Electoral College

The Electoral College Is Just OK

Somewhere south of "a work of genius"; somewhere north of "a disaster for our democracy."

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Every once in a while, we talk about the Electoral College. Usually we do so because someone has decided they would have a better chance to win the presidency if we reformed the presidential election system in some way. If at first you don't succeed, change the rules. As President Obama was cruising to reelection in 2012, it was Donald Trump declaring that the "electoral college is a disaster for a democracy." Now it is the Democrats who have decided the Electoral College needs to go. The "blue wall" is dead! Long live the national popular vote!

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been busily rolling out proposals to dramatically remake the American economy, society and government. At a CNN town hall, she declared that we need "to get rid of the Electoral College." In a giant non sequitur, she tied Electoral College reform to voting reform and ballot access to make sure every "vote gets counted." Somewhat more plausibly, she noted that the Electoral College fosters battleground states that garner the lion's share of attention and that candidates should instead take the view that "every vote matters," even those in safe states. On this she echoes the arguments of many Democratic activists who have recently been touting the national popular vote as a way to deemphasize the importance of swing states like Ohio and Florida. Jamelle Bouie was more honest in simply noting that the Democrats have recently performed better in the national popular vote and could expect to control the White House more often in the near future if we scrapped the Electoral College.

This has spurred a predictable response from Republicans. Sen. Marco Rubio declared the Electoral College to be "a work of genius." Others have pointed to it as a key bulwark against "pure democracy."

Let's not go crazy. The Electoral College was a ramshackle device that sealed a compromise that allowed the delegates in Philadelphia in 1787 to agree on a new constitutional framework to replace the failing Articles of Confederation. It never worked as expected. It has been abandoned everywhere else it has been tried. And it has some truly horrible features that should have been reformed long ago. Nonetheless, the Electoral College has some modest virtues, and the national popular vote has its own drawbacks.

The last time someone contended that the Electoral College protected us from pure democracy was in November of 2016 when a bunch of Democratic Party activists tried to overthrow two hundred years of settled constitutional practice and democratic norms by lobbying Republican presidential electors to stop Donald Trump from being recognized as the legitimately elected president. The so-called Hamilton Electors badly misread both the founding-era debates and American constitutional history.

The founders thought we needed the intermediary of presidential electors not because they thought the alternative would be pure democracy, but because they thought that in the absence of electoral campaigns and mass communication the people would be unlikely to come to any agreement on a single individual to elevate to the one national office of chief magistrate. But as soon as George Washington had served his time in the White House, political parties coordinated the vote around a narrow set of national candidates and presidential electors were reduced to being nothing more than the mechanical arm of the electorate. As 2016 reminded us, the existence of living, breathing presidential electors is a dangerous flaw in the constitutional system that can create only mischief. A sensible constitutional amendment would simply excise the office of presidential elector.

The Electoral College scheme also comes with the little noticed provision for what happens if no one wins a majority of the electoral votes. At that point, the members of the House of Representatives, voting by state, chooses a president from the top-three candidates from the general election. The good news is that Gary Johnson would have been in the mix had that contingency been needed in 2016. The bad news is that the country probably would have gone even more bonkers. The constitutional drafters thought Congress would often have to pick a winner from a crowded presidential field. Political parties have made that largely unnecessary. But the possibility that Congress might ever be called upon to choose the president is not a reassuring thought.

But, alas, Senator Warren did not have either of those features of our presidential selection in mind.

The more meaningful feature of the Electoral College is its allocation of electoral votes among the states. The Electoral College mirrors the "federal ratio" of representation of Congress. The compromises that had been hammered out among the competing interests in creating Congress were just carried over to the selection of the president. This could have been done more naturally by letting Congress pick the president, but the founders worried that such a president would not be independent enough and Congress would become too tempting of a target for corruption. The Electoral College could serve as a temporary Congress.

It is no surprise that proposals to get rid of the Electoral College come alongside loud complaints about the design of the U.S. Senate. Both give greater weight in national deliberations to the interests of the small and rural states. Warren implied that without the Electoral College presidential candidates would pay more attention to Mississippi, which won her applause at her town hall in Jackson, Mississippi. In truth, they would pay more attention to California, New York, and Texas — big states with lots of individual votes but not currently in play if we are focused on plurality winners in individual states. Mississippi, as well as other small states like Wisconsin and Iowa, will be an afterthought.

How one feels about the Electoral College really depends on how one feels about giving more power in national politics to the voters of the state of California and to large urban centers like New York City and Chicago. Unsurprisingly, the Democrats currently think that would be great. But we should think about more than short-term partisan advantage when thinking about constitutional rules. Should we prefer that presidents assemble coalitions of supporters dispersed throughout the country, or is it enough that they can tap into deep wells of support in particular parts of the country? Is politics better if large, purple-hued, swing states play an outsized role in presidential contests, or would we be better served by a politics in which presidential candidates cater to their base?

And we should not underestimate the changes that would be wrought in how we organize politics if we abandon our current way of doing things. Early party primaries in small rural states like Iowa and New Hampshire have their virtues if candidates are launching a marathon of state-based campaigns. If the winning candidate will instead need to assemble a national popular vote, then parties will need to alter the process by which they select candidates so as to be best positioned for the general election. If we will be counting a national popular vote for president, then we really need a national set of election laws and regulations rather than the patchwork quilt of state laws that we use now. If every vote matters, then we might not need to spend so much of our attention arguing over ballots in Broward County, but we might need to be prepared to deal with the new incentive to shade the vote count in every county in the Union.

The Electoral College is a creaky system that we would be unlikely to adopt if we were drafting a constitution today. But it makes a modest contribution toward moderating and nationalizing our politics, and it has the advantage of being familiar if not necessarily loved. We could do worse.

NEXT: Border Agents Detained a 9-Year-Old U.S. Citizen for 30+ Hours

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “a disaster for our democracy”

    Probably so, but it is a God send for a republic – – – – – –

    1. The same God who sent Trump to save the Jews. I’m glad that Pompeo (#1 in his class at West Point which is almost as good as #1 at Georgetown Prep) pointed that out because I had been under the spurious impression that Trump had been sent by God to save the zygotes.

      Is it true that Trump, Pompeo, and Sarah Sanders can’t travel on the same aeroplane together?

      1. That’s a scurrilous fucking rumor that has no place in civilized discourse.

        Actually, they can fly on the same plane but it banks heavily to one side, and you can only circle the airport so many times before people start asking questions.

        1. on Saturday I got a gorgeous Ariel Atom after earning $6292 this ? four weeks past, after lot of struggels Google, Yahoo, Facebook proffessionals have been revealed the way and cope with gape for increase home income in suffcient free time.You can make $9o an hour working from home easily??.

          VIST THIS SITE RIGHT HERE >>=====>>>> http://www.payshd.com

      2. I essentially started three weeks past and that i makes $385 benefit $135 to $a hundred and fifty consistently simply by working at the internet from domestic. http://xurl.es/ReadMore

        1. Reason.com = spam

          1. Yep. A simple filter to flag a few key words could reduce the distractions. It’s as if the publishers of reason.com never actually look at the stuff we mark as spam.

        2. Why everyone is confused just join at home online job .This is really good opurtunity for home mom just join this website and Earn money by monthly check .So u cant be miss and join this site as soon as posible .
          Here what i am doo ?

          ??????? http://www.finestylereview.com

        3. Why everyone is confused just join at home online job .This is really good opurtunity for home mom just join this website and Earn money by monthly check .So u cant be miss and join this site as soon as posible .
          Here what i am doo ?

          ??????? http://www.finestylereview.com

    2. Why everyone is confused just join at home online job .This is really good opurtunity for home mom just join this website and Earn money by monthly check .So u cant be miss and join this site as soon as posible .
      Here what i am doo ?

      ??????? http://www.AproCOIN.Com

    3. Truly, this says it all–

      “a disaster for our democracy”

      Probably so, but it is a God send for a republic – – – – – –

      We don’t HAVE a democracy. We never have had a democracy.

      To write this. damning the electoral college with faint praise, while starting from a point such as this is unforgivably stupid.

      What is the point of sites like Reason when it’s writers are so obviously ignorant?

      To spread ignorance? To create such a fog of idiocy that libertarians can’t see that the flag they’re following has turned red?

      There are simple facts here.

      The Electoral College works precisely as intended.

      The only people complaining or ‘damning with faint praise’ are those who have been kept from the levers of power by the Electoral College working precisely as intended.

      And let’s be clear–part of that intent was to keep people such as these–tyrants-in-waiting– from EVER getting power.

      We need to get it down to the local level that we might wrest control of our cities back from their leftist political machines.

  2. Two structural amplifications of yahoo voices are at least one too many in modern America.

    I’d ditch the Electoral College and keep the Senate as it is . . . at least for now.

    Either change should follow enlargement of the Supreme Court — which, conveniently, should be the easiest improvement to arrange. One-vote majority in the House, one-vote majority in the Senate, presidential signature.

    1. Ditch the electoral college and what…

      Win 50.00001% of the vote and your President? There is no national vote total. Just compilations by media orgs. And what’s to stop some state (say California) from dropping it’s voting age to 16 (or lower) to maximize its already outsized influence.

      What if we have a result like the 1880 election where 2000 votes separated the top 2 candidates. What would a nationwide recount where each side was looking to maximize their count while discrediting the opposition look like?

      Win a plurality of the vote and your President? What if there are 6 regional candidates and someone wins with 19% of the vote.

      1. Milo, in which of your scenarios is it better if the victory goes to the candidate with fewer votes? And on what principle?

        1. Well scenario 1 (winning with 50.00001%) is a recipe for cheating as unprecedented levels as every municipality, district and ward will be in a position to “fix” the election for their candidate.

          Additionally under scenario 1, we will experience a race to the bottom, as states attempt to maximize their voter totals by allowing 14 year-olds, illegal aliens with no English skills or knowledge of our country, death row inmates, etc. to vote.

          What could be worse? Scenario 2. How would the Rev. Kirkland and the blue staters like it if a Regional Candidate from the South running on an explicit Pro-South Agenda won with 19% of the vote beating out a bunch of liberals who split the rest of the vote?

          1. Easy enough to set a uniform minimum voting age for Presidential elections.

            And the EC is a great scenario for cheating.

            1. The EC localizes cheating; There’s no point to it in most of the states, this allows the states that are actually competitive to be subjected to a higher level of scrutiny.

              Suppose that, in 2000, instead of that mess in Florida, it had gone national? We’d see that in a popular vote system.

              But… We already have the popular vote for other offices, so the problem has already gone national.

              I would say that, independent of whatever is done with the EC, we desperately, desperately need electoral administration reform in this country. It’s a mess, and in some ways, (California legalizing vote harvesting!) it’s actually getting worse, not better.

              1. The problem may be apparent in a number of states (or even all of them), but it hasn’t “already gone national”, because there aren’t any national elections.

            2. Easy enough, huh?
              Because it is so easy to set Citizenship standards, registration standards, photo ID requirements, absentee requirements, and provisional ballot standards.

              As long as some states welcome illegals registering and voting, and as some as you can vote in multiple jurisdictions, as long as you can register and vote in the same trip, as long as Ballot Harvesting is an evil subversion of democracy in NC, and yet standard operating procedure in CA, NY, and many other states….

              VIVE LA COLLEGE ELECTORAL!

              1. Go back to watching Fox.

          2. Exactly. Look at what left did in Orange County, California, and in Dade and Broward Counties in Florida. Somehow, Democrats always manage to “find votes” after the polls close.

            1. Those damned Democratics are so clever that they steal elections right and left and somehow arrange it so that only Republican malfeasance is ever discovered.

              1. Vote harvesting i malfeasance. The Dems did in 6 districts in CA what the Republicans did in one district in NC.

              2. Oh bullshit, the democrats are either directly or through their minions are almost exclusively behind voter fraud.

                Peddle your pablum at Avon or. Edit !atters.

                1. ” the democrats are either directly or through their minions are almost exclusively behind voter fraud.”

                  Absolutely. And the fact that they never get caught and no evidence of their evil is ever exposed just proves how devilishly clever those bastards are.

                  1. They never get caught?

                    What are you talking about?

                    In Florida, right before the Bush fiasco, an election in the very area where all the fuss occurred was not just overturned, but the seat went to the Republican because Democratic vote fraud was so rampant.

      2. President James Janos! Yes! Maybe then we could get fake seal clubbing outlawed.

      3. I personally would be willing to trade the electoral college for ranked choice voting being required for all elections for senators, representatives and the presidential tickets.

        -dk

      4. Those on any form of government assistance should not be allowed to vote. Period. I’d amend the Constitution to say that. Otherwise, you have people who don’t produce voting themselves a piece of those who do?which is what we have today.

        1. So what you’re saying is reinstitute slavery.

          1. Sounds more like abolishing slavery; don’t you read Ayn Rand.

            1. Exactly right! Currently we are enslaved to all those old mfers sucking up all our resources with Medicare and SS. It’s not an accident that it’s the SS, you know. We need to cut those suckers off so they fall into the poverty that they so well deserve! And, anyone who has ever received any benefit from public education. Those moochers and second-handers!

