Of course, the winner of the popular vote doesn’t always win the presidency. Some Americans call that a Feature™, but most think it’s a Bug.
Last month (while I was AFK), California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed S.B. 37, which had proposed a novel workaround to that issue. Under this bill, California would have agreed to throw its electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote across the country—not necessarily the winner in California.
According to an organization called National Popular Vote, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, and New Jersey have already signed up for this. If enough states were to follow suit, we’d effectively elect the president by popular vote.
Rather than quixotically pursuing a constitutional amendment, supporters are advancing this as an interstate compact—basically, a “treaty” between states. It wouldn’t take effect until enacted by states commanding at least 270 electoral votes, thereby guaranteeing an Electoral College majority.
(As implied, the Electoral College would continue to exist, but campaign strategy would no longer be built around winning electoral votes on a state-by-state basis.)
The current signatory states have a total of 50 electoral votes. California would have more than doubled that, so this veto’s gotta hurt.