Maybe Then we Could Finally Get Rid of the Electoral College

Matthew Dowd wargames at the National Journal:

In a very tight race this November, Obama could lose the popular vote, and win the Electoral College. Let me say that slightly differently: Romney could win the popular vote by over 1 million votes but lose the Electoral College to Obama by a margin of 272 to 266. What a difference in talking points that would mean for the two parties compared with the 2000 presidential election controversy.

I cannot speak, at this point, as to Dowd’s numbers, save that these are hypothetically possible.  I do doubt that such an outcome is probable, however.

In truth, I would prefer that such a thing not happen, as I have become fully in favor of reform in this area (and I say that as someone whose preferred candidate in 2000 benefited from the system, so this is no some decade-old grudge).  However, part of me wishes that it would because the combination of the following factors might actually produce reform to the electoral college:

1.  Having two such contests in just over a decade.

2.  Having it happen to face both parties.

3.  The fact that there is already a huge chunk of the GOP base that see Obama as illegitimate (despite a big win in 2008).

1 + 2 + 3 might actually result in a sufficiently strong critical mass to do in the EC.

(At the moment, however, I am thinking that Obama’s 2012 will look a lot like Bush’s 2004, but there is still a lot of time on the clock).

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. The electoral college is fundamental to us as a Republic and provides a vital function in close elections. Consider the fiasco that was recounting Florida. Now think of recounting the entire country without it. We would look worse than the third world. It would be chaos. Watch what you wish for.

  2. 3. The fact that there is already a huge chunk of the GOP base that see Obama as illegitimate (despite a big win in 2008).

    And this is why reform wouldn’t happen. Any agreement to reform by the Dems would be taken as an admission that the GOP is right about Obama’s legitimacy, which means they would never agree to reform.

  3. @FreeMktMonkey:

    Well,

    1. The notion that the EC is somehow essential to the republican character of the US is a post hoc myth. See my previous post: Looking to the Design of the Electoral College

    2. It was the EC itself that created the need for a recount in the first place by containing certain votes in Florida. The only reason Florida became a controvery was because we had to know who won the FL EVs. If we had had a popular vote count in 2000, we would have had a clear winner (Gore) or, better, if we had a majority requirement there would have been a Bush v. Gore run off and then a clear winner (without all the Buchanan and Nader confusions),

    Indeed, since such systems are used successfully around the world, I honestly have a pretty good idea what I am wishing for.

  4. @Stormy Dragon: Well, any post-2012 change would not effect Obama. Further, the Dems are still stinging from 2000 and I think that there is more general support (such as it is) for EC reform on the Dem side than the Rep side.

  5. Stan25 says:

    It would take a constitutional amendment to make any reforms to the Electoral College. Does anyone think that there would be a 2/3 majority in both houses to carry the day? I don’t think so. If it does pass, there is the requirement to have at least 3/4 of the states to ratify it. I really don’t think the small states would let this become a part of the constitution without putting up a huge fight. Besides, it is the large populated states in the Northeast and California that really want the EG reformed. This fight has been going on since the founding and it has not changed yet.

  6. Vast Variety says:

    Well doing away with the Electorical colledge would mean the canidates wouldn’t have to campaign anywhere except the coasts so I suppose they could save money.

  7. @Vast Variety: Someone always says that.

    The problem is:

    1. That’s not true, as every vote actually counts.

    and, moreover:

    2. Now they only have to campaign in a handful of swing states if they so choose.

  8. Vast Variety says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: While every vote may count… the fact that the coasts have larger population centers means that no mater how the centeral parts of the country vote the elections will always come down to the numbers earned on ths coasts, which by the way are generally won by Democrats.

    The fact that we have the swing states and that they are generally not among the high population coastal states is an example of why the EC system works.

  9. al-Ameda says:

    In the absence of an Electoral College I would not relish the possibility
    of recounts should there be allegations voter fraud and the like.

  10. @Vast Variety:

    The fact that we have the swing states and that they are generally not among the high population coastal states is an example of why the EC system works.

    No, its not.

    A) as per the link above, the EC doesn’t work as intended anyway, so we are all engaging in post hoc rationalization of the system.

    B) The idea that voters in Texas, CA, and NY (the three most populated states) are all sort of unimportant is problematic.

    C) There are currently huge swaths of the country that are already ignored, including a lot of small states. How is this good?

