The Nebraska Legislature’s Government Committee tabled for this year a bill to enter Nebraska into the “National Popular Vote Compact.” For this, Nebraskans should be happy. However, this is the second year it has arisen so the chances of it coming back are good. The compact is being pushed on states by an extremely well-financed lobbying effort centered in northern California. Here’s how it would work. Once states controlling 270 dlectoral votes (the number needed to win the presidency) pass a bill to join the compact, the compact states all agree to throw their electors to the ticket that won the national popular vote, regardless of how their state voted. So for instance, in the 2012 election, had the compact been in effect and included Nebraska, Nebraska’s five electoral votes would have gone to President Obama even though Mitt Romney carried Nebraska.
Supporters of the compact argue that most of the presidential campaign resources go to a few swing states and others get little attention.
True enough, but the compact is a cure that’s worse than the disease. It is far easier to reach large numbers of voters where the population density is high.
A volunteer dropping literature can get to more doors in an hour in a high rise apartment than can a volunteer in Greater Nebraska in a week. Although more expensive, television and radio advertisements in large metropolitan areas reach far more people.