              And, anybody who can’t recite John Galt’s speech from memory should not be allowed to vote. Or, anybody who doesn’t recognize a hamburger as a sandwich.

            2. Rand was a writer of polemic fiction – not someone who actually had the slightest insight into how ACTUAL plutarchies have functioned throughout history.

      5. Ditch the electoral college and what…

        Make the electoral college MUCH stronger. In practice our constitution has no real checks on a President. As long as that is a single incumbent, then that office is the only ‘representative of everyone’ and it elevates charisma, demagoguery, etc above the mundane stuff of office.

        We should be voting for electors by NAME. That itself would eliminate the practice where parties put loyalist nobody hacks into those slots so they can vote for Prez and then disband. Hell, third parties could nominate ‘friendly’ electors on their slate who are simply very well respected/known and independent and let them BE independent. Once voters have to vote for those electors, we will get a lot more states moving to NE/ME type splitting or all the ‘innovative’ types of voting cuz voting for 20+ electors would be a real hassle. That also provides far more meta-info as to what that particular election really meant and what voters actually intended over time.

        With a capable EC, it could have a function beyond simply voting Prez. Maybe a formal role in eg being an ombudsman/auditor for the executive branch or ‘assisting’ the Prez re a legislative agenda for those first two years. It would pretty much eliminate Prez usurping a ‘mandate’. After two years (next election), it disbands.

        1. That sounds like a better idea than either of the two reactionary views on either side.

        2. Know when the writer said that the EC has failed in most places it’s been tried?

          Well, this idea is one of the reasons for the failure.

          1. Well I have no idea which specific ones he is saying ‘failed’. Vatican still uses that to elect Popes. Holy Roman Empire failed for a lot of reasons but I’ve never heard it was because of their prince-electors. France and Ireland still use such a system for their upper houses. The Lincoln-Douglas debates (which aren’t a failure by any measure) were actually speeches during the election of the state legislature which would then select one of them to be Senator – which was an electoral college mechanism that did fail but not for the reason above.

    2. The constitution implicitly sets the number of justices at 9. And it explicitly says you can’t eliminate equal suffrage in the Senate.

      1. The SC has become a political shadow legislature. If everybody just agreed that, for the Congress to assume new power in an area it didn’t have traditionally, and didn’t have explicit, granted authority (e.g. alcohol, which required an amendment to control) that an amendment was required, we’d be fine.

        Big increases in government power should be agreed to by a supermajority who have to live under it, and should not be a prize for a brief, transient majority.

        This is a feature as a bullwark against collapse into dictatorship, and not a bug.

        1. Krayt, the flip side of your observation is big increases in government power for submajorities. Why do you think that’s better?

          Also, since the founding, big demographic changes have undermined the practicalities of per-state voting. The nation now finds itself in a situation where hope of ratification of any amendment hinges not on assembling a mere super-majority, but instead on finding a double-super-duper-monster majority?a demand mostly beyond the the bounds of reason. Insisting on amendments for changes in the formulas of governance is no longer something a forthright person can do in good faith. When you demand an amendment, you are really just saying, “Piss off.” And of course, people who demand amendments from political adversaries never hold themselves to the same standard.

          I’ll give you an example. Instead of making a right to arms for personal self defense a matter for the Supreme Court, self-defense proponents should have sought a constitutional amendment. See? I just told pro-gun advocates to piss off.

          1. The nation now finds itself in a situation where hope of ratification of any amendment hinges not on assembling a mere super-majority, but instead on finding a double-super-duper-monster majority?a demand mostly beyond the the bounds of reason. Insisting on amendments for changes in the formulas of governance is no longer something a forthright person can do in good faith.

            This would be an excellent point if it weren’t instantly contradicted by the fact that there have been no fewer than six constitutional amendments adopted since WW2 (during which time there has been no significant change in the practicalities of assembing the necessary supermajority – just two states added to the pre-existing forty eight.) And five of them were “amendments for changes in the formulas of governance” – and all of those were adopted within five years of introduction. So if an amendment is widely acceptable it’s not at all hard to follow the amendment process.

            I’ll give you an example. Instead of making a right to arms for personal self defense a matter for the Supreme Court, self-defense proponents should have sought a constitutional amendment.

            Eh ? The right to arms for personal self defense folk were the ones arguing that no amendment was required, since the right was already there. They only needed to go to the SC because inferior courts had been refusing to enforce that right.

            1. The right to arms for personal self defense folk were the ones arguing that no amendment was required, since the right was already there. They only needed to go to the SC because inferior courts had been refusing to enforce that right.

              Inferior courts refused to enforce that right because legally it didn’t exist until Heller. You don’t seem to get the point. On the questions of rights and court activism, there is no substantive difference between Heller and Roe v. Wade. In each case, plaintiffs thought they were entitled to rights not previously recognized, and the Court agreed. In either case, it is equally plausible (or implausible) for opponents to reply, “They should have got an amendment.”

              As for the amendments, the last time a successful amendment passed Congress was 48 years ago, in1971. That was the anodyne amendment for voting at 18. The last amendment with any real potential to generate inter-state controversy was the poll tax amendment, passed by Congress in 1962?57 years ago. And of course there were few states left by then with poll taxes to resist it.

              As a tool for resolving constitutional controversies nationwide, the amendment process looks dead. Amendments of that type did pass, but that ended in 1933, with repeal of prohibition. With that history, saying to a political adversary, “Go get an amendment,” is just a taunt.

              1. Inferior courts refused to enforce that right because legally it didn’t exist until Heller. You don’t seem to get the point. On the questions of rights and court activism, there is no substantive difference between Heller and Roe v. Wade.

                Well, the obvious difference is that in the case of Heller, the right was plainly visible in the unambiguous text of the 2nd Amendment, easily discernible by the ordinary application of English grammar. The reason the right had not been recognised previously was that the courts had previously chosen to ignore it, because they didn’t like it. (And in many cases continue to choose to ignore it, notwithstanding Heller.) Whereas the right discerned in Roe v Wade was entirely invisible in any text. It emerged simply from the Judges’ wishes.

                So there is a similarity – the recognition of the right to abortion in Roe, and the refusal to recognise the right to bear arms prior to Heller, both derived from judicial hubris – “jurisprudence” based on the rule of judges in preference to the rule of law.

              2. As a tool for resolving constitutional controversies nationwide, the amendment process looks dead

                As a tool for resolving constitutional controversies nationwide, where there is no wide consensus on the solution, it’s always been dead. That’s the point of the system. You don’t get to change the constitution on a narrow partisan majority. Feature, not bug.

                What you are complaining about is that you can’t change the bits of the governing structure in the constitution that the Ds would like to change and the Rs wouldn’t. Unless you can flip a good chunk of the Rs, though not a majority, and ditto for the R states. But why do you imagine any functional system for changing the constitution would allow you to do so ?

                1. Wait, are you saying that states with simple majority referendums for constitutional changes aren’t doing it right? But it works so well! /sarc

      2. Implicitly what? Can you say more?

    3. If we went to a straight de ocracy it would mean people like Arty would had to be periodically culled to thin their population. The need to learn their place. Just like every other dirty hippie.

      1. No, don’t cull them. We need them around so that we can punch them at the end of a hard day.

        1. I would tie the culling into an organ harvesting program. You can save a lot of money on overhead if you omit anesthesia.

          1. Oh, boy, that’s a great idea. Not only should we eliminate them, we should punish them without mercy while we’re doing it. Who needs Viagra!

            1. They wouldn’t need viagra. There would be no heart left to pump any of their blood.

    4. Put it in the form of a Constitutional Amendment and we’ll have a look at it.

      Otherwise, the whining Left can piss off. The Left is a great deal too fond of measures that should require an Amendment, but which they decline to put forward in that manner. Gun control comes to mind.

      Also; before I back a popular vote amendment I’ll wants to see a good in-depth investigation into voting practices in places like California. People keep telling me that Her Shrillness, Hillary the (would-be) First won the popular vote. And I keep asking “How do you know?”. Vote fraud is rampant, no matter how hard the Democrats (who are the biggest beneficiaries) pretend otherwise. Shrillary’s margin was something like 5 million. How many of those votes were illegal?

      1. Vote fraud is rampant, no matter how hard the Democrats (who are the biggest beneficiaries) pretend otherwise. Shrillary’s margin was something like 5 million. How many of those votes were illegal?

        If it’s so rampant, the GOP is not without resources. They maybe should look for it, not just tellingly insist without evidence.

        1. Evidence? EVIDENCE? we don’t need no stinkin’ evidence, we need ACTION!!!

        2. Looking for it is widely condemned as racist.

          1. When and how is investigating an election considered racist?

            I think you’re mixing this up with assuming fraud and using that to rationalize passing policies that burden going to the polls. Which when you have people caught on tape saying it’ll discourage blacks from going to the polls…yeah, not a good look.

            1. So you’re saying blacks are too stupid to get photo ID? That appears to be the argument of the left.

              1. Nah, I’m saying that would-be vote suppressors are relying on blacks with piles of unpaid parking tickets to be too smart to go down to the courthouse, prove their identity, and seek photo ID from folks who don’t want them to have it. I think you know that.

                1. But, why don’t they have ID already? You can’t even shop on Amazon without an ID, you know.

                2. So you’re saying blacks can’t get photo ID because they’re all shiftless scofflaws and lowlifes? Is that the argument if the left?

                  1. “So you’re saying blacks can’t get photo ID because they’re all shiftless scofflaws”

                    Either that, or as you have suggested, too stupid. What other reasons could there be for the facts that strict voter ID laws disproportionately affect minority voters and Republicans are so keen on getting those laws enacted?

                3. Nah, I’m saying that would-be vote suppressors are relying on blacks with piles of unpaid parking tickets to be too smart to go down to the courthouse, prove their identity, and seek photo ID from folks who don’t want them to have it. I think you know that.

                  You ARE aware that a driver’s license IS a photo Id suitable for voting ID, right? That for the black guy to get piles of unpaid parking tickets he’d have to have one, right?

              2. “Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The anti-Semites have the right to play. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.”

                1. Sarcastr0, thank you for that. I hope no one here thinks you attribute anti-semitism, or only anti-semitism. Your quote led me to this, as well:

                  The anti?Semite understands nothing about modern society. He would be incapable of conceiving of a constructive plan; his action cannot reach the level of the methodical; it remains on the ground of passion. To a long?term enterprise he prefers an explosion of rage analogous to the running amuck of the Malays. His intellectual activity is confined to interpretation; he seeks in historical events the signs of the presence of an evil power. Out of this spring those childish and elaborate fabrications which give him his resemblance to the extreme paranoiacs.

                  1. Indeed.
                    Sartre’s antisemite is just a pre-Internet shitlord with a particular focus.

                2. That also works perfectly with the substitution for “anti-Semites” of “postmodernists” and their progeny like “critical race theorists”

                  1. That also works perfectly with the substitution for “anti-Semites” of “postmodernists” and their progeny like “critical race theorists”

                    That stands to reason since they’re all the same people.

        3. Meh. We could just pass reasonable measures that make fraud more difficult, like requiring ID in order to vote.

          1. Which has costs associated with it in terms of the franchise. So I think waiting for evidence before diving in seems prudent. Unless, of course, concern about fraud isn’t your actual agenda.

          2. That didn’t work so well in Texas where we have voter ID and about 90k illegal aliens registered to vote. Sure, lots of them happen to be naturalized citizens, but there is no good reason why someone not eligible to be president should have the right to vote. Sounds like perfect logic to me.

            What I find most puzzling is why the State of Texas has identified all these criminals but has refused to investigate and prosecute. I think the Republicanists have been coopted by the libtards and turned into quislings.

            1. It’s hard to get things done with so many treasonous progtards in our midst.

              1. Have you never been to Texas?

                1. Are you saying Austin isn’t a haven for leftist shitbags? Texas has produced both Bobby O’Rourke and Julian Castro. Plus that Abortion Barbie woman.

                  1. Of course Austin is a haven for leftist shitbags. The only people in Austin who are not lefitst shitbags are the people who control the State government. As for O’Rourke and the Castro brother, neither is from Austin, so there are, indeed, a smattering of leftist shitbags sprinkled throughout the rest of the state. Mostly in areas controlled by those murdering, raping Latinos like Harris and Ft Bend counties.

                    Boy, that 2018 senate race was too close for comfort, wasnt it? But, thank God the Canadian named Rafael Edward who calls himself “Ted” and who doesn’t speak Spanish was abe to squeak through. Where else but in Texas?

      2. Vote fraud is rampant, no matter how hard the Democrats (who are the biggest beneficiaries) pretend otherwise.

        “How do you know?”

        1. The evidence is clear. If not for rampant vote fraud including busing voters from state to state and precinct to precinct to vote for the Socialists, busing operations so massive that they are visible from the international space station, Trump would have won the popular vote in a landslide. The DEEP STATE, of course, already has the evidence from the space station cameras and is keeping it from us in order to protect their sinecures so that they don’t have to move to Nevada and earn honest livings.

          1. “The evidence is clear. [Bunch of stuff that is not evidence, but complaints about things I think exist and dislike].”

            What evidence?