  11. @al-Ameda:

    In the absence of an Electoral College I would not relish the possibility
    of recounts should there be allegations voter fraud and the like.

    Voting is still contained in precincts, counties, and states. There is no reason why voter fraud allegations in, say, southern Alabama would require a national recount.

  12. I think wed’ have more luck persuading the states to each move to the District Method to allocate Electors. It would be a far better representation of actual support, and it would encourage candidates to campaign in states that they otherwise might write off for the possibility of snagging an electoral vote or three from competitive Congressional Districts.

  13. @Steven L. Taylor: My sense is that your direction is that of democracy rather than the republic form of government that sets us apart from Europe and other freely elected governments. The states picking the president is fine as was state legislatures picking senators prior to the 17th amendment. In my mind both are preferable. It goes to a nation of laws and not of men. The 2000 election was not what I had in mind. Any close election would require Total Vote Recount and it would happen even within a runoff setup sooner or later. States individually can allocate electors as they wish already and the existing compact movement is about half way to a majority of electors based on all given to the national popular vote winner. So while I oppose any change it would be this compact method rather than any other that I see as within our current framework without an amendment.

  14. @Doug Mataconis: Actually, the district method (which I used to think was a solution) is highly problematic as well because of all of the gerrymandered safe districts across the country.

  15. @FreeMktMonkey: The problem is, the whole republic/democracy thing is not what you think it is.

    Really, what you are wanting is stronger confederal element within the structure of the system (i,.e., more empowering of states are political actors within the federation). This really isn’t about republic/democracy.

    In re: republic/democracy, I have written about that quite a bit, for example: Madison’s Defintion(s) of Republic

  16. Vast Variety says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Those three states are unimportant becuase they almost always vote the same way; CA and NY for Democrats and TX for Republicans. No amount of campaigning is going to change that. TX may come into play in the next election cycle or two but only becuase the GOP gives the impression that they are intent on shipping anyone with an Hispanic sounding last name out of the country. Doing away with the EC and going to simply popular vote means that East and West coast population centers will always determine the presidency becuase the rest of the country will never be able match their populations. It would also mean that we would almost always have a Democrat in the White House. I may be a liberal but even I think that is a bad idea.

  17. @Steven L. Taylor: Thanks, I’ll take a look at your other stuff. You follow the compact movement National Popular Vote Initiative?

  18. David M says:

    @Vast Variety:

    Doing away with the EC and going to simply popular vote means that East and West coast population centers will always determine the presidency

    You say that like it’s a bad thing. I can think of a lot worse problems than the president being elected with a majority of the popular vote.

  19. @Vast Variety:

    Those three states are unimportant becuase they almost always vote the same way; CA and NY for Democrats and TX for Republicans.

    But this is rather the point. If you liberated them from the EC then the voters in those states would matter. All the Dems in Texas would matter, as would the Reps in NY and CA.

    The unit of significance should be the voter, not the state.

    It would also mean that we would almost always have a Democrat in the White House.

    Three thoughts:

    1. If true, you are conceding that at the moment the majority will of the population is being thwarted by the constitution (and this is a good thing because?).

    2. The truth is, your scenario is not true. Bush won the majority of the popular vote in 2004.

    3. Even if the trend was to one party, that would just require the other party to compete better and adapt to the majority preference.

  20. @FreeMktMonkey:

    You follow the compact movement National Popular Vote Initiative?

    Yes, I am aware of it. It would be an improvement, in my opinion, over the current system.

  21. toto says:

    @Stan25:

    No.
    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC), without needing to amend the Constitution.

    The National Popular Vote bill would change existing state winner-take-all laws that award all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who get the most popular votes in each separate state (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since enacted by 48 states), to a system guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes for, and the Presidency to, the candidate getting the most popular votes in the entire United States.

    The National Popular Vote bill preserves the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections. It ensures that every vote is equal, every voter will matter, in every state, in every presidential election, and the candidate with the most votes wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

    Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the state counts and national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. That majority of electoral votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC wins the presidency.

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

    National Popular Vote would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state. Now their votes are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for. Now they don’t matter to their candidate.

    And now votes, beyond the one needed to get the most votes in the state, for winning in a state are wasted and don’t matter to candidates. Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004. 8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

    With National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere would be counted equally for, and directly assist, the candidate for whom it was cast.

    Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states. The political reality would be that when every vote is equal, the campaign must be run in every part of the country.

