How Super Tuesday election maps could be improved

‘Tis the season for election maps. Big ones, small ones. Red ones, blue ones. They’re out there, despite the fact that big maps of the U.S. don’t really come into play until it’s time to tally electoral votes in November.

Have you ever wondered why Democrats are blue and Republicans are red on your typical election night map? Has it always been this way? Should we even be messing with state maps during primary season? How might we begin planning visuals for November?

I addressed these questions and offered related tips in a live chat with Poynter’s Sara Quinn. You can replay the chat here…

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    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the
    candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in
    presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps.
    There would no longer be a handful of ‘battleground’ states where voters
    and policies are more important than those of the voters in more than 3/4ths of
    the states that now are just ‘spectators’ and ignored.

    When the bill is enacted by states possessing a majority of the
    electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all
    the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the
    presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in
    the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President.
    Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the
    President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial
    property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have
    come about by state legislative action.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported
    the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the
    presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with
    about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote
    is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as
    every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in
    closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO –
    70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and
    WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE –
    75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK –
    81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in
    Southern and Border states: AR – 80%,, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%,
    OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states
    polled: CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA –
    77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 small,
    medium-small, medium, and large states. The bill has been enacted by 9
    jurisdictions possessing 132 electoral votes – 49% of the 270 necessary to
    bring the law into effect.


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