The Role of Cities in National Popular Vote Elections

by Andrea Levien // Published June 13, 2014

This report challenges the argument that a national popular vote for president would advantage Democratic or urban voters in three ways. First, we demonstrate that urban areas, when properly defined as metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), lean only modestly toward the Democratic Party. Second, we address the premise of a potential Democratic advantage in national popular vote elections due to the possibility of them focusing resources on large cities. Third, we review evidence from presidential and gubernatorial elections to demonstrate how campaign strategy might work under a national popular vote system. Our analysis confirms that the national popular vote has no inherent partisan bias.  With charges of partisan bias so effectively dismissed, it is time for both Democrats and Republican to come together in support of a reform that would make every vote equal.