In 2000, Al Gore got more votes than George W. Bush, but lost the election because of Florida, the Supreme Court, and the Electoral College. That’s because when you go to the polls, you’re not voting directly for your presidential candidate, but for a roster of electors who are apportioned based on the popular vote in your state, as outlined in the constitution.
There’s a group that’s trying to change that (without amending the constitution) called the National Popular Vote Compact, which has been getting some bipartisan support. Ben Jacobs has been writing about this for The Daily Beast, so I invited him to join me on America Weekend to explain how it would work, how much progress has been made, and why the current crop of swing states are so opposed to it (hint: it’s about power). I also asked him whether the idea might increase voting, its impact on political ad spending, and what the chances are of passing the new law in time for the 2016 election.