Last night, the NC Senate passed SB 954 which would enter the State of North Carolina into a compact with other states that gives each state’s electoral college votes to whoever wins a plurality of the national popular vote for President.
I’ll save you all the "intent of the Founding Fathers’" and the urban v. rural arguments for another time and just point out two huge problems with moving to a popular election of President.
First, with North Carolina’s hugely restrictive ballot access provisions, it is theoretically possible for North Carolina to give all 15 of its electoral votes to a person who did not receive a single vote for President in the state. For example, a headline in the Washington Times today: "Bloomberg poised to spend $1 billion to run for President." Under a popular election scenario, Mayor Bloomberg would not need to campaign or be on the ballot in all 50 states. He could strategically target the states that could get him a plurality of the popular vote and ignore other states. If his poll numbers were horrendous in North Carolina, he could choose to ignore the state, not even attempt to gather the signatures to be on the ballot, and focus his time and money on states where he could gain the most votes.
Second, the potential for a nationwide recount and legal challenges. Imagine what happened in Florida in 2000 on a nationwide scale. That should be enough to scare anyone away from this proposal.