National Popular Vote

Matthew Yglesias has been arguing for the National Popular Vote, an idea I heartily agree with, by pointing out that your individual vote is less likely to be decisive, or that its hard to get involved in the campaign in certain states.  These are compelling as symbols of how irrational the system is, but as stated, they don’t make any sense.

Regardless of what state you’re in, the probability of your vote being decisive is incredibly small.  Volunteering can multiply your efforts, but not to the point that matters.  Popular vote or no, we still come up against the cute thing about voting: thought of in ordinary cost-benefit terms, it’s an incredibly irrational activity, and that won’t change regardless of our system.  The reason to favor the national popular vote is that the peculiarities of our electoral system result in tremendous pandering to particular states, and because there’s no reason a candidate should be able to win without a plurality of the popular vote.


One response to “National Popular Vote

  1. To be involved in the National Popular Vote bill effort . . .

    You can check the status of the bill in your state at

    If it’s still in play in your state, let your legislator(s) know what you think. If you need help to identify and/or contact your state representatives, senators, and/or governor about National Popular Vote, you can search by your zip code using online sites such as .

    Sign up to get email updates –

    Help get the word out and show your support.

    Tell a friend-

    Distribute literature at political, civic, or other meeting, convention, or conference.
    Post on discussion groups.
    Write letters to editors, OpEds, and/or blog.

    Responses to many common misinformed critiques are at

    Up-to-date information and materials are at