            1. Just watch TrumpSuckerCentral (aka Fox News) for a while and you’ll see all the evidence you need. Be sure to abstain from eating or drinking for at least eight hours first.

      3. Funny. I found your comment just after I wrote this:

        Also, since the founding, big demographic changes have undermined the practicalities of per-state voting. The nation now finds itself in a situation where hope of ratification of any amendment hinges not on assembling a mere super-majority, but instead on finding a double-super-duper-monster majority?a demand mostly beyond the the bounds of reason. Insisting on amendments for changes in the formulas of governance is no longer something a forthright person can do in good faith. When you demand an amendment, you are really just saying, “Piss off.” And of course, people who demand amendments from political adversaries never hold themselves to the same standard.

        I’ll give you an example. Instead of making a right to arms for personal self defense a matter for the Supreme Court, self-defense proponents should have sought a constitutional amendment. See? I just told pro-gun advocates to piss off.

      4. And naturally, those who keep telling us that Clinton “won the popular vote” (as if that somehow matters) just assume that if the process had changed before the 2016 election that she certainly would have won the popular vote. Forget about all the people who voted for Johnson, Stein, and McMullin, etc. because of course they would certainly have voted the same way, because of course none of them actually had a preference between Trump and Clinton.

    5. There has never been a popular vote for President in the US. Since the Electoral College has always existed in the US government for presidential elections, the rules for elections have been done under that system.

      If the system was “popular vote” then the results may be different, but it is wholly incorrect to says anyone ever “won the popular vote”. They may have won an aggregate plurality of votes cast, but since the rules were set for the EC, it’s not correct to count them in aggregate. Who knows how many conservatives in California might have stayed home and not voted at all because they knew their votes were worthless under the EC rules for California?

      You can’t say a team would have won the football game if 50-yd field goals were worth 4 points, because the strategy for when such an attempt is made would be different under different rules. Same thing with EC vs popular vote.

      1. Hear hear!

        Couldn’t have said it better. How do I upvote this?

      2. Not to mention two Democrats on the ballot for Senate would tend to suppress the GOP vote.

        1. Not as effectively as keeping the GOP Presidential candidate off the ballot which is the next Dem scheme.

      3. In addition to the people who stayed home in non-swing states (i.e. your “who knows how many conservatives in California might have stayed home”), you have third party voters in those same non-swing states who, because of the EC rules, said, “Doesn’t matter whether I vote for Trump or Clinton, so I’ll vote for Johnson/Stein/Other because at least then my vote shows up as *something*.” If the system was “popular vote” a lot of those people probably would have expressed a preference between the two candidates with a likelihood of actually winning.

        And I’m with Aspiring Statesman in wanting to upvote this.

    6. I’m a little disappointed with your post Rev. Stupid and inflammatory? Yes, of course, but in a prosaic, unimaginative way. This particular crazy has already been used. How about some original crazy ideas?

    7. No, the two structures of the Senate and the Electoral College are insufficient protection for small-r republicans and small-l libertarians against urban-dwelling liberal-fascist bigots. We also need to overturn Reynolds v. Sims and bring back proper senate-like protections against those liberal-fascist bigots in State senates as well as in the US Senate.

    8. How are you going to change how the Senate is constituted? That’s the one part of the constitution that cannot be changed by an amendment, Wyoming and Vermont would each have to voluntarily give up their Senate representation, and any state would have a veto over giving more Senate seats to more populous states.

      1. It can be changed by an amendment, but it also requires a state’s consent to give up equal suffrage in the Senate. Which means that, like many amendments, it’s not going to ever happen.

    9. Kirkland-

      Nobody likes you.

      Nobody finds you funny or interesting.

      You will never change a single person’s mind.

      You waste your time here.

      1. You go! That’s the way to put that sleazy MF in his place.

  3. Either way my state gets shafted. A lot of other states are in a similar position.

    1. Large states get more say in the House when creating budgets. The Senate and EC equals things out for the small states in this Constitutional Democratic Republic.

      1. What exactly needs to be equaled out?

        BTW, I don’t have a problem with the EC as I recognize that no political system can/will be perfect.

        1. Read the Constitution and find out.

          1. Have you ever actually read the Constitution?

          2. So you’re a raging dumbass and when stuck in a corner you lash out with some hunt to find non-existent Easter Eggs.

            Yeah…no…

        2. “What exactly needs to be equaled out?” — The Federal Government is a Union of 50-States. The House represents Total U.S. Population (the so called popular vote) and the Senate represents EACH of the 50-States which should be represented appropriately.

      2. States don’t “say” anything.

        People do.

        1. People do through their state legislatures. One of the agreements to form the federal government was that there would be a round table somewhere where the states sat as equals. This is the Senate, with some overlap in the EC because of it.

          This “every vote should be counted” argument is facetiously against this. That’s fine, except the motivation is less than the purity of that statement and more on the contemporaneous nature of “my side must win”, which informs the high value judgement ladeled on those statements.

          1. Mind read much?

    2. Nothing you can do about it, might as well enjoy it. That’s what Ivana used to say.

  4. Electoral College: One of the finest principles the Founders included.

    1. Electoral College: One of the finest principles the Founders included.

      The “Founders” could barely agree on the time of day let alone agree on a single “principle”. The US Constitution is a document of compromise and flawed in many ways. The Electoral College especially.

      1. It really isn’t. The electoral college prevents progtards from running roughshod over most of the country.

        1. Not after the Supreme Court is enlarged, it won’t.

          But you guys should be accustomed by now to liberal-libertarian progress that crushes wingnuts’ bigoted dreams and backward preferences.

          1. Trumo will enlarge it first, so fuck you Arty. Progtard’s days are numbered.

            1. Absolutely fantastic! First nominee should be Jeanine Pirro. I hear she’s beteen gigs right now and it would be a great gift for Brett. She could teach him how to drive like a Kennedy.

              He’s already got Thomas to watch porn and exchange fart jokes with, but it would be nice if he had somebody to get drunk and do drugs with, so maybe Jeanine’s not the right choice, I don’t know.

      2. This is Zinn history–

        The “Founders” could barely agree on the time of day let alone agree on a single “principle”. The US Constitution is a document of compromise and flawed in many ways. The Electoral College especially.

        not real history.

    2. Electoral College:

      One of the dumbest ideas in our constitution.

    3. If originalism makes one thing clear, it’s that the EC was put in based on a principal at all.

      But the founders are more of a shibboleth of your tribe than a fact, eh?

      1. I never like the principal. He was one mean sob. Of course, he was mostly a hippie so we harvested his organs without anesthetic and then all had a good wank.

        1. Throwing out the garbage has never gotten me aroused. Hate to burst your bubble. But sometimes the filth needs to be cleansed.

          And there’s nothing filthier than a bunch of dirty hippies. Maybe you should all just self abort, since you’re into that sort of thing.

          1. We’re all eternally grateful to you for your long career of “throwing out the garbage .” And, to do so without the promise of a happy ending — selfless dedication indeed.

    4. MAGA!

      1. The mournful call of the right-winger who has lost an argument.

        1. Would you have them revert to grunting?

        2. Sarc, no argument has been lost, except by you. Whenever you make one.

          1. Man, I just love Trump logic, almost as much as Trump economics.

            So, one question about Trump logic/economics has been bothering me. Since he can’t get Mexico to pay for the wall, why doesn’t he just use all the money that the other NATO nations have been sending us?

            1. I just love snarky progtards. So simple, dull and thick. I can’t wait to see the apoplexy once Trump wins re-election. You should all consider harming yourselves. Progressive lives are empty and valueless.

              1. “I just love snarky progtards.”

                Me too !!!.

  5. Good analysis overall. I don’t mean to belittle the argument by saying that it mirrors my own stump speech on the topic.

    I disagree with the statement toward the end that abolishing the electoral college would give more power “to large urban centers like New York City and Chicago.” Right now New York City and Chicago can combine with Democrats in the rest of their states to reliably deliver those states to the Democrats. Republicans in those states might as well not vote for president. Going to a national popular vote would decrease New York and Chicago’s outsize influence.

    1. Rural Republicans only get to pitch their votes into the pot if the Dem majority in their States hasn’t kept the Republican candidate off the ballot. Which the NJ Senate has just voted to do, with Washington State waiting in the wings.

      The National Popular Vote exposes the whole country to whatever jiggery pokery the big Democrat States want to pull – votes for illegal aliens, children, the dead, Cook County counting, ballot harvesting, spare sacks of ballots, absentee ballot fraud, Broward arithmetic, Maricopa County “emergency” voting stations, extra voting hours in key Dem districts, and 2018’s newest doozy from Hillsborough County – do a recount and file…..the original count if it’s better for the Dems ! (Actually Broward did this too by “accidentally” missing the filing deadline by a couple of minutes.)

      1. votes for illegal aliens, children, the dead, Cook County counting, ballot harvesting, spare sacks of ballots, absentee ballot fraud,

        Time and time again it’s been proven by investigations by Republicans and Democrats that vote fraud is extremely rare in this country. And the extremely rare times it does happen – it’s usually a Republican who’s behind it (see North Carolina).

        1. “(see North Carolina)”

          Vote harvesting abuses are likely not confined to North Carolina

          Lots of vote harvesting in California, I’m sure it has nothing to do with the GOP House wipe out though.

          1. Going from unsupported positing that something is likely to just throwing out accusations in the course of one sentence.

            This is how conspiracy theories are born.

            1. California has a track record of disenfranchising GOP voters via the jungle primary and phony “independent” redistricting commissions.

              Faking votes is consistent with one party states.

              1. Yeah, faking votes is consistent with open policies you think are unfair.

                You have built an impressive edifice out of BS here.

            2. You say that as if it’s a bad thing.

          2. It’s legal in CA. It’s what Community Organizers do

            1. What are you even on about?

              1. I believe he is speaking to CA legalizing vote harvesting.

              2. BALLOT HARVESTING, numbnuts. It’s LEGAL and ENCOURAGED in many Blue States

                1. Quit whining, bigot.

                  Or not. You lose the culture war either way. How long until whites are replaced as the majority in America?

                2. Vote harvesting abuses != ballot harvesting.

        2. Completely wrong. Anything is rare if you don’t look for it, (See, for example, AG Lynch) and Democrat party operatives make sure that moves to investigate Democrat Standard Operating Procedure election fraud are derailed from the get-go.

          1. Indeed. It’s the very absence of evidence which proves it’s happening!

            Republicans are as free to look for voter fraud as they can be. And they have been looking for it. Desperately. So far, not much. But keep looking. It’s probably the fact that folks are always looking that keeps voter fraud from being a problem.

            1. If you don’t find something behind a tree, that’s evidence of absence. If somebody relentlessly keeps you from looking behind the tree? Not so much.

              1. Yes, finally! #flatearth logic goes mainstream on the VC. Victory is close at hand.

              2. looking behind trees is emblematic of Klan lynchings

              3. Who is keeping anyone from looking behind the tree? No one. Lots of people, including Republicans, have looked, and found nothing.

                Get over it, Brett. You’re wrong, no matter what your Savior Mr. Trump says.

                1. Lots of voter fraud has been found you lying piece of shit.

            2. Most of the claims that it doesn’t exist are on the basis of the Brennan Center saying, “Hey, look how little it’s prosecuted.” But in order to prosecute it, you’d have to look for it. No one is looking for it. The Republicans aren’t looking for it, because they’re afraid to discover that there isn’t any, and the Democrats aren’t looking for it, because they’re afraid to discover that there is. Outside organizations *can’t* look for it, because any attempt look for it would look like (and be) voter suppression.

              1. There is some proof in the fraudulent voter registration efforts of organizations like ACORN, and it’s successors. They were know to register minors and non existent people.

          2. Yet Republicans have looked for vote fraud and not found it.

            Are you saying that the fact that no one’s found it is proof it’s there?

            Might want to rethink that.

            1. There’s plenty of fraud. Democrats promise Obamaphones to Shaniqua and food stamps to Rosa to buy her kids rice and beans. They promise to vote for Democrats. That’s self-dealing, which is fraud.

              1. Obama established the free/subsidized phone fraud in 1984. Probably while visiting his native Kenya using his Indonesian passport.

              2. The Conspirators aren’t bigots, but they have cultivated a following of bigots.

                Not a good look for professors trying to persuade their colleagues to engage in more affirmative action for faculty candidates who are movement conservatives.

                1. #oliviajadeliberalgenius

  6. The Senate, and its analog in the Electoral College, grants dignity to each state.

    Otherwise, Mississippi and Wyoming would be almost totally irrelevant in American politics. That would be a loss.

    1. Plus, why would small states have joined the USA if large states can just treat them like slaves.

      All the states need to have some say in this Experiment or why bother.

      1. How do you make a state a slave?

        1. The supremacy clause.

    2. No they wouldn’t be irrelevant. A MS or WY voter would be just as relevant as a CA or TX voter.

      Under the EC the 4.5 million CA voters who vote for Trump are irrelevant.

      1. This is what people keep missing. If we had the NPV then states wouldn’t matter to the presidential election.

      2. In the last election, if the winner had been decided by popular vote, the 4.5 million CA voters who voted for Trump would still have been irrelevant.

        1. Right but some people including Trump believe there were more Californians who would have voted for him but didn’t bother.