    Now with state-by-state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since enacted by 48 states), presidential elections ignore 12 of the 13 lowest population states (3-4 electoral votes), that are non-competitive in presidential elections. 6 regularly vote Republican (AK, ID, MT, WY, ND, and SD), and 6 regularly vote Democratic (RI, DE, HI, VT, ME, and DC) in presidential elections. Voters in states that are reliably red or blue don’t matter. Candidates ignore those states and the issues they care about most.

    Support for a national popular vote is strong in every smallest state surveyed in recent polls among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group. Support in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK -70%, DC -76%, DE –75%, ID -77%, ME – 77%, MT- 72%, NE – 74%, NH–69%, NE – 72%, NM – 76%, RI – 74%, SD- 71%, UT- 70%, VT – 75%, WV- 81%, and WY- 69%.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%,, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 small, medium, and large states. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions possessing 132 electoral votes – 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

    NationalPopularVote
    Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

  22. toto says:

    @Vast Variety:
    Since 1932 the combined popular vote for Presidential candidates adds up to Democrats: 745,407,082 and Republican: 745,297,123 — a virtual tie. During my lifetime, Republicans have done very well in the national popular vote.

    A nationwide presidential campaign, with every vote equal, would be run the way presidential candidates campaign to win the electoral votes of closely divided battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida, under the state-by-state winner-take-all methods. The big cities in those battleground states do not receive all the attention, much less control the outcome. Cleveland and Miami do not receive all the attention or control the outcome in Ohio and Florida.

    The itineraries of presidential candidates in battleground states (and their allocation of other campaign resources in battleground states) reflect the political reality that every gubernatorial or senatorial candidate knows. When and where every vote is equal, a campaign must be run everywhere.

    With National Popular Vote, when every vote is equal, everywhere, it makes sense for presidential candidates to try and elevate their votes where they are and aren’t so well liked. But, under the state-by-state winner-take-all laws, it makes no sense for a Democrat to try and do that in Vermont or Wyoming, or for a Republican to try it in Wyoming or Vermont.

    Candidates would need to build a winning coalition across demographics. Candidates would have to appeal to a broad range of demographics, and perhaps even more so, because the election wouldn’t be capable of coming down to just one demographic, such as soccer mom voters in Ohio.

    Further evidence of the way a nationwide presidential campaign would be run comes from national advertisers who seek out customers in small, medium, and large towns of every small, medium, and large state. A national advertiser does not write off Indiana or Illinois merely because a competitor makes more sales in those particular states. Moreover, a national advertiser enjoying an edge over its competitors in Indiana or Illinois does not stop trying to make additional sales in those states. National advertisers go after every single possible customer, regardless of where the customer is located.

  23. toto says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Dividing a state’s electoral votes by congressional district winners would magnify the worst features of the Electoral College system.

    If the district approach were used nationally, it would be less fair and less accurately reflect the will of the people than the current system. In 2004, Bush won 50.7% of the popular vote, but 59% of the districts. Although Bush lost the national popular vote in 2000, he won 55% of the country’s congressional districts.

    The district approach would not provide incentive for presidential candidates to campaign in a particular state or focus the candidates’ attention to issues of concern to the state. With the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all laws (whether applied to either districts or states), candidates have no reason to campaign in districts or states where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind. In North Carolina, for example, there are only 2 districts (the 13th with a 5% spread and the 2nd with an 8% spread) where the presidential race is competitive. In California, the presidential race has been competitive in only 3 of the state’s 53 districts. Nationwide, there have been only 55 “battleground” districts that were competitive in presidential elections. With the present deplorable 48 state-level winner-take-all system, 2/3rds of the states (including California and Texas) are ignored in presidential elections; however, 88% of the nation’s congressional districts would be ignored if a district-level winner-take-all system were used nationally.

    Awarding electoral votes by congressional district could result in third party candidates winning electoral votes that would deny either major party candidate the necessary majority vote of electors and throw the process into Congress to decide.

    Because there are generally more close votes on district levels than states as whole, district elections increase the opportunity for error. The larger the voting base, the less opportunity there is for an especially close vote.

    Also, a second-place candidate could still win the White House without winning the national popular vote.

    A national popular vote is the way to make every person’s vote equal and matter to their candidate because it guarantees that the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states and DC becomes President.

  24. Kylopod says:

    Speculation like this seems to occur every time there’s a presidential election that looks like it’s going to be close. But what happened in 2000 was essentially a freak occurrence; it could happen again this year, but it isn’t likely. The country has experienced many close elections (2004, 1976, 1960) that didn’t lead to a split between the electoral and popular results.

