Sen. Birch Bayh on NPV and New Jersey

by Jack Santucci // Published February 22, 2007
In the words of former Acting Governor Dick Codey, New Jersey ought to be a "Presidential player" rather than "an ATM machine." While moving the primary up will get you through the half, adopting National Popular Vote legislation will take you to the final buzzer.

Former Senator Birch Bayh (D-IN) today posted a strong diary on the National Popular Vote plan to Blue Jersey, a weblog dealing with New Jersey politics. As chair of the Senate subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments, Bayh was a principal author of the 25th and 26th amendments and, in 1977, an amendment to abolish the Electoral College.

Shortly after the 2004 elections, Chris Bowers of the progressive blog MyDD wrote an optimistic post titled "Fifty State Strategy." In the piece, he expressed relief that in 2006, "there will be no Presidential election, and thus as a party we can return to a truly national focus." It is a shrewd, but telling observation that today more than ever, the Electoral College system is a disservice to voters.

Howard Dean's 'Fifty State Strategy' was controversial enough for a midterm election, as some party leaders feared it would "squander" the resources needed to win seats. Now, throw a presidential race into the mix -- a time when both parties siphon their resources into the handful of battleground states that sway the Electoral College. What good is a fifty state strategy when 60,000 votes in Ohio are more influential than 1.5 million nationwide?

Read the whole thing.