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6. What would no "sane" candidate ever do?

In a National Popular Vote, no sane candidate would ever ignore the 85% of the population that lives outside of big cities and expect to win an election. Big cities can’t even control elections in their own counties or states, how could they control a presidential election across the entire country!

 

A major concern of NPV opponents is that large states will dominate the outcome of a national popular vote election, because candidates will spend more time in the densely populated cities, ignoring rural areas. While one the surface this argument seems to hold water, it is not born out by U.S. census or election data.

  • Big cities aren’t as big as people think. Only 15% of the country lives in metro centers and although these centers vote mainly Democratic, they are balanced out by the 15% of the country that lives in rural areas, that votes mostly Republican. The remaining 70% percent lives in between rural areas and cities, and this in-between political affiliation is evenly split between both major parties. It’s that 70% in the middle and down the middle, that adds sufficient numbers to either rural or city votes to win a national popular vote election.

  • The fact is that neither big cities nor rural areas can dominate a presidential election in a NPV. Only the areas in between have the numbers to do that and they evenly reflect the political affiliations of both rural and metro areas.

 

Further, U.S. election history reveals there is no evidence that a candidate could win a National Popular Vote, with only the 15% of the population that lives in the country’s 50 largest cities.

  • The candidate who won the presidency with the smallest plurality in a presidential election history was arguably the most beloved of all: Abraham Lincoln. He won with 39% of the popular vote.

  • In the over 900 popular vote gubernatorial races since World War II, 90% of the candidates received over 50% of the popular vote, 99% received more than 40% and a 100% got over 35% of the popular vote.

For a candidate to win with only 15% of the vote, there would have to exist the unrealistic scenario of multiple AND viable presidential candidates.