Welcome to California, Ka-Ching!

President Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi | Photo: Talk Radio News Service/Flickr/Creative Commons License

Hello and welcome to the Golden State, a fitting name indeed. But wait, we are not only gold, but also blue. Democrats easily outnumber Republicans in California. Democrats make of 44% of registered voters, Republicans constitute almost 31% of that population, and decline to state voters comprise a little over 20% of registered voters.

California is more than just a color palette; it is also a size, extra large. California, as we all know, is enormous. And with that enormity comes the most electoral votes of any state in the land, 55.

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However, even with the prize of 55 electoral votes, few presidential candidates seriously campaign in California. Why? Please see above (we're blue).

But the presidential candidates have and will frequent our fine state. California has been dubbed by me and others as the presidential ATM. While our state is strapped for cash, not all of our residents are. In Hollywood, Silicon Valley and other environs there are many residents who are willing and able to contribute not only to candidate committees, but also to those ubiquitous groups known as Super PACs.

This election season many California Democrats are focused on two goals on the federal level - re-electing President Obama and returning Rep. Nancy Pelosi to her post as speaker of the House of Representatives. Almost 3,000 Democrats descended on San Diego this weekend to focus on those, and other objectives. On the state level California Democrats have their eyes on the prize of obtaining a two-thirds majority in the upper and lower houses. This threshold will allow Democrats to pass new taxes and fees.

California donors are not just democrats. California Republicans are also spending substantial sums, unsurprisingly with the opposite goals of Democrats - to defeat President Obama, to ensure that Rep. Pelosi does not again become speaker of the House and to prevent Democrats from obtaining a supermajority in the state houses.

Color me gold and blue.

Jessica Levinson writes about the intersection of law and government every Monday. She is a Visiting Professor at Loyola Law School. Read more of her posts here.

About the Author

Jessica Levinson is an Associate Clinical Professor at Loyola Law School. She focuses on the intersection of law and government.
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The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of 'battleground' states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in more than 3/4ths of the states that now are just 'spectators' and ignored.

When the bill is enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%,, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions, including California, possessing 132 electoral votes - 49% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

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