The Michigan House is considering adding Michigan to the states that will guarantee that whichever presidential candidate receives the most votes nationally actually wins the presidency.
It’s called the National Popular Vote Compact. I’ve written about it before.
The plan is being promoted by National Popular Vote, a nonprofit bankrolled primarily by a Democratic funder John Koza of California, who created the scratch-off lottery card back in the day.
They’ve hired a bunch of Republicans, like former Michigan Republican Party Chair Saul Anuzis, to go around the country convincing states to throw their Electoral College votes behind the candidate who receives the highest national vote total.
It’s working to some extent. They’ve got 16 states and the District of Columbia, which comprise 205 Electoral College votes. Since 270 electoral votes are needed to elect a president, they are 75% of the way there. Michigan would add 15.
For years, they’ve had Michigan in their sights, but they’ve never been able to get both chambers to agree to it. Now, though, Democrats control the Legislature and the Governor’s Office.
Ann Arbor Democratic Rep. Carrie Rheingans is sponsoring the latest iteration of the bill, and this one has some momentum. Working the issue is former Rep. Rebekah Warren, whom National Popular Vote hired when she was still a Michigan legislator to promote the issue in a couple of other states.
She’s working her magic in Michigan now.
Rheingans’ bill moved out of committee last week with both Republican committee members voting no.
Asked how many Republican members he believes will vote for it on the floor, House Minority Leader Matt Hall told me, “Zero.”
Asked how many GOP caucus members he believes would vote for it in the Senate, Minority Leader Aric Nesbitt said he suspects the same number: zero.
Even if both Hall and Nesbitt are off and there are five to seven votes in the House or a couple in the Senate, the dynamics don’t change much.
Today’s average Republican simply doesn’t trust National Popular Vote plan. They think it’s a Democratic sham. Good luck convincing them otherwise.
It doesn’t matter that Republicans won more raw U.S. Senate votes across the country in the last election than Democrats.
It doesn’t matter that Republicans won more raw U.S. House votes across the country or gubernatorial votes.
It doesn’t even matter that they have Donald Trump on a recording saying he supported it.
To your average hard-headed, conspiracy-theory-buying, cynical Republican, this scheme is 100% to get Democrats to flood polling places in some major metropolitan area to get the Democratic nominee elected.
These MAGA and Ultra-MAGA activists barely trust their own local election process. They don’t trust Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. And they absolutely don’t trust election officials in California or Chicago or New York, who they’re convinced are rigging the system now.
Wait until these big-city scammers have the power to influence a presidential election!
To them, this is a big “no way.”
Anuzis & Co. are trying like hell to present the National Popular Popular Vote Compact as bipartisan. They’re bringing back some quality brand names like former Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus, former Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and former House Speaker Chuck Perricone to make logical arguments in front of legislative committees.
But these guys don’t represent today’s Republican Party. Today’s GOP consists of people like Matt DePerno and Kristina Karamo, who still won’t say publicly that the 2020 election was on the up-and-up.
Azunis wrote a local argument in The Detroit News that the number of real battleground states next year will be about four. Michigan probably won’t be one of them. It’ll likely go Democratic, like it has every year but once since 1988.
If Michigan Republicans want their vote to count, the National Popular Vote plan is the way to go, he says.
In the past, National Popular Vote would bring these Republican lawmakers to seminars in Hawaii and other vacation resorts to make their case. For several, it worked.
Today’s Republicans see such trips as junkets and likely political suicide.
They have so many other battles to fight. For so many of them, there’s no reason to die on this philosophical hill.
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