One of the most common criticisms of a national popular vote is that New York and California would decide every election, with candidates ignoring the rest of the country. But as conservative writer Robert Robb notes, “In 2016, California and New York cast 16 percent of all the votes for president.”
Sixteen percent of the electorate is not nearly enough to win a national election, even if everyone in those states voted the same way, which they never have and never would. In 2016, 7.3 million people in New York and California voted for the Republican candidate, and many more Republicans probably would have voted if they believed there was any chance their vote would count.
Under a national popular vote, a candidate who spends all of his or her time and resources in New York and California is a candidate who will lose by a landslide.