An overwhelming 62 percent of Americans think the electoral college should be eliminated and replaced with a national popular vote for determining who will be president. That’s consistent with polling over a decade. Only 35 percent of the country thinks the electoral college system should be kept, according to Gallup’s most recent polling on the issue. From Gallup:
Over the years the desire to replace the absurd electoral college system with an actual small “d” democratic popular voter has remained strong and constant. Polls on the subject for years have found that the America people think the current system is the wrong way to run our democracy. The electoral college is a truly idiotic and deeply unfair way to determine who will become president, and it is clear the vast majority of Americans understand this.
Fortunately, unlike some of the other highly unfair aspects of our government, like the radically uneven representation of people in the Senate, it would be comparatively easy to effectively replace the electoral college with a national popular vote.
The National Popular Voter campaign is working on getting states to join an interstate compact. It is an agreement by the states to give all the electoral votes to the candidate who wins the national popular vote, and it does not require all states to agree in advance. If states with 270 electoral college votes join this compact, we will have a de facto system based on the national popular vote. So far, states with 132 electoral college votes have signed on, putting the campaign halfway towards completion.
Despite the proposal’s consistent popularity and its much lower hurdle compared to a full Constitutional amendment, the campaign has taken years to get half way to its goal. The continued existence of the idiotic and unpopular electoral college sadly shows how strong the status quo bias is in our country’s politics. It is not a good sign for our future if the nation can’t adopt even simple, modest and highly popular reforms.