Monday, August 15, 2011


NASHVILLE, TN – On Saturday, the State Executive Committee of the Tennessee Republican Party unanimously passed a resolution supporting the constitutional Electoral College process of electing the President of the United States.

“Electing the President of the United States through the Electoral College was the method deemed best by our founding fathers. It ensures that all states, regardless of size, are included in the presidential election process, and it helps to preserve the balance of power between the federal government and state governments,” said Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney.

The resolution reads, in part, “…the Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee does fully endorse retaining the constitutionally approved and time-tested Electoral College method of awarding electoral votes to candidates to win the office of President of the United States of America…”

“While some in the National Popular Vote movement have good intentions, this compact between states is a direct assault on our Constitution and any attempt by other states to improperly influence and usurp another’s rights is blatantly unconstitutional. Our nation is a Constitutional Republic and any attempt to change the electoral process should be done so by a Constitutional Amendment,” said Devaney.

This resolution comes in response to a controversial national movement to implement the “National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.” The compact would radically change the way we elect the President through a questionable legal maneuver, creating a compact between states that would mandate them to recognize the winner of the national popular vote. The compact needs enough states to equal 270 electoral votes, the number of electoral votes needed to win the Presidency. By changing the rules of Presidential elections via a compact, supporters theoretically could have support from as few as 12 states like California and New York, instead of the normal 38 states needed to amend the Constitution.

The SEC resolution, originally sponsored by State Executive Committee member Nathan James, was passed by a 61-0 vote. Five members were not present. All members voting in favor of the resolution have also been listed as co-sponsors. The move follows a recent resolution passed by the Republican National Committee at its quarterly meeting in Tampa this month. Devaney, along with National Committeeman John Ryder and National Committeewoman Peggy Lambert were original co-sponsors of the RNC resolution.

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  1. 83% of Tennessee voters polled agree that "The presidential candidate who gets the most votes always should be the winner,"

    Every political demographic group across the state favors changing to a system driven by the popular vote, the poll showed.

    When Republicans were asked,"How should the President be elected, by who gets the most votes in all 50 states or by the current winner-takes-all system?" 73% of them favored the popular vote.

    Of all Democrats asked the same question, 78% favored the popular vote system.

    When respondents who agree with Tea Party values were asked, 72% of them preferred the popular vote.

  2. By state (electoral college votes), by political affiliation, support for a national popular vote in recent polls has been:

    Alaska (3) -- 66% among (Republicans), 70% among Nonpartisan voters, 82% among Alaska Independent Party voters
    Arkansas (6) -- 71% (R), 79% (Independents).
    California (55)– 61% (R), 74% (I)
    Colorado (9) -- 56% (R), 70% (I).
    Connecticut (7) -- 67% (R)
    Delaware (3) -- 69% (R), 76% (I)
    DC (3) -- 48% (R), 74% of (I)
    Idaho(4) - 75% (R)
    Florida (29) -- 68% (R)
    Iowa (6) -- 63% (R)
    Kentucky (8) -- 71% (R), 70% (I)
    Maine (4) - 70% (R)
    Massachusetts (11) -- 54% (R)
    Michigan (16) -- 68% (R), 73% (I)
    Minnesota (10) -- 69% (R)
    Mississippi (6) -- 75% (R)
    Nebraska (5) -- 70% (R)
    Nevada (5) -- 66% (R)
    New Hampshire (4) -- 57% (R), 69% (I)
    New Mexico (5) -- 64% (R), 68% (I)
    New York (29) - 66% (R), 78% Independence, 50% Conservative
    North Carolina (15) -- 89% liberal (R), 62% moderate (R) , 70% conservative (R), 80% (I)
    Ohio (18) -- 65% (R)
    Oklahoma (7) -- 75% (R)
    Oregon (7) -- 70% (R), 72% (I)
    Pennsylvania (20) -- 68% (R), 76% (I)
    Rhode Island (4) -- 71% liberal (R), 63% moderate (R), 35% conservative (R), 78% (I),
    South Carolina (8) -- 64% (R)
    South Dakota (3) -- 67% (R)
    Tennessee (11) -- 73% (R)
    Utah (6) -- 66% (R)
    Vermont (3) -- 61% (R)
    Virginia (13) -- 76% liberal (R), 63% moderate (R), 54% conservative (R)
    Washington (12) -- 65% (R)
    West Virginia (5) -- 75% (R)
    Wisconsin (10) -- 63% (R), 67% (I)
    Wyoming (3) –66% (R), 72% (I)

  3. The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The National Popular Vote bill is a state-based approach. It preserves the Electoral College and state control of elections. It changes the way electoral votes are awarded in the Electoral College. It assures that every vote is equal and that every voter will matter in every state in every presidential election, as in virtually every other election in the country.

    Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states would get the 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. That majority of electoral votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states wins the presidency.

    National Popular Vote would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state. Now their votes are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for. Now they don't matter to their candidate. With National Popular Vote, elections wouldn't be about winning states. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. Every vote, everywhere would be counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in the current handful of swing states. The political reality would be that when every vote is equal, the campaign must be run in every part of the country.

    In the 2012 election, pundits and campaign operatives already agree that, only 7-14 states and their voters will matter under the current winner-take-all laws (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in each state) used by 48 of the 50 states. Tennessee will not matter, as usual. Candidates will not care about at least 72% of the voters-- voters in 19 of the 22 lowest population and medium-small states, and in 16 medium and big states like CA, GA, NY, and TX. 2012 campaigning would be even more obscenely exclusive than 2008 and 2004. In 2008, candidates concentrated over 2/3rds of their campaign events and ad money in just 6 states, and 98% in just 15 states (CO, FL, IN, IA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, PA, VA, and WI). Over half (57%) of the events were in just 4 states (OH, FL, PA, and VA). Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. More than 85 million voters have been just spectators to the general election.

    Now, policies important to the citizens of ‘flyover’ states, like Tennessee, are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing, too.

    The Electoral College that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

    States have the responsibility and power to make their voters relevant in every presidential election. The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. It does not abolish the Electoral College. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.