        2. In the last election, if the winner had been decided by popular vote, the 7.8 million people who voted for people other than Clinton or Trump probably would have expressed a preference between one or the other. The careful observer will note that this number is more than 2.5 times the margin of popular votes between Clinton and Trump. I don’t think going back in time and removing the EC would result in the slam dunk for Clinton that most of the people arguing for removing the EC (i.e. Clinton supporters) think it would be.

          1. We simply do not know how the “popular” vote would have turned out under any system other than the one that existed. It’s easy to say that a significant, perhaps decisive, number of those who voted for the vanity candidates would have voted for either Trump or Clinton, but we have no idea of quantity nor direction. From the 2000 experience, we do know that even in very close elections lots of people will choose to throw their votes away on assorted cranks and crackpots other than the cranks and crackpots nominated by the major parties. Many blame Nader, for example, for Gore’s loss, completely ignoring Dumbo’s ineptitude.

            Perhaps many Trump voters in California, and Clinton voters in Texas, elected to not bother to vote because of the belief that their votes would not register a difference. But, Democratics in California and Republicans in Texas may also have realized that there wasn’t a chance of their votes mattering and didn’t bother. Not only do we not know, we have no way of knowing; it can’t be tested.

      3. Yeah, good point, I guess the founders missed that. Too bad you weren’t there to impart your obvious wisdom. It is beyond contention that smaller states will be more influential once we get rid of the EC. By the way, do you really think any democrat would honestly (assuming they could be honest) agree with you?

      4. Unfortunately, the reason you think they lies entirely within your own state. If each state apportioned electoral votes by congressional district, which is provided for by that troublesome, talking-point defeating document known as the Constitution, then your votes would be “relevant”. The truth is they are relevant, but your state, and all except Maine and Nebraska, choose the winner-take-all method of elector apportionment. Nice try, though. Research talking points, please, before posting them. It would contribute more to the quality of the discussion.

  7. At that point, the members of the House of Representatives, voting by state, chooses a president from the top-three candidates from the general election. The good news is that Gary Johnson would have been in the mix had that contingency been needed in 2016.

    Er, no.

    Colin Powell (3 Electoral Votes) would have been the third option not Gary Johnson (zero Electoral Votes.)

    1. Yes, his statement is misleading.

      Its the top 3 who get an electoral college vote. If only 2 get such a vote [the usual situation], then the House only has 2 choices.

      I look forward to the quite plausible 269-269 tie in 2020.

    2. But the OP is creating a counterfactual in which no candidate receives a majority of EVs.

      1. I understand that. But the OP misreads the 12th Amendment provision on what happens when there’s no candidate with an EV majority. Yes it goes to the House, yes the House votes by State delegation, but no the guy who came third in the popular vote doesn’t get to be a candidate in the House. It’s the top 3 Electoral Vote winners not the top 3 popular vote winners. Or Top 2 if there are only 2 popular vote winners.

        In 2016, seven people got Electoral Votes : Trump (304), Clinton (227), Colin Powell (3), Kasich (1), Bernie Sanders (1), Ron Paul (1) and Faith Bald Eagle (1). Pretending that Trump and Clinton had shared their EVs more equally so that neither had made it to 270, the 12th Amendment House run off would have been between Trump, Clinton and the 3rd place EV winner – Colin Powell.

        Gary Johnson would not have figured as he wasn’t an EV winner at all, never mind one of the top 3.

  8. “Political parties have made that largely unnecessary.”

    Two political parties are largely a consequence of the electoral college system. No third party can win, so very few try. And those that do (Ross Perot) are simply seen as spoilers. I have no doubt Bloomberg or someone else would run if it were the electoral college were taken away.

    A simple solution which would almost certainly alleviate much of the problem would be: States allocating electors proportionally. But there is no incentive- I don’t see CA giving 1/3 of its electors to republicans any more than I see Texas giving 1/3 to Dems.

    Another solution of course would be to increase the # electors, by increasing the house. As originally envisioned, the unratified “Article the First” amendment would have forced one representative for every 50,000 constituents. North Dakota would gain about 13, but California would gain about 750. Doing this would not even require a constitutional amendment, just an act of congress. The population has quadrupled since 1911, perhaps we ought to quadruple the size of the house. This would also, by the way, reduce gerrymandering the impact and incentive because districts would be smaller and harder to carve into absurd shapes.

    1. “one representative for every 50,000 constituents”

      A 6700 member House. That would be interesting and not in a good way.

      1. It would have its pros and cons. On the pro side: it would make pay to play politics more difficult.

      2. Why not? This is a nation of over 330 million people. By comparison, the UK has a population of about 66 million, and 650 members of parliament. That is about one representative for every 100,000 people. Our ratio is way too small in this country.

    2. The incentive to apportion the vote at the state appears when Party A has a majority in the legislature but Party B is better at winning statewide elections and is expected to carry the state in the next presidential election. This describes, say, Pennsylvania a few years ago where the Democrats did well statewide and had gotten the state’s electoral votes for decades but the Republicans had big legislative majorities. In order to minimize the impact of the Democratic president for candidate getting more votes than the Republican, apportionment looked attractive and indeed Pennsylvania Republicans considered doing this. Of course, the joke would have been on them since Trump carried Pennsylvania in 2016 so apportionment would have hurt him.

      1. Of course, the joke would have been on them since Trump carried Pennsylvania in 2016 so apportionment would have hurt him.

        In fact not. The Pennsylvania proposal was to follow the Maine and Nebraska system of awarding an EV for each congressional district won, plus two for the statewide win. In 2016 Trump won 304 EVs (taking into account his two faithless electors) and that included 10 from Wisconsin, 16 from Michigan and 20 from Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania Trump won 12 of the 18 districts, so on the revised Pennsylvania scheme he would have won 14 Pennsylvania EVs rather than 20. Bringing his total down to 298. So he would still have won the Presidency. Moreover he could have lost statewide in ALL of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and still won 270 EVs, taking into account the 12 he would have got from Pennsylvania.

        I suspect if you had offered him the Pennsylvania scheme before the election he’d have bitten your arm off. Because then he wouldn’t have needed to crack “the Bue Wall” at all. He could have won without winning any of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, just by scooping up 12 Pennsylvania districts.

        If you offered him the same deal for 2020, he’d still take it because even with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s pro D gerrymandering of congressional districts, it’s much easier for him to pick up 10 Pennsylvania districts than to win statewide in one of MI, WI or PA.

  9. The Electoral College is the worst way to elect the President, except for all the others.

    (With a side apology to W.C.)

  10. The problem with this analysis is that it continues the myth that the country is divided between “urban, populous states” and “rural, smaller states.” Political affiliation and preferences aligns less by region or state than it does along the urban/rural divid. Red states have blue spots, in their largest cities. Blue states have large red swaths, in their rural agricultural areas. Red states are red just by virtue of the fact that their cities’ populations don’t outweigh their rural residents; and vice versa, for blue states. Often, the balance is astonishingly close.

    So, politicians who aim for the “popular vote” by focusing their efforts on populous states either have to (i) aim for a broader blue/red coalition than currently required to carry states like California or New York or (ii) aim for blue voters who actually live throughout the country and share similar interests and concerns. Either way, the “risk” inherent in selecting a president by popular vote isn’t there. You’ll either get a president who appeals to people on both sides of the political spectrum – serving the whole country – or you’ll get a president who represents the interests of people who actually live across the country – serving the whole country.

    1. Given the advanced progtardation of a portion of the population, broad appeal is impossible.

      Progressives need to go. As they are mutually exclusive with individual rights and personal liberty.

    2. People do have a State identity, and even people that have migrated to different states are not oblivious to their states idiosyncrasies.

      As Keven Williamson at NR said in his recent column:

      “At the time of the Founding, the people of the smaller states did not desire to enter into a union in which they and their interests would be dominated by the larger ones. The people of the smaller states still do not wish to be politically dominated by the larger ones. “

      1. Kazinski, I’d guess that Williamson said that without evidence. Madison’s opinion, which he recorded, was that the people of the smaller states didn’t give a fig, one way or the other. The political problem was that small state political leaders would have lost personal influence without a generous role for per-state voting, and those political leaders were in a position to block ratification. Madison personally advocated for a more majoritarian system than the Constitution delivered, by the way.

        1. Heh, for not giving a fig, they certainly did a good job of carving out a powerful niche for the small states that’s lasted over 2 centuries.

          I have to admit consequences of decisions made that long ago are usually accidental, but in this case I don’t think so. Especially when you take into account, let me repeat myself, that having 2 senators per state is the one thing that cannot be changed by amendment.

  11. We’re a diverse country, and it’s important that marginalized voices get a little bit of amplification so that they’re not completely drowned out.

    1. This is exactly my thinking, TiP.

      Though a parliament would cure all this silliness.

      1. A parliament would just have its own form of silliness. See UK currently.

        The separate executive is the glory of our system. Its a check on majority tyranny.

        1. The UK, with its first-past-the-post system, is the absolute worst example of parliamentary democracy. The whole point of having a parliamentary system is to have more than two parties, so that everyone can have a party to vote for that they actually vaguely like, and so that compromises are reached in the open.

          1. The UK has more than two parties.

            Its not a coincidence that the two most stable large powers in the democratic age have had first past the post systems.

            Its ok that a quaint country like Holland has its silly system but adult countries need adult systems.

            1. Yes, that’s absolutely a coincidence. Having oceans and seas to protect you against invading armies might make a country seem stable, but realistically…

              To call the UK “stable” in this day and age is ludicrous, and in any event in the 200+ years that the Netherlands has had its current constitution both the UK and the US have had massive civil wars. And the Netherlands wasn’t particularly unstable in the times of the Republic either. We have a democracy that gives everyone a voice and encourages compromise, and it’s given us more stability than either the UK or the US have had in the last 200 years.

              [/schooled]

              1. You should be more respectful of the countries that saved you from the Germans and protected you from the Soviets.

                As I said, its ok for minor countries to have quaint systems.

                1. @Bob: You should be more respectful of the country that helped you beat the English and, come to think of it, gave you that democracy in the first place. (Both directly and because we gave it to the English in 1688.)

              2. in any event in the 200+ years that the Netherlands has had its current constitution both the UK and the US have had massive civil wars

                Eh ? The current constitution of the Netherlands was adopted on the defeat of Napoleon in 1815. The English Civil War ended in 1651. Even if you include the scuffles of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, there has been no civil war in the UK since then.

                A couple of rather feeble Jacobite rebellions in the 18th century hardly amount to a massive civil war. In Ireland, there was a rather minor civil war shortly after independence in the 1920s, but that’s neither the UK nor massive.

              3. I’m not going to disagree with you about the Netherlands history of democracy which at least in some elements predates both the UK and the US.

                I just hope you can fully embrace the democratic results from last weekend.

                An absolute right to free speech would be more reassuring too.

            2. The real problem is that instead of following Joe McCarthy’s example, America relented and allowed the enemy within to grow and flourish. Now they own the democrat party, the entertainment industry, the media, civil service, and most of our educational system.

              More compromises mean accepting defeat and an eventual Marxist totalitarian system. They’re already telegraphing their bullshit.

              So there is only conflict, or surrender. The progressives will never ever stop on their own.

              1. “The real problem is that instead of following Joe McCarthy’s example”

                Yes, the senate would be a grand place if only the senators would maintain a sufficiently high level of spirited lubrication. Perhaps a better example for emulation would be that of Preston Brooks of South Carolina. Congress is long overdue for a good caning.

              2. The great and prescient Senator Joe McCarthy now rests in St Mary’s Cemetary in Appleton, Wisconsin. Sort of on the outskirts, more like suburban Grand Chute. His grave overlooks the Left Bank of the Fox and has a quite nice view. It is high enough on a bluff so that the river’s smell does not reach. Perhaps the odor is no longer as strong as it was when I last visited, but with the current regulatory environment I’m sure that we can Make the Fox Stink Again. If we do things right, maybe we can get the Fox to catch fire. Wouldn’t that be something to see.

        2. Thank God for the revolutionary war. The UK are a bunch of morons.

          1. The Revolutionary War was really just a civil war between two groups of Englishmen, where the home country lost.

            1. Thank God

        3. Bob from Ohio brings up some good points.

          If you want to see a really interesting multi party system look at Israel.

          Political parties come and go with each election cycle. No government can survive without a coalition. The cabinet has the real power and is made up of rivals. The defection of one rather small party can bring down the government and result in new elections.

          It is democratic and fair. It is also very organic to the particular challenges and history in that small country which has done very well against the odds.

          I do not know if it is better or worse than any other. I do not think it could work here. A very unique sort of democracy.

    2. I agree, but I’m not sure how an Electoral College does that.

      1. By making the metric other than pure population, it’s be necessity privileging some subset.

        With the EC it’s people living in states with evenly split populations. Which is arbitrary as heck, but maybe that’s all it takes.

        1. Yea, that thing called “States”. Like the name of the country , the United States, but yea how arbitrary LOL

        2. O, I’m sorry, when TwelveInchPianst mentioned making sure that “marginalized voices get a little bit of amplification”, I didn’t read that to mean “some random subset of the population”.

