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View of Electoral College splits on partisan lines

A clear majority of Americans would do away with the Electoral College, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds, but predictably the idea of relying on the popular vote to decide the presidency is much more popular with Democrats than Republicans.

Overall, 53 percent would ditch the Electoral College and 43 percent would keep it. But an overwhelming 78 percent of Hillary Clinton voters and 79 percent of Democrats would use the popular vote and an equally lopsided 74 percent of both Trump voters and Republicans would keep things as they are. (Remember that she won 3 million more votes in 2016 but he secured the presidency with a 74-electoral-vote margin.)

Among independents, it's a statistical tie given the poll's margin of error: 44 percent support the current system, 49 percent back a switch.

The view of the Electoral College also varied significantly based on where people live. Rural residents, who in general have more power under the current system, favored keeping it by 6 points. But city dwellers, whose power is somewhat diluted by the Electoral College, favored getting rid of it by 23 points.

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RepresentUs

RepresentUs acquired 8,000 signatures on a petition asking Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez to keep working on a "revolving door" bill. Paula Barkan, Austin chapter leader of RepresentUs, handed the petition to Brandon Simon, Cruz's Central Texas regional director, on July 31.

Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez still discussing revolving door bill

Remember that tweet exchange in May between Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the one where they discussed bipartisan legislation to ban former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists?

To recap: Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her support for legislation banning the practice in light of a report by the watchdog group Public Citizen, which found that nearly 60 percent of lawmakers who recently left Congress had found jobs with lobbying firms. Cruz tweeted back, extending an invitation to work on such a bill. Ocasio-Cortez responded, "Let's make a deal."

The news cycle being what it is, it's easy to forget how the media jumped on the idea of the Texas Republican and the New York Democrat finding common ground on a government ethics proposal. Since then, we've collectively moved on — but not everyone forgot.

The government reform group RepresentUs recently drafted a petition asking Cruz and Ocasio-Cortez to follow through on their idea, gathering more than 8,000 signatures.

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Adults of all ages agree: There's little confidence in elected leaders

But in general, young adults have a lot more trust issues than their elders

Sixty percent of young adults in the United States believe other people "can't be trusted," according to a recent Pew Research survey, which found that younger Americans were far more likely than older adults to distrust both institutions and other people. But adults of all ages did agree on one thing: They all lack confidence in elected leaders.

While united in a lack of confidence, the cohorts disagreed on whether that's a major problem. The study found that young adults (ages 18-29) were less likely than older Americans to believe that poor confidence in the federal government, the inability of Democrats and Republicans to work together, and the influence of lobbyists and special interest groups were "very big problems."

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