National Popular Vote Proponents Say New Poll Shows Support
HARTFORD, CT — Armed with a new statewide poll that shows Connecticut voters support joining the National Popular Vote compact supporters made what seems to be a perennial pitch.
The poll, commissioned by Making Every Vote Count (MEVC), an organization committed to election the President of the United States by national popular vote, showed that three-quarters of Connecticut voters believe the president should be the person who wins the most votes - nationally.
The poll of 1,202 Connecticut voters by pollster Andrew Claster, showed that 92 percent of Democrats, 62 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of independents want Connecticut to join the National Popular Vote compact.
The National Popular Vote bill has now passed a total of 35 state legislative chambers in 23 states, according to the National Popular Vote website.
The National Popular Vote bill will take effect when enacted into law by states possessing 270 electoral votes (a majority of the 538 electoral votes).
The compact has been enacted by a total of 11 states possessing 165 electoral votes.
“The results of this survey are overwhelming - voters across the board and across the aisle support the National Popular Vote plan which would ensure that the winner of the national popular vote becomes president,” Claster said.
A total of 76 percent of Connecticut voters support the National Popular Vote and 78 percent endorsed the idea that the candidate who garners the most votes should be president.
James Glassman, a former Connecticut resident and registered Republican who served as a high-ranking official in the state department under President George W.. Bush, spoke Wednesday in support of Connecticut jumping on board.
“Now that the polling data makes it clear we have strong bipartisan support, our next step this in Connecticut is passing a bill which calls for the state to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact and helping to lead the way to finally make the substantive change votes not only want, but deserve,” Glassman said.
Glassman said he understands the general belief that Democrats are in favor of the concept of National Popular Vote and Republicans are opposed.
“Surveys show that politically the country is slightly right of center,” Glassman said, arguing that a National Popular Vote compact would “be beneficial to Republicans.”
“Besides,” Glassman said, “It is the right and fair way.”
“Right now the presidential election is decided in 10-to-12 of the bigger states,” Glassman said. “If you vote in Connecticut, your vote doesn’t count.”
Previous efforts to get Connecticut to join the compact have failed, including last year where the Connecticut House debated the controversial bill but pulled it from consideration before taking a vote.
The bill the House debated last year would allow Connecticut to join the the compact takes only when enough states sign on to guarantee that the national popular vote winner wins the presidency. This means that states with a combined total of 270 electoral votes — a majority of the Electoral College — must join the compact for it to take effect.
Republican lawmakers have argued in the past joining the compact would give Connecticut less of a voice over the electoral process, stating because Connecticut is a small state it would be ignored during presidential campaigns.
In the last presidential election, Republican President Donald Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 by nearly 2.9 million votes to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. But he won the 270 electoral college votes necessary to win the White House.
Clinton won Connecticut’s 7 electoral votes, as she won 54.57 percent of Connecticut’s vote to Trump’s 40.93 percent. Minor party candidates picked up the remaining votes.
The Connecticut House approved legislation to join the National Popular Vote compact in 2009, but that year the Senate failed to take up the bill.
In 2014, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced his support for the legislation, but it wasn’t raised for a vote in either chamber that year.