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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

27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Senate retirements could attract GOP troublemakers

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt's retirement highlights the twin challenge facing Senate Republicans: finding good replacement candidates and avoiding a pathway for potential troublemakers to join their ranks.

Why it matters: While the midterm elections are supposed to be a boon to the party out of power, the recent run of retirements — which may not be over — is upending that assumption for the GOP in 2022.

Congressional diversity growing - slowly

Data: Brookings Institution and Pew Research Center; Note: No data on Native Americans in Congress before the 107th Congress; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The number of non-white senators and House members in the 535-seat Congress has been growing steadily in the past several decades — but representation largely lags behind the overall U.S. population.

Why it matters: Non-whites find it harder to break into the power system because of structural barriers such as the need to quit a job to campaign full time for office, as Axios reported in its latest Hard Truths Deep Dive.

Staff for retiring Senate Republicans a K Street prize

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The retirements of high-profile Senate Republicans mean a lot of experienced staffers will soon be seeking new jobs, and Washington lobbying and public affairs firms are eyeing a potential glut of top-notch talent.

Why it matters: Roy Blunt is the fifth Republican dealmaker in the Senate to announce his retirement next year. Staffers left behind who can navigate the upper chamber of Congress will be gold for the city’s influence industry.