Americans Overwhelmingly Want to End Electoral College

Thursday, October 27, 2011
Americans have had nearly 11 years to think it over and they’re still of the opinion that the Electoral College needs to go.
 
Following the deadlocked 2000 presidential contest, voters learned all about the Electoral College’s role in electing a president. And after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of George W. Bush, essentially giving him the election even though he earned fewer votes than Al Gore, 61% of respondents to a Gallup poll then said they favored electing presidents by popular vote, while only 35% still wanted the Electoral College.
 
A new poll virtually mirrors the 2000 survey, with 62% favoring the popular vote.
 
This time, though, the results aren’t as driven by partisanship. In December 2000, the favoritism for the popular vote was led by Democrats, 75% of whom liked this idea, while 56% of Republicans wanted to keep the Electoral College.
 
Now, 53% of GOP voters want the popular vote to decide who controls the White House. Seventy-one percent of Democrats are on their side.
 
Gallup first began asking questions relating to popular vote vs. Electoral College back in 1967, yet not once has a majority of respondents polled in favor of the current system.
 
There are several good reasons why the majority of Americans want to get rid of the Electoral College.
·       The first is a simple one: one candidate can win the most votes and the losing candidate wins the election. Although the Bush-Gore controversy of 2000 is the most well-known, it was actually the fourth U.S. presidential election in which the loser won. In 1824, Andrew Jackson outpolled John Quincy Adams by a hefty 12.6%...but Quincy Adams won the presidency. In 1876, Samuel Tilden gained a majority of the popular vote, but Rutherford B. Hayes won the election. And in 1888, Grover Cleveland outpolled Benjamin Harrison, but Harrison ended up in the White House.
·       It warps the vote in an undemocratic manner. The nine most populous states in the country—California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Georgia—account for more than half of the nation’s population, but only have 241 electoral votes. The other 41 states contain less than half of the population, but have 291 electoral votes. (Another 3 go to Washington D.C.)
·       Unless there is a landslide, about two-thirds of the states are not in play because they are safely Democratic or safely Republican. Both presidential candidates skew their campaigning to the issues and positions they think are popular among the undecided portion of the voting population of the other 14 or 15 states, virtually ignoring issues of specific importance to the states that are not in play. In 2004, for example, the George W. Bush and John Kerry campaigns ran 8,252 TV ads in Nevada, a state with a population of 2.3 million, and none in neighboring California, with a population of 35.9 million. If U.S. presidential elections were decided by popular, each person’s vote would be equal, no matter where they lived.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
 

Is the Electoral College Distorting Obama Policy? (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov) 

Comments

oldgulph 7 years ago
the national popular vote bill would guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and dc), without needing to amend the constitution. under national popular vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. every vote would be included in the national count. the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and dc would get the 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. that majority of electoral votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and dc wins the presidency. national popular vote would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state and district (in me and ne). now their votes are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for. now they don’t matter to their candidate. with national popular vote, every vote, everywhere would be counted equally for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast. candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in the current handful of swing states. the political reality would be that when every vote is equal, the campaign must be run in every part of the country. now, more than 2/3rds of the states and voters are ignored. states have the responsibility and power to make their voters relevant in every presidential election. the bill uses the power given to each state by the founding fathers in the constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president, without needing to abolish the electoral college, which would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the u.s. population. historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the president, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action. support for a national popular vote is strong among republicans, democrats, and independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in closely divided battleground states: co – 68%, fl – 78%, ia 75%, mi – 73%, mo – 70%, nh – 69%, nv – 72%, nm– 76%, nc – 74%, oh – 70%, pa – 78%, va – 74%, and wi – 71%; in small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): ak – 70%, dc – 76%, de – 75%, id – 77%, me – 77%, mt – 72%, ne 74%, nh – 69%, nv – 72%, nm – 76%, ok – 81%, ri – 74%, sd – 71%, ut – 70%, vt – 75%, wv – 81%, and wy – 69%; in southern and border states: ar – 80%,, ky- 80%, ms – 77%, mo – 70%, nc – 74%, ok – 81%, sc – 71%, tn – 83%, va – 74%, and wv – 81%; and in other states polled: ca – 70%, ct – 74%, ma – 73%, mn – 75%, ny – 79%, or – 76%, and wa – 77%. the bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in ar, ct, de, dc, me, mi, nv, nm, ny, nc, and or, and both houses in ca, co, hi, il, nj, md, ma, ri, vt, and wa. it has been enacted by dc (3), hi (4), il (19), nj (14), md (11), ma (10), ca (55), vt (3), and wa (13). these 9 jurisdictions possess 132 electoral votes — 49% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect. nationalpopularvote

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