The California man who is the "co-inventor" of scratch-off lottery tickets is financing a group hoping to get Iowa on the list of states backing the idea of electing a president based on the popular vote.
As anyone who paid attention to the election of George W. Bush back in 2000 knows, U.S. presidents are not elected based on the number of votes they win nationwide. The president is chosen by the Electoral College, a once-every-four-years institution made up of people elected in every state — and who cast their Electoral College vote for the candidate who carried their state or their congressional district. It takes 270 votes in the Electoral College to win the presidency.
Craig Schoenfeld, a Des Moines-based lobbyist hired by the "National Popular Vote" group, says because of the Electoral College, candidates focus on "battleground" states where the race between the Democrat and the Republican is a toss-up and ignore states that are dominated by one party or the other. "Right now, whether you’re in California or New York — or Wyoming or Montana — you don’t participate…in the presidential debate, the conversation," Schoenfeld says.
Iowa has been a battleground state in each of the last three presidential elections, but Democrats currently hold a sizable voter registration edge and Schoenfeld says Iowa now stands to be ignored during the next presidential election.
Schoenfeld met late this afternoon with three legislators who are considering the bill touted by the "National Popular Vote" group. Find more information online at www.nationalpopularvote.com .