Tuesday, February 10, 2015


Weekly Opinion Editorial

By Steve Fair
     Once again the National Popular Vote Compact (NPV) has reared its ugly head in Oklahoma.  State Representative Lee Denney, (R-Cushing) has filed a bill to have Oklahoma join ten(10) states and the District of Columbia in an agreement to cast our presidential electoral votes for the candidate who wins the majority of the popular vote.   Former legislators Rob Johnson and Don Armes, both Republicans, are promoting it.  During their tenure in the legislature, both Armes and Johnson filed several bills promoting the NPV. 
     This week, Johnson released the results of a poll where he claims 79% of Oklahomans favor National Popular Vote.  The poll was supposedly taken January 19th and 20th by Public Policy Polling interviewing 893 people statewide across all party affiliation voters.   Johnson believes Oklahoma’s participation in the compact will result in the Sooner state getting more attention in the presidential race and that the Electoral College hurts turnout and is unfair because in four presidential races in American history the candidate that lost the popular vote won the electoral vote.  But there are more than just a few fishhooks in the NPV Compact.
     First and foremost, if Johnson’s proposal would have been in place in 2008 and 2012, Oklahoma’s electoral votes would have been counted for President Obama.  That’s right- the reddest state in the country would have cast 7 electoral votes for Obama even though the state voted overwhelmingly Republican.  How is that right?  It isn’t right and it doesn’t make any sense. 
     Second, let’s talk about the poll.  Polls are only as good as the pollster and Public Policy Polling is known for leaning Democrat and supporting progressive campaigns.  PPP is a North Carolina company founded by Dean Debham.  They are known for conducting unconventional polls like asking voters if they approve of God, and polling Republican voters asking if President Obama would be allowed to enter heaven if the rapture happened today.  It is a known fact that poll results can be manipulated and how polling questions are worded and presented can definitely skew the results.  There is no way that nearly 80% of Oklahomans approve of NPV, especially if those polled had been told if the system had been in place in 2012 Oklahoma’s electoral voters would have went to Obama.
     Third, why do we once again have to fight a battle over NPV in Oklahoma?  It seems every year some clueless Republican after a nice junket to a fancy resort will drink the NPV Kool aid and file a bill to align Oklahoma with the liberal states.  Opposition to the NPV has been in the OKGOP platform for years.  Why are Republicans promoting this?  Perhaps they are unaware the ten states in the compact are liberal.  California, New York, Washington and Illinois are among the ten- all large liberal states.   The Chairman of the organization behind National Popular invented the lottery scratch card and made a fortune promoting state lotteries.  The NPV crowd has plenty of money and that is why they can afford to hire former legislators to lobby their friends on NPV. 
     Fourth, NPV is a real threat.  It will not go away.  Each year, they make some progress toward that goal of 270 and when they hit it, Republicans will have no chance of winning a presidential election.  The ten states currently on board with the compact comprise 165 electoral votes or 30% of the total.  They need 270 votes for the compact to go into effect.  They are at 60% of their goal.
      America’s founding fathers put into place a system to indirectly elect the president using the Electoral College.  The brilliance of the plan is that it gives a disproportionate amount of influence to ‘small’ states in the union.  Oklahoma is a small state.  NPV would do exactly the opposite of what its advocates claim it would do.  It would dilute Oklahoma’s influence and make us completely irrelevant in the presidential election process.   Contact your state representative and state senator today and tell them to oppose the NPV compact bill.