the top 100 cities. They voted 63% Democratic in 2004.
    The population of the top 50 cities (going as far down as Arlington, TX) is only 15% of the population of the United States.

    Suburbs divide almost exactly equally between Republicans and Democrats.

Comments are closed.

Get CT In Your Inbox!

Don't miss a single update.

You May Also Like

Rod Blum: Congress Should Never Exempt Itself from Law of the Land

With news that Congress may exempt itself from Obamacare, Iowa 1st Congressional District GOP Candidate Rod Blum says they should live under the same law.

Pate Encourages New U.S. Citizens, All Iowans to Step Up and Participate

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate encouraged 66 newly sworn-in U.S. citizens to participate in Iowa’s electoral process, including the Iowa Caucus.

An Organization Helping Central Iowans in Need

Jack Whitver: DMARC is devoted to its mission of fighting food insecurity and helping our fellow central Iowans who are in need of food and even personal items including diapers.

Jason Glass’ Misplaced Pride in Iowa’s Science Standard Development Role

Jason Glass, the Director of the Iowa Department of Education, announced last…