Big vs. Small - Who has more clout?

While scholars argue that the electoral college favors, or is advantageous to smaller states, there is also an argument that it favors larger states.  Small states are 'protected' by receiving a proportionally high amount of electoral votes in reference to their populations, arguably giving them more clout.  See Providence Journal article on small state power

Simultaneously though, voters in large states have more power through voting potential, because they have the chance to affect a large amount of electoral votes with their raw vote.  As presidential historian Allan Lichtman explains, "you've got to have a majority 270 votes in the Electoral College to win, and you accumulate them state-by-state, with large states like California having the lions-share of the Electoral College vote."

According to Lawrence D. Longley and Neal Peirce in their book “Electoral College Primer 2000” (not updated in 2004), the states enjoying a higher-than-average advantage in Electoral College that year were the larger ones with the most Electoral College votes.  Note that this finding is in direct opposition to the broad assumption that smaller states have a greater advantage because of the Electoral College.  In descending order, these states were

California – 55 votes

Texas – 34 votes

New York – 31 votes

Florida – 27 votes

Pennsylvania – 21 votes

Illinois – 21 votes

*Vote totals are current for 2001-2010

Longley and Peirce also declared that those states with the lowest amount of clout in the Electoral College are typically those that are argued to be favored by it, including Maine, Montana, Nevada and Utah, each of which has 5 or fewer electoral votes

This data turns out to be extremely hopeful, considering that since only six states enjoy a large amount of influence under the Electoral College system, the remaining 44 might not put up such a fight when it comes to abolishing it.  Perhaps the key comes in convincing the smaller states of the greater advantage to them in abolishing the Electoral College.  Despite the loss of “clout” to smaller states without the Electoral College, they would gain a proportionally balanced advantage by causing the larger states to lose their massively overwhelming advantage in the system.

The Case for Reform

Electoral College Table of Contents

July 13th 2009
Albatross of U.S. democracy
Indianapolis Star

FairVote research is cited in support of the National Popular Vote plan in Indiana, because "every vote cast for president should be equally important and equally coveted, whether it originates in California, Connecticut or Crawfordsville."

July 9th 2009
Winner-take-all can elect a second-place president
San Diego Union-Tribune

The founder of National Popular Vote lays out the shortcomings and injustices of the Electoral College system, and shows why the National Popular Vote plan is the right solution.

May 17th 2009
Why states should adopt the National Popular Vote plan for president
San Diego Union-Tribune

FairVote's Rob Richie writes that the Electoral College deepens political inequality, and explains why the National Popular Vote plan is our best opportunity to ensure that every vote for president is equally valued.

May 14th 2009
Let's Make Every Vote Count
The Nation

Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of the Nation magazine, highlights FairVote's research in an important piece on the "broad support" growing in the states for the National Popular Vote plan to elect the president.

May 13th 2009
Representative Democracy: Two Steps Forward
The Daily Herald

The executive director of the Economic Opportunity Institute heralds the passage of the National Popular Vote bill in Washington state.

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