Talking Points

If you’re looking for help with what to say, you can start by checking out these local letters and op-eds in support of the Compact.

You can also find key points for Democrats and Republicans here:

10 Reasons CT Democrats Should Support HB 5434

10 Reasons CT Republicans Should Support HB 5434

National Popular Vote Myths Countered

HOW TO EXPRESS YOUR SUPPORT FOR HB 5434

Communicating in your own words is best, but here are ways to express your support that you can use as starting points, or to copy & paste. Explain why this is important to you.

  1. Presidential candidates rarely campaign in Connecticut. With the National Popular Vote Compact, HB 5434, every vote in CT would matter and candidates would pay attention to us. Do you favor the Compact? If not, why don’t you believe that every vote should matter equally?
  2. I’m tired of hearing that battleground states are the only ones that matter in presidential elections.  What about Connecticut?  With HB 5434, the National Popular Vote Compact, our votes would matter the same as votes in OH, FL and PA. Please let me know if you support the bill, and if not, why not?
  3. I’m writing to let you know I support HB5434, the National Popular Vote Compact that awards the presidency to the candidate who receives the most votes nationwide. The Compact would make one person, one vote a reality. Are you in favor of the Compact? If not, can you explain why every vote shouldn’t count equally, no matter what state you live in?
  4. I believe in a democracy every vote should matter equally and the president should be the candidate who gets the most votes. Under the current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes, it doesn’t work that way. Please support HB5434, the National Popular Vote Compact. Will you vote yes on HB5434? If no, why not?
  5. Please co-sponsor HB 5434 to elect the President by the popular vote in all 50 states. Please let me know if you support the bill, and if not, why not?
  6. Please support HB 5434 so that every vote matters equally when we elect our President. Will you vote yes?
  7. I think the candidate who gets the most votes should win. Please support HB 5434, the National Popular Vote Compact. Will you vote yes?
  8. Please co-sponsor HB5434 to help make one person, one vote a reality. Will you vote yes? If no, why not?
  9. Please co-sponsor HB5434, the NPV compact. In a democracy every vote should matter equally and the president should be the candidate who gets the most votes.
  10. I’m tired of hearing that battleground states are the only ones that matter. With HB 5434 our votes would matter the same as votes in OH, FL and PA.
The problem with our current system

We believe in a democracy every vote should matter equally and the nation’s leader should be the candidate who wins the most popular votes. Under the current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes, this isn’t the way modern presidential elections work.

Because most states, including Connecticut, are reliably blue or red, candidates have little incentive to campaign beyond the 1o or so “battleground” states. Of nearly 400 campaign events during the 2016 general election, 94 percent were held in just 12 states; only one was held in Connecticut. The distortions of the winner-take-all method thwart the will of the people. In two of the past five elections, the candidate elected president received fewer popular votes than the loser.

The solution

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is an elegant way to ensure that every vote cast for president matters equally, without having to abolish the Electoral College. Under the Compact, all of the participating states’ electoral votes are cast for the candidate who wins the most popular votes in all 50 states. The Compact takes effect once states possessing 270 electoral votes, the number required to elect the President, have joined. To date 10 states plus D.C. have joined the Compact, representing 165 electoral votes, more than half the votes needed for the Compact to go into effect.

Key arguments in favor of NPV Compact
  • Every person’s vote should be equal, regardless of where they live.
  • The current system puts all the focus on a small number of swing states. Candidates never campaign in solidly red or blue states like Connecticut – so they aren’t listening to our concerns. Candidates shouldn’t only come to CT when they need campaign cash. They should be coming here for our votes.
  • As in all other elections, the presidential candidate with the most votes should win. Despite winning the popular vote by 2.9 million votes (2.1%) in 2016, Hillary Clinton lost the Electoral College. Similarly, in 2004, had 60,000 Ohio voters switched from George Bush to John Kerry, Bush would have won the popular vote by a similar margin but lost the presidency.
  • Studies show that disproportionate federal grant money goes to swing states to curry favor with their voters. That’s unfair to the rest of the states that are sidelined because their votes don’t matter.
Response to Challenges
  • Challenge: The NPV Compact will disenfranchise CT voters because the state may cast its electoral votes for a candidate who did not win the popular vote in CT.
    • Response 1: Connecticut’s votes will be incorporated into the national popular vote total just like every other state’s. When the Compact goes into effect, presidential elections won’t be a race to 270 like they are now. They will be a race for the most votes in all fifty states. Period.
    • Response 2: In the last seven presidential elections, CT has given all of its electoral votes to the Democratic candidate. Therefore, under the winner-take-all system, Connecticut votes for the Republican candidate haven’t mattered. Under the Compact, votes for either candidate will matter equally.
  • Challenge: The NPV Compact circumvents the Electoral College and goes against the Founders’ intentions.
    • Response: The Founding Fathers purposefully left the Constitution silent on how states should allocate their electoral votes. It provides, “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct…a number of electors” It wasn’t until 1824 that states, in order to benefit their majority party, adopted winner-take-all. Winner-take-all is not an inherent feature of the Electoral College – but it is a partisan tool that makes our presidential elections inherently unfair.
  • Challenge: With a national popular vote, big cities would pick the president.
    • Response 1: People tend to overestimate how many Americans live in large cities. Only 13 percent of the U.S. population lives in cities with populations over 500,000. The 87 percent of the population living outside large cities would still have immense voting power in a direct election.
    • Response 2 (if they bring up campaign strategy): We know that candidates wouldn’t only campaign in big cities in a national popular vote election because we know how candidates for other offices campaign when they run statewide. Any gubernatorial or senatorial candidate in California or New York will tell you that it would be political suicide to only campaign in their state’s biggest cities. Indeed, presidential candidates already visit a mix of urban, suburban, and rural areas when they campaign in swing states. We should expect a similar pattern in a national popular vote election.
  • Challenge: A national popular vote is contrary to the concept that the U.S. is a republic, not a democracy.
    • Response: In a republic (as the term is used in the U.S. Constitution), citizens do not rule directly but instead, elect officeholders to represent them and conduct the business of government in the period between elections. That doesn’t change based on how a state picks its electors.
  • Challenge: We need the Electoral College to protect small states.
    • Response: While it’s true that small states are overrepresented in the Electoral College due to the two extra votes they receive based on their two Senators, almost every small state is completely ignored (and therefore disadvantaged) in presidential elections under the current system. More fundamental, it’s simply not fair that some votes matter more than others.