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California Almost Elected Mitt Romney President

Contributed by Chriss Street. Specialist in corporate reorganizations and turnarounds, former Chairman of two NYSE listed companies. His latest book, The Third Way, describes how to achieve management excellence and financial reward by moving organizations from Conflict and Confrontation to Leadership and Cooperation. Chriss lives in Newport Beach, CA.

Democratic President Barack Obama has not had to campaign in California, because he is leading by 15 percentage points according to the most recent Reason-Rupe poll.   But what if all 55 of California’s Electoral College votes were awarded to whoever wins the national popular vote?  That almost happened this year, because Governor Jerry Brown signed the National Popular Vote bill.  Can you imagine the shock if the “Left Coast” was responsible for electing Mitt Romney the 45th President of the United States? 

The United States has a form of indirect election that under Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution of the United States provides that the 538 electors, who represent individual states, elect the President of the United States.  The number of electors is equal to the total voting membership of the 435 Representatives and 100 Senators in the United States Congress, plus three members from the District of Columbia.  The first candidate that receives 270 Electoral College votes becomes President. 

In the 2000 presidential election, Democrat Al Gore received 543,895 more popular votes than Republican George W. Bush, but Bush won the Presidency by a margin of 5 Electoral College votes after winning 537 more votes than Gore out of a total of six million votes cast in Florida.  Gore filed a lawsuit to have a Florida vote recounted.  The U.S. Supreme Court did hear the case, but ruled 5-4 in favor of Bush

Gore and the Democrats howled that the election had been stolen.  Subsequently, Democrats made a national effort to reform Presidential elections in each state to require state Electoral College Delegates to be legally bound to vote for the candidate that won the largest popular vote total

On August 8, 2011, Democrat Governor Jerry Brown of California signed into law the National Popular Vote bill.  At the time, the bill’s author, Assemblyman Jerry Hill, Democrat-San Mateo, stated that Californians are ignored by candidates “pandering exclusively to the battleground states,” and Governor Brown stated:

“California should not be taken for granted in presidential elections, and it seems logical that the occupant of the White House should be the candidate who wins the most votes … That is basic, fair democracy — and that's why California has joined the movement for a National Popular Vote.”

California State Senator Doug LaMalfa, Republican-Richvale, angrily charged that the bill Brown signed rejected the “American tradition that protects the fabric of our country from fractionalization and mob rule.

Mitt Romney is now strongly ahead by 5 percentage points in the national popular vote polls, but still trails Obama in the Electoral College vote.  According to the latest ABC News Poll, Obama has 237 solid Electoral College votes to Romney's 191, with the remaining 110 Electoral College votes are up for grabs in the nine battleground states of Nevada, Colorado, Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and New Hampshire.  

For the National Popular Vote to become the law of the land a majority of the 50 states would have to pass legislation.  Democrats in only nine states have successfully lobbied for passage.  Had Democrats been more successful, Romney would have already won.   

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Also by Chriss Street: 80 million “baby-boomers” moved out of their peak spending years. The U.S. government squandered trillions on Keynesian demand-side stimulus to resuscitate this demographically shrinking demand. But with only 23 million born between 1995 and 2012, “Generation Z” is too small for demand-side stimulus to revive the economy. Read.... Supply-Side Economics Is Coming Back.

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