Michigan has skilled being a battleground and non-battleground state in the identical election cycle, recalled former state Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis, referring to when 2008 GOP nominee John McCain closed store there to dedicate assets in states the place he was extra aggressive. 

“Once McCain pulled out, our victory centers closed, all of our funding went away, volunteers walked away and voters just stayed home,” Anuzis, now advocating a referendum for Michigan to hitch the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, advised Fox News. “The presidential campaign is always a draw in the presidential year. When you announce it no longer being relevant, your turnout drops. That cost us two congressional seats, nine state legislative seats, it really had a devastating effect in the state.” 

That’s what Anuzis mentioned drew him to the marketing campaign for the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. States within the compact commit their electors to the nationwide vote winner, no matter who carries the state. Since 2006, the compact has gained 15 states and the District of Columbia, with 195 electoral votes to this point. However, that dedication received’t kick in till the compact has sufficient states for the wanted 270 electoral votes to win.  

Voting booths are set up for early voting at the Black Hawk County Courthouse on September 27, 2012 in Waterloo, Iowa. Currently, states that are a part of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact commit their electors to the national vote winner. 

Voting cubicles are arrange for early voting on the Black Hawk County Courthouse on September 27, 2012 in Waterloo, Iowa. Currently, states which might be part of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact commit their electors to the nationwide vote winner. 
(Scott Olson/Getty Images)


Anuzis and former Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer launched the “Yes on National Popular Vote” poll initiative final week so as to add Michigan’s 15 electoral votes to the compact. The initiative has to gather 340,047 Michigan voter signatures in 180 days to look on the 2022 poll. 

Also final week, Michigan state Rep. Matt Koleszar, the Democratic vice chair of the House Elections and Ethics Committee, launched laws to be the sixteenth state to hitch the favored vote compact. The invoice mirrors the language of the poll initiative.  

“Michiganders must be assured that their voices are heard equally, and a national popular vote ensures one person, one vote,” Koleszar mentioned in a statement

The Republican majority within the Michigan Legislature is unlikely the move the Koleszar invoice, so a poll initiative is probably going the perfect hope for in style vote backers.  

If the Michigan petition drive is profitable, it might mark solely the second time voters made the dedication. In 2020, Colorado voters selected a vote of 52% to join the popular vote compact, wanting the 57% that backed Joe Biden over Donald Trump in blue Colorado. That signifies that although help for the Electoral College in recent times has damaged alongside occasion strains, a decisive majority could possibly be a problem. 

Convincing voters in Michigan to surrender the perks of being a battleground state is a harder promote, mentioned Trent England, govt director of Save Our States, a pro-Electoral College group.  

“Michigan would clearly be a loser under a national popular vote just for the reason that they get a lot of attention from candidates,” England advised Fox News. “Obviously, that would change with a national popular vote. The National Popular Vote campaign likes to pretend every state would be a swing state and every state would get that much attention. The only way that’s really possible is if the political campaigns raise and spend 100 times more money than they raise and spend today. So Michigan would lose big time.” 

Trump received Michigan’s 16 electoral votes by a slim margin in 2016 and misplaced by a slim margin in 2020. After the Census, the state has 15 electoral votes. 

In 2019, Nevada’s Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak vetoed the favored vote measure, contending as a smaller state, Nevada has leverage below the Electoral College. That identical yr, the Maine state Legislature rejected a bill to hitch the interstate compact on a bipartisan vote.   

“The reality is, they’ve run out of states where they can pass this through the legislature,” England mentioned. “They’ve had some support in Michigan in the past and a lot of those supporters have changed sides and are now opponents of national popular vote. There is no prospect of passing NPV in the Michigan legislature. This is kind of their Hail Mary to try to take this to voters and see if they will pass it.” 

The National Popular Vote marketing campaign spent $26,501 lobbying Michigan lawmakers to undertake the measure in 2018, the Detroit News reported.  


Anuzis anticipates Michiganders might be receptive as a result of they know “battleground status is fleeting,” noting the as soon as fierce swing states of Ohio and Florida appear to be solidly pink now.  

“It’s not like your battleground status is forever. What’s unique about this proposal is that every voter in every state is politically relevant every time,” Anuzis mentioned. “So, from Michigan’s standpoint, we don’t lose anything.” 

Besides the aforementioned Colorado and the District of Columbia; different states which have already joined the compact are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington state.  

The states are all solidly blue, and Democrat skepticism for the Electoral College emerged after George W. Bush received the presidency in 2000 and Trump received in 2016 regardless of each shedding the favored vote. Three different presidents, Benjamin Harris in 1888, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, and John Quincy Adams in 1824, additionally received with out the favored vote.  

Anuzis mentioned the compact preserves the Electoral College and the rights of states to decide on the best way to award their electors. Further, he mentioned it’s a delusion that transferring to a well-liked vote would benefit Democrats over Republicans.  


Voter turnout is as much as 15% greater in swing states, however below an NPV mannequin, Anuzis mentioned, GOP voters in deep blue states – or Democrat voters in deep pink states – usually tend to prove.  

“Republicans tend to knee jerk against this because they think Al Gore and Hillary Clinton would be president. Democrats tend to knee jerk for it because they think Al Gore and Hillary Clinton would be president,” Anuzis mentioned. “The idea is we [Republicans] can’t win a presidential election when we have a majority of the governors, we have a majority of the state legislatures, majority attorney generals? These are big numbers.”