          1. I am setting a very low bar for marginalized, I grant you.

            1. No lower than the usual grievance monger does. Even the MAGA variety.

      2. Arguably, by making different parts of the government elected by different rules / groups of electors, you make it more difficult for factions to dominate.

    3. The Senate, provides more than a little bit of amplification. At the time of the founding, the EC and per-state voting on amendments were probably okay too. But history shows that demographic changes among the states since the early 20th century have transformed the latter two into a too-heavy thumb on the democratic scales.

      Democratic governance is too heavily burdened if it becomes routine for the winner of the national popular vote for president to lose in the electoral college.

      Constitutionalism is too heavily burdened if the amendment process can’t be used as a tool to ameliorate important national controversies involving rights, governance, and constitutionalism. The last time anything like that happened was 1933, with the repeal of prohibition, or maybe 1964 with the poll tax amendment. All the amendments since have been essentially housekeeping, or on anodyne subjects like the voting age at 18.

      It is hard now even to imagine any nationally contested subject matter on which an amendment could potentially be ratified. It looks like the amendment process is dead?useful only as a taunt to bait opponents during political arguments.

      1. The point of the amendment process is that it isn’t subject to the whims of simple majoritarianism. In controversies where only slightly over half the population feel that X is the right solution, the amendment process prevents the tyranny of the 50% + 1 vote. Which rights are you willing to give up if you’re in the 49.999%?

  12. “But the possibility that Congress might ever be called upon to choose the president is not a reassuring thought.”

    This has already happened prof, in 1824.

    1. And in 1876.

  13. Prof Whit also missed the other big bonus of the EC, which is that electoral fraud is localized, such that there is only a certain amount of benefit that fraud could get you. What good is it for the dead to vote in Chicago if there is not national vote and IL goes to the Dems every year anyway?

    1. What good is it to steal 1,000, or even 1,000,000 votes, if the national popular vote is typically decided by several million votes? It’s a lot more work to steal a million votes nationwide than to steal the 90,000 votes it would have taken to swing North Carolina last time around.

      1. I suppose we are both operating under the assumption that vote stealing will be limited to 1,000,000 or less. In the election of 1876, both sides played that dirty, at least in comparison to today in terms of population.

      2. It’s no good to steal a thousand or even a million votes. But a local machine doesn’t have to steal all the votes to change an election all by itself. If the popular vote is what’s determining the winner, a local machine that has local races already in the bag has a motivation to steal more votes for their presidential candidate. Whereas in a safe state in an Electoral College system, there’s no motivation to do so.

    2. No. It’s not localized.

      Under the EC you can get a lot bigger advantage by stealing votes in a swing state than you could in a popular vote system.

      Steal 25,000 votes in FL and it is unlikely to matter in a popular vote system but could swing the election under the EC.

  14. In truth, they would pay more attention to California, New York, and Texas ? big states with lots of individual votes but not currently in play if we are focused on plurality winners in individual states.

    Well, they would certainly pay *more* attention to those states, as in: more than zero, which is the status quo. But it doesn’t follow that they’ll necessarily pay disproportionate attention to those states.

    Some basic business logic suggests that you want two things, if you’re running for President under a national popular vote system. This is equivalent to running for Senate in a place like California or New York:

    1. You want to reach the most voters for our buck, where “buck” means literally advertising money and the candidate’s time. (And the volunteers’, to a lesser extent.) Big media markets are expensive, so you might get better value for money in other parts of the US.

    2. The voters you want to reach are swing voters. I’m not aware of any detailed research into where swing voters are most common in the US – currently no one really has an incentive to look into that – but it is by no means a given that they are spread out evenly over the country. It is not the case that every town, city, and county in the US consists of x% Republican voters, 10% swing voters, and 90%-x Democratic voters.

    1. “The voters you want to reach are swing voters.”

      Not as much these days, major elections are won by getting base turnout. For example, Obama had base turnout, but lost the swing voters to Romney. Obama won the election. In another example, George W. Bush’s 2004 win was strongly helped by base voter turnout in swing states by Karl Rove working to ensure that traditional marriage protections were on the ballot in those states. People did an analysis of that second example and saw that GOP base turnout was higher in states with those ballot initiatives. In a third example, has Obama’s base come out for Hillary, Trump would be working another season of The Apprentice.

      So called swing voters are just weakly partisan, they are really democrats or republicans, but they like to think of themselves as independent.

      1. Good point. I don’t think it changes the basic logic of my comment, though. There are some voters that you’re more interested in reaching than others, and those voters don’t make up a constant percentage of the population.

    2. Exactly. Right now, most states do not get a lot of attention from Presidential candidates, because the candidates focus on the handful of states that are truly close. Usually, that is Florida plus some of the Great Lakes states. North Carolina has been in play a couple of times, and Arizona is likely to get a lot of attention in 2020. But no Presidential candidate is going to waste a lot of time in California, New York or Texas when they 1) are sure to win them or 2) have no chance of winning them.

      1. We are told that diversity is to be sought, and celebrated, yet from a political perspective, California and New York are the least diverse. Lacking diversity in party affiliation, they are uninteresting in present election system. So rather than change themselves (or change the parties from within) they want to change the rules.

    3. Well, they would certainly pay *more* attention to those states, as in: more than zero, which is the status quo

      So….you think California, New York, and Texas get ignored in presidential election campaigns? Is Earth your first human planet?

  15. I don’t understand why it is only geographic diversity that is important. What about racial, ethnic, religious, gender, diversity?

    Why not give African-Americans a disproportionate number of votes so that it is necessary to appeal to a racially diverse set of voters, or give Jews and Muslims a disproportionate number, so appeal to a religiously diverse set becomes important.

    Guess what. That makes a much sense as appealing to geographically diverse voters.

    And if the desire is to appeal to rural voters, remember that there are more rural voters in CA than in MS. There are more urban voters in TX than in MA.

    Virtually all defenses of the EC depend on seeing states, and not people. But states are areas defined by largely arbitrary lines on the ground. They’re a legal construct with no real logical significance. Quit arguing as if CA were a sentient being wishing to impose its will on the country. It’s not.

    1. Yes, we know, you see semi-sovereign states as worthless impediments to the Democratic radical agenda.

      They are checks on federal errors that you will miss when they are made completely powerless.

      1. No.

        I’m just trying to give all those CA Republicans a voice in national elections.

        And tell, me, what is the charm in having the candidate who got outvoted win the election because of the accident of where his voters live?

        How does that make any sense?

        1. Our founding fathers were concerned about the tyranny of a majority…from federalist paper 10, James Madison…

          “If a governing majority were composed of a coalition of different elements, there would be little to fear because it would be many-minded and internally divided. But if a governing majority were composed of a homogenous mass where its basic commitments were uniform, there was the real danger that it would show little tolerance for any who disagrees”

          It’s about preventing the majority from having too much power. Not greasing the skids for them.

        2. And tell, me, what is the charm in having the candidate who got outvoted win the election

          No candidate who has ever been outvoted has ever won.

          You must have 270 electoral votes to win.

          And ONLY electoral votes.

          The popularity polls you folks are counting….well…they don’t count.

      2. Rather telling comment, Bob.

        You apparently see the EC as a way to protect your unpopular preferences. You consider yourself a Real American ™, no doubt.

        1. Apparently your preferences are unpopular in CA?

    2. Weird that the came upon the name
      “United States” huh.

      1. “We the People,” though.

        In any case, the states are adequately represented by the Senate.

        1. Apparently they didn’t think so. They though they also needed the EC. But if you get enough of “We the People” and 3/4 of those states to agree with you can abolish the EC. Go for it. I’ll watch and get popcorn.

          1. Taunting people to pursue impossible amendments is not serious discussion. Doing it in defense of already over-represented minority power makes it worse.

            1. What “already over-represented minority power” are you thinking of here? If you’re arguing that it’s the Republicans, based on Clinton’s “popular vote win”, I’ll point out that her popular vote total was also a minority. The majority of people didn’t want Clinton, and a different (and slightly larger) majority of people didn’t want Trump. The Electoral College exists to come to a decision when a majority of people say, “We don’t want either of these assholes.”

    3. Short of trying functional constituencies, (Which are terrifyingly easy to game.) geographic diversity is a proxy for those other diversities.

      It’s also significant in it’s own right, in a these guys over here not ruling over those guys over there sense.

      1. Short of trying functional constituencies, (Which are terrifyingly easy to game.)

        Also disturbingly popular with fellows who like to go round calling themselves “Il Duce” and trying to get the trains to run on time.

    4. “Why not give African-Americans a disproportionate number of votes so that it is necessary to appeal to a racially diverse set of voters…That makes a much sense as appealing to geographically diverse voters.”

      Some of the more torturous gerrymandering was done to create geographic sections that were majority-minority to give black voters a bigger say.

      1. No, they were mostly created to give black voters a smaller say, but to do it by making it easier for them to vote for black leaders. The leaders liked that part, so the scheme remains popular.

        1. Yes, exactly–giving them a voice in congress when they previously had none is giving them a smaller say.

          I bet you aced math.

  16. The States were supposed to be sovereign. That seems to have gone down the tubes starting with the Civil War. Now, these further steps being discussed are essentially disenfranchising the States out of the federal government that has already overridden them. Incredibly, these sorts of things actually raise the specter of another civil war.

    1. No, the states were not supposed to be “sovereign.” That is a Confederate/segregationist myth.

      1. What? They had sovereignty except where explicitly assigned to the Federal government, which isn’t;t much.

        See 10A.

        Is 10A a myth?

    2. I’d tend to date it to the Seventeenth Amendment, not the Civil War. Before that, the state sovereigns had someone in Washington to protect their interests / defend federalism.

      1. 16A and 17A started the erosion of states rights.

        1. State’s rights is Lost Cause, and Jim Crow stuff. I’d stay away from that one.

          1. No, you left-wing buffoon, it is not.

            State’s rights was the thing that pushed gay marriage into federal legitimacy.

            State’s rights is what’s being used not to legalize marijuana

            State’s rights are what is allowing your fellow leftists to turn several states into de facto one party systems.

            And state’s rights are what will let you and your fellows bring back the Jim Crow laws and segregation you all created once you decide that pretending to favor civil rights for black people is no longer useful.

  17. I’m not sure if I agree with Whittington’s sixth paragraph: “The founders thought we needed the intermediary of presidential electors not because they thought the alternative would be pure democracy, but because they thought that in the absence of electoral campaigns and mass communication the people would be unlikely to come to any agreement on a single individual to elevate to the one national office of chief magistrate.”

    In Federalist #68, Hamilton seems to be making the case for the EC in order to avoid the “tumult and disorder” that’d be engendered by a direct election. History only seems to strengthen this argument: as the executive has become much more powerful than Hamilton et al. had expected, and as the electors have become nothing more than mouthpieces for the parties, the tumult and disorder seem to have increased drastically.

    1. But Hamilton isn’t talking about the “tumult and disorder” of a direct election of the president. He is talking about the possible “tumult and disorder” afflicting the electors’ choice and how to minimize it. If all the electors met in a single body then a mob might descend on them or for that matter the local newspaper might publish very pointed opinion pieces or people might make faces at the electors as they ate their hotel breakfasts. Thus, the Electors from each state meet in that state and send their results to the national capital.

      1. You’re looking at the last sentence of Hamilton’s tumult-and-disorder paragraph, but apparently overlooking the one before it: “The choice of several to form an intermediate body of electors, will be much less apt to convulse the community, than the choice of one who was himself to be the final object of the public wishes.”

  18. The EC is great. It does give some say so to the smaller states while retaining larger say so for the large states.

    But a constitutional amendment requires 3/4 of the states to approve and will NEVER happen.

  19. The EC and the constitution in general is genius.

    All you have to look at are the total whack jobs in the EU to see why.

    1. Well, so far they have handled secession with a lot less bloodshed than we did – – – – – –

      1. Hmm, WWI and WWII

        1. What do those have to do with the EU?

          1. Read a history book and figure out where those wars started. Th European system has not generated peace

            1. They started because there was no European Union. There has been no general war in Europe since the unification process began. Please make your own argument.

              1. The discussion was regarding governments within the EU not the umbrella EU organization itself. W

                So the 150 years ago Civil War in this country which happened once in our 250 year history is proof that the EU system of government(s) , they are different but none are like ours, generates more peace. But bringing up the worst wars in history which happened 80 years ago in Europe due to the inability to resolve conflicts is “no general War.

                Phew! Yea great point

              2. NATO [US and UK in effect] has kept the peace in Europe.

                The EU is a free trade area.

                1. A free trade area that allowed me to move to, work in, and vote in four different foreign countries in the last two decades.

                  1. Very possibly, but nothing whatever to do with SykesFive’s absurd claim that it is the EU which has prevented a general war in Europe since 1945.

                    The real reason – obviously – is that from a military point of view, from 1945 European nations became satrapies of the Great Powers, the USA and the USSR. The decision of each Great Power not to start a general war in Europe had exactly the square root of **** all to do with the EU. And had they chosen to start one, the existence of the EU (or its forbears) would have done nothing to stop it, or alter its course. It’s a complete fantasy that the EU has ever had any effect on preserving peace in Europe, and a devastating tell against the credibiity of anyone who makes the claim.

