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Humphrey Event: Direct National Popular Vote in Presidential Elections

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Across the 56 presidential elections in U.S. history, there have been four instances in which the winner of the Electoral College vote lost the nationwide popular vote: John Quincy Adams (in 1824 over popular vote winner Andrew Jackson), Rutherford Hayes (in 1876 over Samuel Tilden), Benjamin Harrison (in 1888 over Grover Cleveland), and, of course, George W. Bush (in 2000 over Al Gore).

An event Monday afternoon, May 16th, at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs examines the movement afoot that seeks to implement an electoral system with a direct, nationwide popular vote.

Panelists at the event are Dr. John Koza (pictured above), Chairman of National Popular Vote, and Minnesota Republican State Representative Duane Quam (HD-29A).

(National Popular Vote Inc. is a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation whose specific purpose is to study, analyze and educate the public regarding its proposal to implement a nationwide popular election of the President of the United States).

The organization states that the national popular vote has been endorsed by 2,110 state legislators across the country and that supportive legislation has passed 31 legislative chambers across 21 jurisdictions in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

From the Humphrey School's Center for the Study of Politics and Governance press release:

Getting to Majority Rule in Presidential Elections

Monday, May 16th, 2011
12-1:15 p.m.
Humphrey Forum, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
301 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN

"American presidents are elected by winning a majority in the Electoral College and not by winning majorities. This has produced presidents who have lost the popular vote (as in the 2000 election) or come close (as in 2004).

Reformers are seeking to make sure that winning presidents enjoy the popular and Electoral College majorities. One of the serious efforts is the National Popular Vote bill to effectively replace the Electoral College system with a direct, nationwide vote of the people. Under this bill, all of the state's electoral votes would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes.

Please join us for a conversation with Dr. John Koza, President of National Popular Vote, and Representative Duane Quam, who will discuss their arguments for and against the National Popular Vote bill. This event will be moderated by Professor Larry Jacobs.

This event is free and open to the public."

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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