Under the Presidential Election Reform Act, California’s 55 votes in the electoral college would have been awarded by congressional district. In the current political climate in the Golden State, that would be a windfall for the Republican Party, giving its candidate the equivalent of another Ohio or New Jersey in electoral votes.
An extraordinary Democratic effort may have killed the initiative, The Christian Science Monitor reports.
While early polls showed 47 percent of California voters were in favor of changing the system and 35 percent opposed, that was before ads hit the airwaves and Democratic volunteers and hired staffers went head-to-head with those collecting signatures to get the issue on the ballot.
The organization pushing the initiative is now broke and far short of the number of signatures needed to get it on the ballot.
"The Democrats did a very good job of frightening away potential donors," said Dan Schnur, a former Republican consultant who teaches at The University of California, Berkeley and the University of Southern California.