  20. What the libs don’t seem to realize is that the Federal government is SUPPOSED to be small and limited. For the most part provide a national defense and a union where the states don’t impose tariff’s on each other.

    Its pretty obvious that folks in fly over country do not wish to live the same way as CA whacko’s. So lets not.

    1. Oh, they know. They just don’t care.

    2. Right. Conservatives care about protecting the right to keep and bear arms, to free speech, to free worship, and to private property. Liberals care about protecting the right to kill babies and for “men” to ejaculate into the colons of other “men.”

      1. Is it ok for men to ejaculate into the colons of women?

        1. No.

          1. Truly that. Shoot your guns, not your wad.

          2. So then “men” to ejaculate into the colons of other “men.” is unusually specific and could just be

            “…men to ejaculate into the colons of other people.”

            So the anal is right out, how about the oral?

            1. Sounds good to me, outlaw it all. Just stay away from my sheep.

      2. Yes! Save the Zygotes!!!

    3. For the most part provide a national defense and a union where the states don’t impose tariff’s on each other.

      Just because you guys forgot the Civil War Amendments doesn’t mean the rest of us did.

      1. Equal protection? What does that change besides freeing the slaves?

        1. Incorporation, Baby, and it has little to do with Delaware. Oh, except that the 13th did end slavery in Delaware, which was, I believe, the last slave state.

      2. And we don’t care how mad you are about them you CAN’T have slaves.

        That’s final.

        You lost.

    4. “What the libs don’t seem to realize is that the Federal government is SUPPOSED to be small and limited. ”

      Exactly, and the calls for removal of the EC are a direct result of the increase in the power of the Federal government. The more power it has, and the executive with it, the more clamour for direct election. Liberals might have dumb ideas but they ain’t dumb when it comes to keeping their eye on the ball. If they’re for it, you can sure as hell bet it ain’t because they want to shrink the Feds and devolve to the states.

  21. If we abandoned the Electoral College, and adopted a system in which a person could win the presidency with only a plurality of the popular votes we would be swamped with candidates. Every group with an ideological or major policy interest would field a candidate, hoping that their candidate would win a plurality and become the president.

    There would candidates of the pro-life and pro-choice parties; free trade and anti-trade parties; pro-immigration and anti-immigration parties; and parties favoring or opposing gun control?just to use the hot issues of today as examples.

    We see this effect in parliamentary systems, where the party with the most votes after an election has to put together a coalition of many parties in order to create a governing majority in the Parliament. Unless we were to scrap the constitutional system we have today and adopt a parliamentary structure, we could easily end up with a president elected with only 20 percent-25 percent of the vote.

    Of course, we could graft a run-off system onto our Constitution; the two top candidates in, say, a 10-person race, would then run against one another for the presidency. But that could easily mean that the American people would only have a choice between a candidate of the pro-life party and a candidate of the pro-gun party. If you are liberal and you thought the electoral college is outdated, it could be far worse.

    1. Keen insight… Our 2-party system comes from winner-take-all voting rules. Go national, and there’s no precipitation.

  22. If we are going to keep the electoral college, the first reform should be having elector college votes automatically decided by math rather than having electors.

    I think the second reform should be having each state’s electoral votes awarded in proportion to the state’s popular vote with a minimum of 20% to get any votes. The small states would still end up with some extra influence and we could get rid of the unjustified extra influence of purple states.

    1. Some staes already split up their electoral votes. Maybe we should just leave it up to the state?

      1. Well, there’s a kind of collective action problem there. If you’re a Republican legislature running a majority-Republican (but not unanimously Republican) state, you don’t exactly have an incentive to split your electoral votes unless a majority-Democratic state of a similar size does the same.

        Also, note that splitting by region (instead of by share of the statewide vote) just creates the same problem as the one discussed in the OP, except at a smaller scale. Then you simply end up with swing counties instead of swing states.

        1. Imagine that . The people who are elected to to represent their state get to figure all that out. And if you don’t live in that sate yo have no say so.

          Wow, sounds like its working great.

          1. You’re not addressing his point. His point is that the current system disenfranchises the minority within a state. The majority in any given state has no incentive to give that up unless all of the other states do it too. Meaning it would have to be addressed by amendment.

            1. The resolution is by state. That is what the USA is. That is how we are divided up. If you wish to have your state’s electors not award EV’s as a lump sum proportionate or pick your system that is up to you.

              I believe the two states who don’t lump sum it now are ME (Blue) and NE (Red).

              So its not an R or D thing

              If you want to change how your state votes you don;t need an amendment. If you want to change the entire EC system you do.

            2. “You’re not addressing his point. His point is that the current system disenfranchises the minority within a state”

              They voted just like everyone else in the state, how can that be disenfranchised. That the minority does not get their way (in this case an EC vote of their choosing) has always been the outcome of placing your vote on the loosing side.
              Remedy is to convince others to vote a the same way. If you cannot convinvce others, then get used to what it means to be in the minority’s.

    2. “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress”

      A state can pass a law that says “The Governor appoints all Electors.” or “Electors will be apportioned based on state vote.” or as is the most common currently “Winner-take-all election for Presidential Electors.”

      1. I’m pretty sure “The Governor appoints all Electors” would not be OK. It would violate the Republican Form of Government clause, if nothing else.

        (If I had to argue this point in court, I’d also say that section 2 of the 14th amendment and the 22nd amendment assume that the President is elected by the people, and that appointment by the Governor is therefore unconstitutional.)

        1. I’m pretty sure “The Governor appoints all Electors” would not be OK. It would violate the Republican Form of Government clause, if nothing else.

          I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t for a host of reasons, including SCOTUS precedent on the republican form of government being a political question, but even more fundamentally because appointing federal electors has nothing to do with how the State is governed. It’s a federal function.

          (If I had to argue this point in court, I’d also say that section 2 of the 14th amendment and the 22nd amendment assume that the President is elected by the people, and that appointment by the Governor is therefore unconstitutional.)

          I can’t imagine what you think 22A has to do with it. As for 14A section 2, your inference is entirely backwards. I’d say there’s no assumption that an election for Presidential electors has to take place, it’s just that if there is one, 14A has something to say about who’s voting in it. But what it has to say is not that the State can’t have elections in which some males over 21 are disenfranchised, but that if it does, its Congressional representation will suffer. Consequently 14A expressly contemplates the absence of elections with a full franchise.

          And just for icing, elections for judicial officers of the state are mentioned in the same sentence. But lots of States don’t elect judges. So if you’re right, a lot of States should be losing chunks of their Congressional representation. But they’re not.

      2. Oh wow! Somebody is so close to the crux of the matter!

        States were given the power to devise a method for choosing electors. However, the power to actually choose the president (and VP) was granted to the electors.

        All weaknesses in the “electoral college” stem from state laws that leverage method power to usurp the electors’ election power.

        If/when SCOTUS nullifies such blatantly unconstitutional state election laws, then the electors will become both more relevant and more valuable.

  23. It is perhaps a coincidence but interesting to note that every case in which the Electoral College overrode the popular vote, the result has been catastrophic.

    After Hayes vs. Tilden, we lost Reconstruction.

    After Bush vs. Gore, we got the second Iraq war. Aside from the libertarian objections, national security experts are divided between the viewpoint that it was the worst strategic blunder since Vietnam and the viewpoint that it was our worst strategic blunder in history.

    After Trump vs. Clinton, we got an administration that may actually have Grant and Harding beat for levels of corruption, run by a man whose heroes are brutal dictators.

    Not that I have an answer. I’ve toyed with ideas like a Constitutional amendment allowing easy removal of a President who came in without a popular vote plurality.

    1. That level of corruption claim is sans evidence. So what really happened is large sections of the population became deranged. Yea can’t help you see a shrink.

      1. So whaddya think of Trump family members using nonapproved devices to e-mail about deals to enhance the Trump business while working for the Administration via clearances that were forced by direct Presidential order?

        1. I think that you are reading the form the “fictional” section of the MSM news media.

          1. Truly that. The lie that Trump ordered that compromised family members be given high level security clearances was created by secret libtards John Kelly and Don McGahn who illegally leaked the lie to the members of the treasonous MSM. Kelly and McGahn need to be prosecuted and then have their organs harvested without anesthetic. Then they need to be buried under something, maybe the courthouse.

        2. I was told, repeatedly, that federal employees were allowed to do private business through government emails, do government business through personal emails, and store all of this on non-government property. This is all okay as long as the DOJ forces the FBI to say so.

          It never sat well with me, but I was told over and over that even a presidential candidate could do that.

    2. “which the Electoral College overrode the popular vote”

      There has never been a “popular vote” for President. All presidential elections have been held under the Electoral College rules, which dictate both campaign strategies and voter behaviors. Different rules might very well produce different results. You cannot simply add up all the votes and pretend there was a “popular vote.”

      Just like you cannot say what the score of a basketball game would have been if the 3-point rule was not in effect. You just can’t erase 1 point for every 3 made and say viola!, because knowing that longer shots are not worth 3 anymore would definitely keep teams from attempting (and missing) as many. They would play the game differently if the scoring rules were different.

    3. You missed two cases in which the Electoral College result differed from the popular vote. In order to maintain the validity of your premise, what do you think the catastrophic results of the John Quincy Adams and Benjamin Harrison administrations were? And, while you’re at it, since we’re dealing with a rather small sample set (5 elections out of 57), which of the 52 elections in which the Electoral College result matched the popular vote do you think had catastrophic results?

  24. This debate boils down to something very simple. Since ratification, demographic changes among the states have created ever-increasing political power for voters in small states. Those changes have now reached the point where amendment of the Constitution is getting hard to imagine, and amendment of the provisions distorting voting power is already inconceivable.

    An interesting question is how big the small state voting advantage has become for voters in presidential elections. Professor Whittington, perhaps with your political expertise you could quantify for us where the electoral college situation now stands. Given an evenly divided national electorate, by what electoral college margin do small state voters triumph over the others? Or to put a sharper point on it, by what margin in national vote count do blue state voters have to win in order to gain a 50-50 split in the electoral college?

    1. “Since ratification, demographic changes among the states have created ever-increasing political power for voters in small states.’

      How has the advantage been ever-increasing? The EC is adjusted based on the census so it shifts as the population shifts. So it hasn’t changed at all basically. Its different because the population distribution is different.

      The largest state CA wasn’t a state when the constitution was ratified. Now it has the most EV’s.

      But the original 13 didn’t want New York electing the president anymore than folks today want CA doing it today.

      And amending the constitution is very hard . Its intentional.

      1. “But the original 13 didn’t want New York electing the president”…every single election.

        1. But they did want Virginia and Massachusetts doing it, for 40 years?

      2. Since you won’t hear it from me, wreckingball, I suggest you do the math yourself. First, look at the voting influence the electoral college gave to various voters during the founding era, by comparing the least-populated and most populated states at that time. Then do the same calculations again for the present.

        Your problem is that your assertion that the EC is adjusted for census results is only partly correct. If you do know that, but suppose it is trivial, then you are under-estimating the mathematically demonstrable effect of the part that doesn’t shift.

        If Whittington were to take up my challenge, I suggest he would have to report that red states now begin every presidential election with a structural advantage amounting almost to an electoral college landslide?meaning that a red state near-landslide is the result which would occur with an evenly divided national electorate.

        That is neither an insignificant fact in our politics, nor is it a situation which the favored minority should expect the majority to endure forever?let alone to endure while it becomes continuously worse.

        1. I suggest he would have to report that red states now begin every presidential election with a structural advantage amounting almost to an electoral college landslide?meaning that a red state near-landslide is the result which would occur with an evenly divided national electorate.

          You’d have to get the 538 folk to run a lot of simulations for different possible State-by-State distributions of an evenly divided popular vote, But it’s very easy to do one based on the actual 2016 result. Hillary won the popular vote by just over 2%, therefore an even vote would be achieved by upping Trump’s % in each State by 1% and reducing hers by 1%. If you do that, only two States would flip from the result on election night – Minnesota and New Hampshire. A switch of 14 EVs.

          Ignoring faithless Electors Trump won the EV 306-232. Hence on an even popular vote it would have been 320-218. A healthy win but not quite a landslide.

          1. So the generic Dem would need somehow to pick up an extra 52 EVs. But 60 of Trump’s EVs would be within a 3% margin (plus Florida’s 29 at 3.2%) so my guess is that ol Nate and his number crunchers could come up with lots of scenarios for the D to win on an even popular vote. Remember 2016 was very Trumpy. He targetted the sort of voters who just put him over the edge in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Rubio for example, on an even popular vote could easily have lost all three but got a much better margin in Florida and Texas; and lost by less in California, wasting all his extra popular votes and losing the EVs 278-260. He might even have won Nevada and still lost the election.

            My guess from a blue sky ? The R would win the EVs on an evenly spit vote maybe 70% of the time. But ask Nate.

    2. It depends on how close the race is in each state.

    3. > An interesting question is how big the small state voting advantage has become for voters in presidential elections

      I’d say zero (or even a disadvantage) for Presidential elections. No small state will ever be one of the electorally-relevant ‘battleground states.’

