An Election Determined by Big Cities

If we want the issues of rural America to fall by the way-side and have our President determined by the big cities, then the National Popular Vote is the preferred system. And the backdoor change to our Constitution offered by the National Popular Movement is the way to accomplish it.


On the NPV's website, there is a page dedicated to addressing the "Myths about Big Cities". This resource is chalked full of deceitful statistics that should completely discredit their movement. Let us address two of them.


First off, the majority of the U.S. population lives in large cities or metro areas. But NPV would have you believe otherwise:


The origins of the myth about big cities may stem from the misconceptions that big cities are bigger than they actually are, and that big cities account for a greater fraction of the nation’s population than they actually do. In fact, 85% of the population of the United States lives in places with a population of fewer than 365,000 (the population of Arlington, Texas—the nation’s 50th biggest city).


This statement is deceiving because NPV measures the population of the city boundaries instead of the metro area in its entirety. For instance, Minneapolis (population 382,000) is included but St Paul (population 285,000) is not. Neither is the rest of the Twin Cities metro area which accounts for a population of over 3 million. When measuring the top 50 metro areas in the United States, we find that they contain 54% of the population of the United States...a much larger figure than the 15% that NPV asserts.


The reason this is an important issue is due to the way metro areas vote in Presidential elections. The map below shows the results of the 2012 Presidential election by population density. It's the work of software engineer Chris Howard. Areas with large populations that voted for Obama are solid blue in color.

Chris Howard Map

Rural areas lean more Republican (contain less of the population) while big metro areas lean solidly Democrat (contain 85% of the population).


USA Today released a great visual of the advantage Democrats have in the big cities. Individual cities with populations over 500,000 predominately voted for Barack Obama in the 2012 election (69.4%). Cities with populations between 50,000 and 500,000 were also solidly in the Barack Obama camp (58.4%).

NPV-2012 vote


So what's the big deal about the big cities? After all, the rural votes account for a big segment of the population too.


That leads us to the second deceitful item on the NPV "Myth page".


Under a national popular vote, every vote would be equal throughout the United States. A vote cast in a big city would be no more (or less) valuable or controlling than a vote cast anywhere else.


Sure, every voted is counted equally. That's a fact. But this statement ignores what wins Presidential elections: Get-Out-the-Vote (GOTV). Democrats know they have a strategic advantage in large cities, so their presidential election strategy would focus more heavily on metro areas (which almost all have Democrat mayors and city councils). The efficiency and cost-effectiveness of GOTV campaigns in metro areas far outweighs that of campaigns in rural areas, the stronghold of Republicans.


If you're not a partisan person and wonder how this affects you, it all comes down to the issues and policies that the Presidential office will focus on in future elections. Cities and rural areas differ greatly on issues like gun rights, environmental policy, jobs and social issues. Under the NPV system, Presidential candidates would cater to the issues of metro areas far more than they do under the current Electoral College System. More states would get Presidential candidate visits, but those would only concentrate in the large cities, ignoring the rural counties. At least under the current system, the issues of rural counties in swing states are still at the forefront of Presidential politics. That could all change.


The liberal financiers and Board of Directors are fully aware of the advantage for liberal candidates offered by the National Popular Vote. We must let our Republican Representatives in Minnesota hear this side of the argument. They should not support this kind of system.