    Hendrik Hertzberg has written more thoroughly and eloquently on the case for electoral reform than any other pundit I know. (He doesn’t just deal with the EC, but also with Congressional representation.) He points that out that the main problem with the EC is not that it can lead to situations like 2000 or 1876, where the candidate who gets the most votes fails to secure the presidency–though that is a problem. The main problem is the way it affects campaigns; the candidates will all but ignore the vast majority of states and concentrate on a relatively small portion of the country, which not only effectively disenfranchises most voters in the nation, but influences candidates to focus on issues particular to the swing states, which may not be popular with the nation as a whole.

  25. @Kylopod:

    The main problem is the way it affects campaigns; the candidates will all but ignore the vast majority of states and concentrate on a relatively small portion of the country, which not only effectively disenfranchises most voters in the nation, but influences candidates to focus on issues particular to the swing states, which may not be popular with the nation as a whole.

    Agreed.

    BTW: I think we can blame, in large measure, the illogic of US-Cuban policies on the EC for reasons linked to the quoted text.

  26. Trumwill says:

    I’ve actually commented that had Ohio gone the other way in 2004, that would have been the end of the EC. Democrats burned in 2000, Republicans in 2004. I think it only requires that the GOP get burned once, though, within lifetimes of 2000. Democrats are predisposed against the EC and 2000 will be remembered enough not to suddenly change their minds. Republicans need convincing, so they need to be burned.

  27. Tsar Nicholas says:

    I like the Electoral College. It’s far from perfect, granted, but it beats a lot of the alternatives.

    District-based national elections would not work. If you think we have problems now with gerrymandering, maps, lawsuits about maps, appeals about lawsuits about maps, etc., imagine if the presidency was dependent upon them.

    A pure national popular vote would be a great idea, on a few levels, right up until the time we had to go through the flaming train wreck of a fiasco of a national recount. Yikes. The other elephant in the room is exactly how much power should a country give to Zombieland?

    The other thing about the Electoral College which seldom is discussed is that we’re not a homogenous country with one major industry and an evenly-distributed population. We’re a heterogeneous country with an economy that touches upon dozens of industries, largely focused by geographics, where relative population growth rates vary drastically from state to state, and from region to region. I like the fact to become president a candidate, for all practical purposes, has to win at least two or three of the largest states, along with states in every time zone, along with at least one or two basic industry states, along with at least one or two states with substantial white collar industries.

  28. MarkedMan says:

    Doug and Stan25 seem to be focusing on reality. Steven, I’ll bow to your expertise on Doug’s specific proposal, but in the abstract he hits on the real point raised by Stan25: any discussion of reform is pointless if it requires amending the constitution. The small states will not allow it. And there is no way our constitution can be amended if a significant minority of states oppose such an amendment.

  29. toto says:

    @Trumwill:
    The precariousness of the current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes is highlighted by the fact that a shift of a few thousand voters in one or two states would have elected the second-place candidate in 4 of the 13 presidential elections since World War II. Near misses are now frequently common. There have been 6 consecutive non-landslide presidential elections (1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008). A shift of 60,000 voters in Ohio in 2004 would have defeated President Bush despite his nationwide lead of over 3 million votes.

  30. toto says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:
    The 2000 presidential election was an artificial crisis created because of Bush’s lead of 537 popular votes in Florida. Gore’s nationwide lead was 537,179 popular votes (1,000 times larger). Given the miniscule number of votes that are changed by a typical statewide recount (averaging only 274 votes); no one would have requested a recount or disputed the results in 2000 if the national popular vote had controlled the outcome. Indeed, no one (except perhaps almanac writers and trivia buffs) would have cared that one of the candidates happened to have a 537-vote margin in Florida.

    Recounts are far more likely in the current system of state-by-state winner-take-all methods.

    The possibility of recounts should not even be a consideration in debating the merits of a national popular vote. No one has ever suggested that the possibility of a recount constitutes a valid reason why state governors or U.S. Senators, for example, should not be elected by a popular vote.

    The question of recounts comes to mind in connection with presidential elections only because the current system so frequently creates artificial crises and unnecessary disputes.

    We do and would vote state by state. Each state manages its own election and is prepared to conduct a recount.

    The state-by-state winner-take-all system is not a firewall, but instead causes unnecessary fires.

