Popular Vote or Electoral College? A Debate


For the second time in 16 years, it appears that the winning presidential candidate will lose the nationwide popular vote while winning office through the Electoral College. George W. Bush did it in 2000; Donald Trump, another Republican, has done it again in 2016. The Electoral College was designed by the Founders as part of the Constitution, but it’s come under increasing scrutiny — with critics suggesting it’s time to replace it with a system that lets voters directly elect the president.

What to do with the Electoral College? Keep it or boot it? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, debate the issue.

About Ben Boychuk

Ben Boychuk is managing editor of American Greatness. He is a former weekly syndicated columnist with Tribune Media, and a veteran of several publications, including City Journal, Investor's Business Daily, and the Claremont Review of Books. He lives in California.

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8 responses to “Popular Vote or Electoral College? A Debate”

  1. I strongly suspect that the answer to this current ANGST is for a fine-tooth comb accounting of the ballots cast in this Presidential Election – nationwide.

    President Obama on TV before the poll clearly indicated that illegal aliens should feel able to vote; and would not be troubled, let alone prosecuted, by the authorities.

    James O’Keefe’s Veritas video showed a functionary working for the Dems boasting about inciting violence at Trump rallies and his team’s intentions with regard to voter-fraud.

    There were many reports of voting irregularities during the actual voting-process on November 8 itself.

    If – perhaps as part of President-elect Trump’s ‘Draining the Swamp’ initiative? – all the ballots were scrutinized and the votes cast by dead people, non-citizens, fictitious absentees &c were identified and eliminated, conceivably Mrs Clinton’s popular vote would be a lot smaller than Donald Trump’s.

    For hitherto all fraudulent votes detected as such have been in the Democrat’s favor, not the Republican’s.

    • strong voter Identification rules. I would hope some action might be taken to eliminate the ease of voter fraud now present.

      • Many states have passed photo ID to vote, but they should also require Citizenship papers for first-time registration. Obama’s DOJ has regularly brought suit against states w/voter ID, saying it disenfranchised minorities, even tho ID’s were provided FREE by the States!! Does that sound sane? The States also had a greater % of minority ballots, NC is a good example. Once that man is OUT of office, maybe States can rectify all of his unjust claims of “disenfranchisement”!!

  2. I believe that Bill Clinton did not receive a majority of the popular vote either, in the 1990s when he ran against Perot and the Republican candidates. Yet, the “legitimacy” of his presidency was not questioned because of this.

  3. When the Constitution was drafted and ratified, the States were considered sovereign entities in their own right that came together for certain specific purposes. That is why our States are called States. And that is why the “S” in State is capitalized. If the States were intended to become a subset of a national government, then they would have been called something else like provinces or districts.

    The government currently headquartered in DC is called “federal” because that term most accurately defines the intended relationship between the States, the People, and the new government created under the Constitution. The States affirmatively, and in writing, ceded certain specific powers to the federal government. This is why in the Federalist, Publius always distinguished between powers and rights. And, this is why the Constitution can be amended only by an affirmative vote of 3/4’s of the States – not the People.

    In the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, the States agreed to clairfy certain of their powers in order to ensure the end of slavery (13), the overturning of the Dred Scott decision (14), and the right to vote (15).

    The Electoral College is consistent with this blueprint. A person cannot be elected President without a majority of the States assenting to the election. Even if the election were to be thrown into the House of Representatives, each State has one vote in breaking the tie.

    It is the federation of the individual sovereign States that was created – not a majority rule by those areas with the largest populations. Each State, through its elected representatives, chooses the President and Vice-President. Those elected representatives are the electors chosen in the general election and, in the case of no electoral vote majority, the members of the House of Representatives chosen every two years.

    In 1789, the Electoral College was created to ensure that New York and Virginia could not control the new federal government. In 2016, that reason remains valid and New York remains as one the of large population States now joined by California instead of Virginia. This year, Clinton’s margin of popular vote victory comes solely from the vote difference in California. In the United States of America, no State can hold a disproportionate influence over the election outcome. Otherwise, the federal government would become controlled by the factions in those few highly populated States.

    The more things change; the more the issues remain the same as they were in 1789. Only the identity of of one of the States has changed.

    • Bravo! This should be printed out and handed out to every student in America.
      Great job. Thanks!

  4. How about a compromise – if you win the majority (over 50%) of the popular vote – you’re the president.
    If you don’t – it goes to the Electoral College.

    Hillary didn’t win the majority either, and if there were a run off, I’d be confident that Trump would come out ahead there too.

  5. There isn’t anything to debate. The Founding Fathers got it right the first time around. Going to a popular vote only encourages more voter fraud and disenfranchises states with small populations. Why would anyone want California and New York deciding all our succeeding presidents?