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New Mexico House Approves National Popular Vote - 23rd Legislative Chamber to Support NPV

Last Friday, the New Mexico House of Representatives approved the National Popular Vote bill by a vote of 42-27, becoming the 23rd legislative chamber in the country to support adopting a system where the candidate winning the most votes for President nationally would win the election.  The vote in the House reflected polls in the state showing 76% support for moving to national popular vote.

Some legislators in New Mexico argued that such a change might undermine national focus on the state, which has been a contested battleground in recent elections.  However, as advocates argued, the handful of campaign events in New Mexico were dwarfed by the 40 vists by candidates to Pennsylvania, 46 to Florida and 62 to Ohio.  And the problem is that most states got no campaign visits in the general election at all. 

Given that President Obama won New Meixco by a 15% margin and the changing demographics of the state, New Mexico's status as a swing state is probably a thing of the past. But if National Popular Vote is enacted nationwide, it means that New Mexico's loss of ”˜swing state’ status wouldn't relegate New Mexicans to a spectator’s role in the next presidential election. Under a national popular vote, candidates would not lavish their attention solely on the states where support is evenly divided between the candidates, but would have to focus on areas where there are a lot of persuadable (or ”˜swing’) voters. That is something that New Mexico, like most states, still has quite a few of.

Resources

National Popular Vote - 23 Legislative Chambers Have Now Passed Bill
National Popular Vote - 76% OF NEW MEXICO VOTERS SUPPORT A NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE FOR PRESIDENT IN DECEMBER 2008 POLL