Unwilling to accept the fact that they were unable to win the 2016 presidential elections, Democratic politicians running for president are now calling for the abolishment of the Electoral College.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been the most vocal against the age-old institution, claiming wrongly that it sidelines small states when in fact the opposite is true. However, Sen. Warren is far from the only Democrat who thinks that a popular vote system would give the Democrats a better chance of returning to power. Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Sen. Kamala Harris have all said that they are willing to consider getting rid of the Electoral College.
Those who are campaigning to ditch the Electoral College state that it denies voters the right to choose a president because some votes count more than others. They also point out the fact that it makes candidates focus on certain swing states while ignoring certain large ones that are expected to vote a certain way.
This is true to a certain extent; for instance, Democrats and Republicans alike know how California will vote, and so don’t spend a lot of time campaigning there. However, there are a number of large states that are considered to be “swing votes” and so get a lot of attention. These include Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The electoral college ensures that voters in rural areas know that their votes are just as important as the votes cast by residents of LA, New York and other major cities. The requirement that candidates win broad approval from states forces politicians to communicate with people from all walks of life and thus helps a future president understand the needs of all the people that he or she will be governing.
Those who campaign against the Electoral College tend to leave out a couple of important facts. First of all, the Electoral College doesn’t just benefit Republicans. It has also been advantageous for Democrats at various points in time. In fact, it was considered to be advantageous for former President Barack Obama in the 2012 election, prompting Donald Trump to complain at the time that the popular vote would be better. There is also the fact that banning the electoral college is not the decision of the president, but rather one that must be made by two-thirds of the states in the union.
The Electoral College ensures that Americans across the country are in favor of a particular president. If presidential elections were decided by popular vote, New York City and Los Angeles effectively become the only cities that matter. That’s not very democratic, is it?
~ Liberty Planet