    Given that there is a recount only once in about 160 statewide elections, and given there is a presidential election once every four years, one would expect a recount about once in 640 years with the National Popular Vote. The actual probability of a close national election would be even less than that because recounts are less likely with larger pools of votes.

    The average change in the margin of victory as a result of a statewide recount was a mere 296 votes in a 10-year study of 2,884 elections.

    No recount would have been warranted in any of the nation’s 56 previous presidential elections if the outcome had been based on the nationwide count.

    The common nationwide date for meeting of the Electoral College has been set by federal law as the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. With both the current system and the National Popular Vote, all counting, recounting, and judicial proceedings must be conducted so as to reach a “final determination” prior to the meeting of the Electoral College.

  31. toto says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:
    With the current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes, it could only take winning a bare plurality of popular votes in the 11 most populous states, containing 56% of the population of the United States, for a candidate to win the Presidency — that is, a mere 26% of the nation’s votes!

  32. toto says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Reform does NOT require amending the Constitution.

    The National Popular Vote bill preserves the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections. It ensures that every vote is equal, every voter will matter, in every state, in every presidential election, and the candidate with the most votes wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

    The National Popular Vote bill would change existing state winner-take-all laws that award all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who get the most popular votes in each separate state (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since enacted by 48 states), to a system guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes for, and the Presidency to, the candidate getting the most popular votes in the entire United States.

    The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the 270+ Electoral College votes from the enacting states. That majority of Electoral College votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC wins the presidency.

    The small states support a national popular vote.

    Support for a national popular vote is strong in every smallest state surveyed in recent polls among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group. Support in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK -70%, DC -76%, DE –75%, ID -77%, ME – 77%, MT- 72%, NE – 74%, NH–69%, NE – 72%, NM – 76%, RI – 74%, SD- 71%, UT- 70%, VT – 75%, WV- 81%, and WY- 69%.

    In the lowest population states, the National Popular Vote bill has passed in nine state legislative chambers, and been enacted by 3 jurisdictions.

    Throughout the country, the bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 small, medium, and large states. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions possessing 132 electoral votes – 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

    NationalPopularVote
    Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

  33. MarkedMan says:

    @toto: Just to clarify my position. I’m not saying it is impossible because it requires amending the Constitution. I’m expressing my frustration about articles and posts that simply reiterate how badly the system needs changing but don’t provide any realistic way to change things. Your National Popular Vote act may do that and I commend your realistic approach.

    With all that said, I’m not entirely sure what the outcomes of the change might be. One potential positive rarely discussed: right now the States that consistently have the worst economic outcomes, educational systems, pollution control laws, etc, seem to have national power much greater than their population would suggest. Perhaps if there were less of a need to cater to these places we could wrest control from people intent on implementing their failed governing philosophy at a national level.

  34. Console says:

    I’m sorry, but preventing constitutional crises is more important to electoral design than making sure some jackass in Ohio is the focal point of a campaign.

    The main point though is that all the people that defend the current state of the electoral college, defend it on a premise that requires a make-believe axiom. America isn’t divided nationally by state concerns. It’s divided by political parties. There is no urban-rural or big-small conflicts to be scared of. It’s red vs. blue. Always has been. That’s why the original presidential election system didn’t work. The Founders wanted to pretend political parties wouldn’t have influence.

  35. Alex says:

    @MarkedMan:

    any discussion of reform is pointless if it requires amending the constitution. The small states will not allow it.

    I’m not so sure – I used to live in a small state (Connecticut) that gets no attention from the presidential campaign because it’s solidly Democratic, but would presumably get attention because there are large pockets of swingable Northeastern Republicans. In fact, the eight smallest states are all in the same boat: WY, VT, ND, AK, SD, DE, MT, RI – all ignored as safe states for one side or the other. (The ninth-smallest is NH, which is certainly very invested in the current system as a swing state.) I think you underestimate how popular ditching the EC might really be in a lot of the small states, if the change is messaged correctly.

  36. Dave Anderson says:

    @Vast Variety: Oh no, the candidates have to campaign where most of the voters live — the horror that we are not overrepresenting the power of rural and sparsely populated areas —- the horror

  37. Trumwill says:

    What Alex said. The small states don’t actually gain much traction from the EC because only one (NH) is truly a swing state, and the main problem with the EC is that if you’re not in a swing state, your vote doesn’t matter much.