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Straight From the Horse?s Mouth: ?Only winning the swing states matters?

by Laura Kirshner // Published July 8, 2008
Former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Michael Dukakis admits that his 1988 election campaign focused mainly on swing states. Dukakis firmly supports the National Popular Vote movement. In his call to eliminate the Electoral College System, Dukakis acknowledges that:

"A big turnout in Massachusetts and many other states is irrelevant to winning the election. Only winning the swing states matters."

FairVote's Presidential Election Inequality report proves this sad truth. Election campaigns focus their resources on a dwindling number of battleground states, opting not to waste valuable resources on safe states. As a result, the voters in safe states are largely left out of the campaign process. The winner-take-all system of allocating electors that is used by 48 states means that votes in safe states do not matter. This elicits political apathy among voters and depresses voter turnout.

The National Popular Vote bill will change this unfortunate reality. It guarantees that the winner of the national popular vote wins a majority in the Electoral College and therefore wins the presidency. The bill is up for debate tomorrow, July 9th in the Massachusetts House. A live feed of the assembly can be viewed here.