      It’s is an advantage w.r.t. ordinary legislation (to the extent we still do that nowadays)

      1. Tell that to Al Gore.

        1. IIRC, the battle ground states that year (i.e., the ones to which the candidates direct their platforms) were Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

          1. Sure, but if Gore had swung 11,000 votes in Nevada he would have been president.

            1. Or if he could have won either TN, his home state, or AR, the then very popular Bill Clinton’s home state.

            2. If he had swung any state, he would have been president. But that’s just another way of saying that the EC result was close. He would only have needed to swing 3700 voters in New Hampshire, which is a smaller numerical and percentage switch than Nevada. The margins (in favor of Gore) in New Mexico, Iowa, Wisconsin and Oregon were equally small. If Gore could go back in time, sure, he might focus extra resources on NH or NV, but only because he’d know that the election was going to be close, and that he needed to swing 3700 voters in NH or 11,000 voters in NV. He could take away time from Florida or Ohio, since he’d know that he was going to lose those anyway.

              1. If all those people in Palm Beach County hadn’t voted for Buchanan, Gore would have won Florida in 2000. The butterfly ballot was a gift from God.

  25. While conservatives in rural areas are happy to leave liberals alone, liberals in cities will never leave conservatives alone, as totalitarianism is in their DNA.

    1. Agree, it seems the whole idea of a United States where the states have much control and the Federal government has little control is the real problem. Some folks just can;t leave others alone. because of course they know whats best

      1. Yep exactly.

  26. The Electoral College was a ramshackle device that sealed a compromise that allowed the delegates in Philadelphia in 1787 to agree onimpose a new unlimited constitutional framework to replace the failing liberty protecting Articles of Confederation.

    FTFY

    1. I’ll bite, what liberty interest(s) have you lost under the Constitution? If the people of the time saw fit to ratify, what argument do you have with their judgment?

      1. The freedom to own slaves, the freedom to outlaw birth control, the freedom to segregate by race, the freedom to own automatic weapons without restriction, the freedom to incarcerate sodomites, the freedom to suppress speech that hurts my feelings, et al.

        1. I’m kind of partial to the Constitution (if interpreted properly), but the Constitution as ratified in 1788

          -Didn’t provide for emancipation of the slaves until after the Late Unpleasantness
          -Didn’t protect birth control from state regulation (until birth control was discovered in the penumbras 100 years after the Late Unpleasantness)
          -Didn’t ban racial discrimination until after the Late Unpleasantness
          -Didn’t protect sodomy (Jefferson, in his Enlightenment enthusiasm for penal reform, would have reduced the penalty for sodomy in Virginia to mere castration)
          -Didn’t protect free expression in the states

          and on the plus side

          -Wasn’t meant to empower Congress to disarm the people

          1. Sure, but we don’t have the Constitution as it was when it went into affect in 1789. The present Constitution includes all the subsequent amendments and, arguably, interpretation. One might say that the Constitution doesn’t protect free expression in the states or the right of access to birth control. One might also say that the moon is made of green cheese. Your expression is protected, like it or not.

            1. Again, after the Late Unpleasantness we got an amendment giving federal protection for the privileges and immunities of U. S. citizenship – which I would say includes free expression, because what version of American rights *wouldn’t* include free expression?

              But before the Late Unpleasantness, there was less federal enforcement of citizenship rights.

  27. If the question is what do I think about the EC, my answer would be “compared to what?”

    Go ahead and propose a replacement system and then we’ll see how the EC looks in comparison.

    With a national popular vote, presumably there’d have to be national voter-qualification standards, unless we’re to allow each state to add more voters just to get more influence in Presidential elections.

    “the possibility that Congress might ever be called upon to choose the president is not a reassuring thought.”

    Having the House of Commons choose the Prime Minister isn’t necessarily reassuring, but it’s not disastrous. In fact, having a country’s legislature, or one branch of it, choose the head of government is a fairly common practice. The difference in the U. S. would be that the House of Representatives – voting by states – would only be called in if the EC doesn’t produce a majority candidate, in which case the House chooses from among the top vote-getters. And if they can’t pick a President then the Senate picks the Vice-President who takes over from there.

    1. “With a national popular vote, presumably there’d have to be national voter-qualification standards, unless we’re to allow each state to add more voters just to get more influence in Presidential elections.”

      Good point. Anyone know how the ‘national vote compact’ handles that problem?

      1. AFAIK it doesn’t. How do you imagine a state “adding more voters”?
        (Other than by letting convicted felons vote, like Florida just did. That seems like a feature rather than a bug.)

        1. I can see a state adding more voters by, for example, lowering the voting age to 16, letting convicted felons vote while on parole or probation or even from prison, or letting foreign residents vote (and if that seems too fantastic, many states used to let foreigners who had declared their intention to be U. S. citizens, cast ballots).

          1. Also, a state’s decision to let convicted felons vote should be based on that state’s assessment of what’s good public policy, untainted by the temptation of padding the electoral rolls to get more power in Presidential elections.

        2. How do you imagine a state “adding more voters”?

          Ah, but there’s the rub. The National Popular Vote doesn’t count voters it counts votes.
          Not the same thing at all. Consequently should say Wyoming decide to allow its voters 1000 votes each in the Presidential election – you can cast them all for the same ticket if you like, but you’ll be allowed to split, so say 870 for Trump, 90 for Gary Johnsn and 24 for Jill Stein (and 16 abstentions) – the Presidency will be determined by the good people of Wyoming, and nuts to the rest of you.

  28. An unfortunate side-effect of electoral college voting (and of constitutional per-state voting procedures generally) is that voters in small-population states have become accustomed to think of minority rule of the nation as a birthright. That leads those folks to bristle and turn mean if anyone suggests it ought to be otherwise. Not infrequently, they threaten violence, or even civil war. What is striking about that, is how similar it is to the historical attitudes which gave rise to the actual Civil War?attitudes which then went on to inspire massive violence to overturn Reconstruction afterwards, and then to fasten Jim Crow on the nation.

    Minority rule has a long history in this nation, right back to the founding, where it was baked into the cake deliberately, with violent intent. It is unsurprising that a violent history has ensued, although some people seem surprised to have seen such similar violent impulses re-emerge so fiercely in response to Trump.

    One might suppose that systems of minority rule would inspire violence first and foremost among unjustly ruled majorities. But history seems to show the opposite. A moment’s reflection explains why. Majorities can rule by comity and assent. But what of minorities with ambitions to rule? What tool can they rely on but violence? When it comes to the electoral college, I suggest that as a downside worth considering.

    1. Majorities cannot rule by comity when they seek to oppress the minority, which is what the Democrat Party does everyday.

      1. Not getting your way in an election is not oppression. Majoritarians, when they lose an election, tend to respond by trying harder to get a majority next time. Proponents of minority rule?who often reject the political legitimacy of majorities on principle?are increasingly likely to threaten violence as a response to electoral losses.

        1. “Proponents of minority rule?who often reject the political legitimacy of majorities on principle?are increasingly likely to threaten violence as a response to electoral losses.”

          Oh, the problem is the rule of simple majorities, and is why we usually demand a super-majority when amending important things, or require evidence beyond reasonable doubt, or only employ violence when other means of redress are denied.

          Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes.

          What applies to a revolution should apply, in principle at least, to lawmaking and elections.

    2. Majorities can rule by comity and assent.

      In theory they can, in practice not so much. Monopoly on coercion doesn’t encourage comity and assent, but it does grant violence to enforce. So what were you saying about the violence inherent in the system?

      1. Force is inherent in government, whether government by majority, or by minority. But in the latter case, the legitimacy is less.

        As for your point, no system of government will be perfect. Majoritarianism encourages comity and assent to a greater degree than does minority rule. Under minority rule, violence too often becomes the principle of government, because effective alternatives are less available.

    3. If the value of a Wyoming vote means so much to you, then move. If you won’t move, then we must deduce that the value of big-state versus small-state voting is negligible.

      1. On the same reasoning, Aspiring Statesman, objections to slavery from free black citizens of the United States were nothing to you unless they emmigrated. Indeed, that very objection featured prominently in the arguments of proponents of minority rule at that time.

    4. voters in small-population states have become accustomed to think of minority rule of the nation as a birthright

      Well, their birthright is the deal struck within the Constitution – that the USA is NOT a unitary democracy, but a federal union of States. Which have agree to cede specified chunks of their right to self government to the federal union, in return for a specified share of voting power in the running of the union. Don’t like it, don’t join. Set up your own club. Or change the club’s rules, according to the club’s rules for changing its rules.

      1. Two more taunts from Lee Moore?love it or leave it, and go get an amendment. This isn’t serious discussion.

        1. No it’s really not. It’s an ignorant comment at best considering in 1929 the House was capped at 435. That cap has greatly disadvantaged voters in both liberal California and conservative Texas, amongst others. Votes should count the same and with a stunted house number, they don’t.

          1. I really don’t think a “stunted” House has very much to do with it. As this article

            https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/22/
            upshot/electoral-college-votes-states.html

            explains well enough, the big States aren’t significantly disadvantaged, nor the small States advantaged by the Electoral College. The 2 bonus, non population related, EVs per State create a small bias for the small States but since 1876 only Bush’s 2000 win has depended on that. The real “bias” is that winners in States with a heavy skew one way or the other get fewer EVs per vote than winners of close States. Any State winner gets the benefit of getting all the EVs and the fun of their opponent wasting all their votes. It’s just that the fun for the winner of a close State is relatively bigger. This is a fundamental feature of any first past the post system. A one vote win is as good as a million vote win.

            As Cohn shows, Trump actually won most of the big States and Hillary won most of the small ones. Trump’s EV advantage came from winning most of the close States.

            1. “Only” Bush’s win. So we already have concrete proof it’s bull and you still try to defend it? Who defends democracy by saying “oh well, you know, that one time it played a clear part and the whole EC system has went against the majority a couple times recently but hey, it’s ok”?

              The arguments that one side could just move if they wanted more influence is the same amount of stupid no matter which side you’re arguing for or against.

              It’s a broken system that can clearly be more effectively managed without disadvantaging anyone (and let us not forget that the Senate exists as a check for small states to use as well.)

              1. You asserted that the “shrunken” House gave a “great disadvantage” to big States. I explained why you were wrong, enlisting Mr Cohn and his math to show why. The “shrunken” House has affected no Presidential election ever.

                Then as a matter of courtesy. I kindly noted that the bonus 2EVs each State gets, reflecting their Senate representation DOES give a disadvantage to big States, but a very small one. But so small that it has affected only one election since 1876.

                And now you claim that my kindly acknowledgement of a small small State advantage from an entirely different source from your shrunken House hobbyhorse, proves you hobbyhorse was correct !

                Foolish boy. Read The Question.

    5. What sort of minority rule do you think that small-population states have become accustomed to? There hasn’t been an instance in the 20th century in which the electoral college system has given victory to a candidate which has received a minority of the popular vote over a candidate who received a majority. All the complaints about the electoral college that I’ve seen have been “It’s not fair that the electoral college gave victory to this candidate who received less than a majority, instead of giving it to that other candidate who also received less than a majority.

  29. Virtually the same mechanism as the US Electoral College is used to elect the EU President, except it is the Parliament that elects the EU President and not a separate body specifically for the purpose. But the mechanism is very similar.

    In the EU, each member nation in the Union gets a say in the election of the President. Each member nation has its own distinct interests but also share common interests with other member nations. The total number of members of the European Parliament each member nation has is the basis for the total number of votes for President each member nation has. Each of the 28 member nations has at least 6 MEPs, with Germany–the most populous member nation–receiving the maximum of 96 votes. The number of MEPs is currently capped at 750 by treaty. Occasionally, the binding treaties are modified to reapportion the MEPs, this requires unanimous consent and generally reflects changes in membership and population shifts. The EU President is elected by the European Parliament by a majority of its component members (which corresponds to at least 376 out of 750 votes).

    MEPs are elected by popular elections in the respective member nations. At the appointed time, MEPs then vote for President, according to their respective party affiliation and national instructions.

    1. Just to clarify, which President are you talking about? In the EU, they use a lot of Franglish, and this has led to the unfortunate habit of calling the chairman of each of the Institutions “President”, just like they do in French. As a result, the EU Council, the Council of Ministers, the Commission, the Parliament, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors, the Committee of the Regions, and the Economic and Social Committee each have a President.

  30. Electoral College magic trick…California passes legislation that allows the governor to simply appoint the state’s electors. Perfectly Constitutional.

    Had this been in effect this election, we can assume Jerry Brown would have appointed 55 Democrats for Sec. Clinton, and exactly 0 “popular votes” for Clinton or Trump would have be cast in California.

    The EC remains unchanged, but the “popular vote” swings to Trump by about 1M. Without popular votes from California, Sec. Clinton would have 8.7M fewer popular votes and Mr. Trump would have 4.4M fewer popular votes. So the final tally would be Clinton with 57M and Trump with 58.5.

    I notice that Democrats have no problems with Sec. Clinton winning 3/5ths of the California vote but getting all the 55 of the state’s electoral votes…so much for the votes representing the will of the people. If the truly cared, the state would have allocated 33 EC votes for Clinton and 22 for Trump, but NO, she got all 55.

