The Popular Vote

Pew reports on the National Popular Vote movement gaining steam, with NPV proposals having passed in Maryland, New Jersey, Hawaii and Illinois with bills on the move in Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island.

The way this works is that an NPV state commits to giving its electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote if and only if states possessing a total of 270 electoral votes agree to do the same. This will, if enough states sign on, provide a "backdoor" way of transitioning to electing the president via popular vote without going through the all-but-impossible Article V amendment process. Thus far, obviously, you're seeing NPV pass in liberal states. But some cycle or other something will happen that gets conservatives worried about this. And there are plenty of right-wing states -- Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina -- that are too big to benefit from the electoral college's overweighting of small states, and whose interests currently get ignored in presidential campaigns since they're not "battlegrounds."