For Utah Democrats, presidential clout can come from volunteering across the border

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah Democrats who want a voice in presidential elections have been out of luck in their own state since 1964, which is the last time Utah’s Electoral College votes went to a Democrat.

But in recent years, savvy candidates have harnessed the enthusiasm of Utah volunteers to impact events in neighboring states, most notably Nevada, which has recently claimed a spot as the “first in the West” presidential caucus.

In 2016, it’s the Bernie Sanders campaign that has mobilized the most in Utah.

The Sanders campaign website lists phone banks in Midvale, Orem and Salt Lake City, along with carpool trips to canvass in Nevada.

The Hillary Clinton campaign leader in Utah, Rebecca Lipson, says she is aware of individual Utah volunteers who have traveled to Nevada, but said the Utah campaign is focused on Utah’s March 22nd caucus.

7 comments

  • Mr. Charles

    We don’t need more progressivism/socialism. Why can’t we get candidates that truly appreciate and understand traditional American ideals???

    • ERIC ANDERSON

      I take it that Mrs. Bill Clinton has you fooled. She has all the warmth and charm of a rattlesnake and the integrity of a cat in heat.

  • toto

    A survey of Utah voters showed 70% overall support for the idea that the President should be the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country.

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps of pre-determined outcomes. There would no longer be a handful of ‘battleground’ states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 80%+ of the states, like Utah, that have just been ‘spectators’ and ignored after the conventions.

    The National Popular Vote bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes—270 of 538.
    All of the presidential electors from the enacting states will be supporters of the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC)—thereby guaranteeing that candidate with an Electoral College majority.

    The bill has passed 34 state legislative chambers in 23 rural, small, medium, large, red, blue, and purple states with 261 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 11 jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

    NationalPopularVote.com

  • toto

    During the course of campaigns, candidates are educated and campaign about the local, regional, and state issues most important to the handful of battleground states they need to win. They take this knowledge and prioritization with them once they are elected. Candidates need to be educated and care about all of our states.

    The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), under which all of a state’s electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state, ensures that the candidates, after the conventions, in 2012 did not reach out to about 80% of the states and their voters.
    10 of the original 13 states are ignored now.
    80% of states’ votes were conceded months before by the minority parties in the states, taken for granted by the dominant party in the states, and ignored by all parties in presidential campaigns.
    Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they were safely ahead or hopelessly behind.

    More than 99% of presidential campaign attention (ad spending and visits) was invested on voters in just the then only ten competitive states.
    Two-thirds (176 of 253) of the general-election campaign events, and a similar fraction of campaign expenditures, were in just four states (Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Iowa).
    38 states were politically irrelevant.
    There are only expected to be 7 remaining swing states in 2016.

    Issues of importance to non-battleground states are of so little interest to presidential candidates that they don’t even bother to poll them.

    Over 87% of both Romney and Obama campaign offices were in just the then 12 swing states. The few campaign offices in the 38 remaining states were for fund-raising, volunteer phone calls, and arranging travel to battleground states.

    Policies important to the citizens of non-battleground states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

    “Battleground” states receive 7% more federal grants than “spectator” states, twice as many presidential disaster declarations, more Superfund enforcement exemptions, and more No Child Left Behind law exemptions.

    States have the responsibility and power to make all of their voters relevant in every presidential election and beyond.

  • toto

    Under National Popular Vote, every voter, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would matter in the state counts and national count.

    The National Popular Vote bill would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state. Now their votes are counted only for the presidential candidate they did not vote for. Now they don’t matter to their candidate.
    In 2012, 56,256,178 (44%) of the 128,954,498 voters had their vote diverted by the winner-take-all rule to a candidate they opposed (namely, their state’s first-place candidate).

    And now votes, beyond the one needed to get the most votes in the state, for winning in a state, are wasted and don’t matter to presidential candidates.
    Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004.
    Oklahoma (7 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 455,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004 — larger than the margin generated by the 9th and 10th largest states, namely New Jersey and North Carolina (each with 15 electoral votes).
    8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

    • ERIC ANDERSON

      Hillary Clinton is depending on voters who think the capital of the United States is Las Vegas, and who depend on government for their welfare checks.

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