    If states just went with proportional EC allocation instead of winner-take-all, we’d see markedly different campaign strategies and elections. I’d guess higher turnout, too, since no longer would losing votes mean zero EC votes (e.g., more conservatives might vote in California if they knew their candidate would get SOME EC votes instead of ZERO).

    1. “I notice that Democrats have no problems with Sec. Clinton winning 3/5ths of the California vote but getting all the 55 of the state’s electoral votes…so much for the votes representing the will of the people. If the truly cared, the state would have allocated 33 EC votes for Clinton and 22 for Trump, but NO, she got all 55.”

      Well said.

      And we know it’ll always be thus allocated in CA because it’s a Democrat state. In other words, it suits them to have it that way. And it’ll suit them to have direct election of the president, and a revolving/expanded SCOTUS.

  31. As I recall, no candidate got a majority of the so-called “popular vote” in 2016. Clinton had a plurality.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but under (say) the French system for Presidential voting, this would have meant a runoff election.

    1. Georgia has a system like that as well. (Actually, both the US state and the country, but I meant the US state.)

    2. Non sequitur. Under different rules, both the campaigns and voter turn out would have been different. We have no idea who would have won.

      1. OK, fair enough.

      2. Which is also a valid response to people who complain that Clinton “won the popular vote”. She didn’t win the popular vote, because there’s no mechanism by which to determine a popular vote “win”. If the popular vote were the deciding factor, the campaigns, voter turn out, and the votes cast by many 3rd party voters would all have been different.

  32. Think of the Electoral College as affirmative action for small (population) states.

  33. I’d like to see a constitutional amendment that dissolves the electoral college AND only allows U.S. citizens who paid federal income tax at least once during the years since the last election to cast a vote for President.

    1. Can’t do that — we don’t want to take the vote away from the rich.

    2. Or just leave the EC alone and do exactly what you’ve stated.

    3. Then the Congress would change the Internal Revenue Code so only members of Congress are taxed. That would mean only members of Congress would be able to vote for President.

  34. EC is just all right with me,
    EC is just all right!
    Oh, yeah!

  35. make sure every “vote gets counted.”

    Yeah! Step one. Disenfranchise 80% if the states in favor of a dozen cities. What could go wrong?

    1. The states in “fly over territory” could secede. Then the democrats would have the very embarrassing task of conquering all of the mountain and prairie states by force of arms. Problem is, a disproportionate number of soldiers come from rural and patriotic, not urban and Stalinist / Leninist backgrounds. A Democrat-Socialist president might find herself facing both secession and national mutiny.

      1. This is akin to Trump’s “tough guys” threats against American politics. It’s also an example of the kind of bristling resort-to-violence talk I mentioned above, and typical of too many minority rule proponents.

        1. Under the “popular vote” theory, a Hillary Presidency would have been minority rule, too. A majority of the “popular vote” was cast for candidates other than Hillary.

          Trump got 46.1%, Clinton got 48.2%, the rest of the votes went to third party candidates like Johnson and McMuffin.

          In short, 51.8% of the “popular vote” went to Not Clinton.

          1. Well, it’s easy to contend that a plurality is better than something less than a plurality.

            1. Sure, but it’s still “minority rule.”

              1. Yes, but in the current state of affairs I’m not sure if it matters that the president is elected with 49.9% or 50.1%.

                1. 46.1% seems close enough for government work, especially if none of the other candidates got a majority.

                  If we’re looking for a life and death struggle between majority rule and minority rule, this isn’t it.

          2. Stop trying to bring your “facts” and “math” into this. Hillary was supposed to be President. It was her turn.

  36. It ain’t going away anytime soon. And I thank the amendment process for that.

  37. It’s not one the electoral college provides more than just a minor skew to the results anyway. Wyoming gets .56% of the electoral college and has .17% of the voters, and California gets 10.2% of the electoral vote with 11.9% of the voters.

    But I think one simple change which would not need a constitutional amendment would help, use the Nebraska and Maine model and allocate one vote per congressional district result and 2 votes for the statewide result. That would give more representation to blue areas in Texas and Red areas in California and New York. Although it would also give more incentive for Gerrymandering.

    1. Although it would also give more incentive for Gerrymandering

      đŸ™‚

      Just as having your bacon sandwich served by a spiffily dressed guy wearing white gloves makes it tastier.

  38. “How one feels about the Electoral College really depends on how one feels about giving more power in national politics to the voters of the state of California and to large urban centers like New York City and Chicago. ”

    Well quite frankly, each vote should count the same. It shouldn’t matter where anyone lives but rather that their vote weighs as much as anyone else.

    The whole issue really becomes- how much power should the federal government have over the citizens? Ie. if you’re so concerned with anyone in Wyoming having a bigger vote than you, less power to the feds. Likewise, if you’re worried about being drowned out by the urbanites in big metros, less power to the feds.

    1. Each vote does count the same because each state is decided by a popular vote election within that state. The notion that some votes count more than others is total crap manufactured by the left. Without the EC, what would matter more to a candidate, the 1 million votes in NH or the 38 million in California? California, NY, NJ, Texas, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Illinois would decide every election because that is where the majority of the population lives

  39. The truth is I don’t think things would change MUCH if we got rid of the EC. Lots of R voters in D states would have bothered to vote who didn’t last go around, and vice versa.

    It only skews things VERY slightly… So in essence you can only have the flipped result if the top 2 candidates are within a few percentage points anyway.

    That said, I do like the EC in principle… Because it does skew things just a touch towards fighting majoritarian domination. It doesn’t swing things NEARLY as much as the senate, which I ALSO think is a great idea. Minority interests are served well by screwing mob rule from time to time.

  40. No one has ever sufficiently explained to me why it’s so horrible that the electoral college incentivizes candidates to campaign only in a handful of battleground states but it would apparently be preferable for them to campaign only in a handful of battleground cities. Direct election of the president wouldn’t fix any of the electoral college’s issues, it would just move them around.

    1. Smart candidates could choose from an infinite number of pathways to popular vote victory. The EC incentivizes simply ignoring like 90% of the country.

      1. A smart candidate is still going to ignore 90% of the country, because they have finite time and resources. They just get to choose some different 10% of the country, in the hopes that that’s the 10% that is the key to victory.

        1. If that’s true, at least the winner gets to actually win.

      2. No it does the exact opposite. In a popular vote system do you think any candidate would travel to Iowa, New Hampshire or Montana? No they would focus on the northeast, west coast, Florida, Texas and rust belt cities. The rest of the country would be irrelevant.

        1. You mean where all the people are?

  41. We could do worse. We could make a law that only Republicans get to be president.

    For that is the solitary reason anyone defends the Electoral College: that it gives affirmative actions to Republicans who can’t win the popular vote. There are adults living who’ve only experienced one presidential election where the Republican won the popular vote. Why do they get to be president so often again? What utility is served?

    1. And what about the last couple decades where everybody thought the Dems had a LOCK on the EC by default because of the blue leaning in the midwest in several states? You do remember that was the assumption going into 2016 right? Until Trump magically flipped a few states, and narrowly at that.

      You watch working class white folks shift another couple percent to the right, and all of a sudden the popular vote will seem to be on lock for Rs because of working class whites in blue states… And then the Dems will be crying for the EC to come back!

      There are pros and cons either way, but frankly neither makes a HUGE difference most likely.

  42. The reason you hate the electoral college is that you do not think of the country as did the founders. They saw America as a collection of states. You see it as a collection of people. Your complaints about the electoral college flying in the face of democracy only work if America is nothing more than one giant democracy, a conglomeration of people without the dividing lines of state sovereignty.

  43. Our Republic is a deal between large and small states. With no upper house representing the States, there’d be no Republic. And with no Electoral College to balance the influence of the States and the People in the election of the President, there’d be no Republic.

    For one side to unilaterally demand that the EC should be replaced by a popular vote is to abrogate the original deal that made us a Republic. Small states, induced to join the Republic by this very mechanism, would be disenfranchised by the tyranny of the majority. If the abolition of the EC is ever done in an unconstitutional manner, the small states would have every right to secede.

    There are some good arguments for a direct election. The honorable thing would be to open a dialog with EC proponents to see what they would accept in trade. For example, a strengthened 10th Amendment untrumped by the Commerce Clause would be a good trade IMHO. Small states would gain more than they lose in that trade. But these “abolitionists” want something for nothing, to take more power for themselves, without any respect for the deal that was made in 1789 and is still applicable today. Of course, those folks think the entire notion of a constitution is antiquated. There is no negotiating with them — only surrendering. Well, I would never surrender my Liberty without a fight, and nor should anyone who believes in the founding principles of our Republic.

    1. The problem with direct election is to ensure a free and fair election you must have some type of voter ID system and Democrats will never agree to any verification of voters because it prevents any possibility of fraud which has been how they win many elections. Ballot harvesting is the latest example of rigging the system by Democrats. How can you ensure the ballots are valid when they are collected AFTER the election by a third party?

  44. “…then we really need a national set of election laws and regulations”
    I can’t fucking believe I just read this on Reason.com.
    Fucking ridiculous.

  45. Google is now paying $17000 to $22000 per month for working online from home. I have joined this job 2 months ago and i have earned $20544 in my first month from this job. I can say my life is changed-completely for the better! Check it out whaat i do…..

    click here ======?? http://www.Theprocoin.com

  46. on Saturday I got a gorgeous Ariel Atom after earning $6292 this ? four weeks past, after lot of struggels Google, Yahoo, Facebook proffessionals have been revealed the way and cope with gape for increase home income in suffcient free time.You can make $9o an hour working from home easily……. VIST THIS SITE RIGHT HERE >>=====>>>> http://www.GeoSalary.com

  47. The only issue with the EC is that treasonous sanctuary states can acquire more representation through illegal immigration and dilute the rest of our votes. Add a citizenship question to the census and the EC is a perfect system that forces politicians to pay attention to all states instead of playing numbers games.

    1. Actually since the electoral college makes every state election and individual election, it prevents the dilution of votes by fraud. Having millions of fraudulent votes in California has no impact in the vote in Texas or North Dakota. Eliminating the electoral college is when all those illegal votes would matter which is EXACTLY why leftist Dems want to abolish it.

      1. That’s not even what I said. Illegal immigrants aren’t voting. They’re being counted in census rolls and states are being assigned more electoral votes and representatives that they aren’t entitled to. That’s the voter dilution and the fraud occurring in our country right now. They’re literally stealing a few electoral votes that should have gone to other states.

  48. The Electoral College was established for one reason, to make electing the President a state by state affair Instead of a few heavily populated areas controlling the outcome of every election. It lets every state have a voice which is what the United States was designed to be, individual states all equal to each other. The problem for those who object to the electoral college is the view the US as one nation with no borders instead of 50 states working together as a nation. The United STATES is a republic, not s democracy. This is why every state is equal. A popular vote system would destroy this equality and leave little reason for states like Wyoming, The Dakotas or Vermont to remain in the union. Iowa and NH would be irrelevant in primaries and no longer garner the attention they do now. The proposal to elminate the Electoral College is an attempt by the left to silence the voice of the entire center of the country they beleive is racist and backwards.

  49. Though today, the selection of the electors of the electoral college is left to the people of the states, but that has not always been so. In the early years, in New Jersey, South Carolina, Connecticut, Georgia and Delaware the legislature assumed the right. The people had no expressed vote for president at all in those states.

    In many ways, that would be an improvement.

    That “eligible” US voters succeeded in putting Obama in office as well as Bush Jr in office along with them having given great consideration to put in Hillary Clinton and Al Gore in office reveals that popular voting is disastrous.

    The will of dopey, ordinary people ought to be thwarted. If not, will all of the mestizos owing to “Muh open borders” Chamber of Commerce “libertarians” as well as dopey idealists, before long, they will vote in the US version of Nicol?s Maduro.

  50. Three distinct advantages of the EC
    1) emphasizes that we are a union of States, not a monolithic whole. Divided government is one of the bulwarks of freedom.
    2) Consider a national recount in case of a very close election. It would be horrific if every vote had to be recounted. Every absentee, paper, balky machine, chad, late, early, poorly filled out ballot. You thought 2000 Florida was bad, imagine a nationwide recount. The nonsense would drag on forever and undermine trust in the process severely.
    3) In states which have an overwhelming majority of one party like California, Indiana, Alabama, New York, Texas and Illinois, etc., there is no incentive to cheat, to invent votes. The majority party is going to win those states. But in a national popular vote system there is a huge incentive for someone to invent 100,000 extra votes for their party. Currently this fraud (for a Presidential election) is useful only in a “swing” state, which is tough to do because both parties are present in near 50/50 numbers and people will be watching. Trump won the popular vote, until you counted California. People would be screaming “fix” if it happened again that a republican “won” a close election only to have it overturned by late “results” from California.

  51. Google is now paying $17000 to $22000 per month for working online from home. I have joined this job 2 months ago and i have earned $20544 in my first month from this job. I can say my life is changed-completely for the better! Check it out whaat i do…..

    click here ======?? http://www.Aprocoin.com

  52. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.
    >>>>>>>>>> http://www.GeoSalary.com

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.