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Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Nevada's Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak vetoed a bill on Thursday that would have pledged to award the state's 6 electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote.

Why it matters, via The Nevada Independent's Jon Ralston: Sisolak's move blocks "something broadly popular with Democrats, putting what he believes and the best interests of his state above partisan politics."

Context: The bill would have added Nevada to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. That pledge kicks in if states that collectively hold 270 electoral votes sign on, enough to ensure the winner of the national popular vote would win the presidential election.

  • So far in 2019, Colorado, Delaware and New Mexico have signed onto the initiative, bringing the total to 15 signatories and 189 electoral votes.

The other side: Critics of the national popular vote movement say it could render rural states irrelevant in the presidential selection process, encouraging presidential candidates to opt out of campaigning in those states, per NPR.

  • Sisolak echoed that sentiment with his veto, saying the compact "could leave a sparsely populated Western state like Nevada with a greatly diminished voice in the outcome of national electoral contests."

Whats next: Oregon and Maine, which collectively hold 11 electoral votes, currently have bills supporting joining the national popular vote pledge winding their way through both statehouses.

Go deeper: Where each 2020 Democrat stands on abolishing the electoral college

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.