Democrats are reigniting a decade-long push for a constitutionally dubious workaround to the Electoral College, with the most ambitious efforts coming in two western states in which the left gained the political “trifecta” of owning the governor’s seat and both chambers of the state legislature after the 2018 elections.
The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, or NPV, creates an agreement by all states that have entered into it, whereby their Electoral College votes are cast for the candidate who wins the most individual votes nationwide, not who wins the most in that state. Central to the compact is the legal trigger that it would not take effect until the number of Electoral College votes of all the states entered in surpasses 270, the key number required to win the presidency.
With 11 states and the District of Columbia agreeing to participate, the NPV Electoral College vote tally stands at 172.
For example, if Idaho had been in the compact in 2016, and if the compact were in force, the state’s four Electoral College votes would have been cast for Hillary Clinton even though Donald Trump beat her by more than a two-to-one margin there, because Clinton won more votes nationwide.