Electoral College 2012

By a greater than two-to-one margin American voters want to eliminate the idiotic Electoral College system for selecting a President, and replace it instead with a direct popular vote like all other sane democracies. According to a new poll by Quinnipiac, 60 percent want to change our system so that in all future elections the President is chosen by a direct popular vote. By comparison, only 29 percent want to keep our current system.

Eliminating the Electoral College has majority support among all partisan groups. Interestingly though, it is Republicans who most strongly support it, 67/22, and Democrats who are the least supportive, 54/36. While design of the Electoral College gave Republicans an unfair advantage in the 2000 election, the result of the most recent election shows the Electoral College system now gives an unfair benefit to Democrats. The fact that the Electoral College can significantly and unfairly benefit either party is one of the best arguments for its elimination.

Fortunately, effectively eliminating the Electoral College and replacing it with a national popular vote is rather easy. It can done with just an interstate compact that  has already been approved in several states. The way the National Popular Vote compact works is that states agree to give all the electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, but only once states with at least 270 electoral votes have signed on. Currently the compact is halfway to its goal, thanks to it being approved in primarily blue states. Hopefully, now that Republicans are the group that most strongly oppose the Electoral College, it will stand a better chance of being approved in some of the deep red states that are also ignored by Presidential candidates.

It is long past time we adopt the basic democratic principles of one person, one vote in Presidential elections.

Map by Adam Lenhardt under Creative Commons license.