Electoral Error


Today at The Federalist, I wrote that respect for the Founding Fathers doesn’t mean you have to love everything they did, including the Electoral College. Check it out.

3 thoughts on “Electoral Error

  1. G.E. Coburn

    Your analysis of the Electoral College faults misses several salient points. The founders distrusted the tyranny of the popular majority as much as they disdained political parties and for many of the same reasons. As for the argument that the popular vote should prevail, consider the results of the 2016 election. We hear repeatedly that Clinton won the popular vote, 65,844,954 (48.1%) to Trump’s 62,979,879 (46.1%), according to CNN, Dec 22, 2016. She won California by 8,753,788 (61,5%) to Trump’s 4,483,810 (31.5%), according to NYT report. If Clinton’s California vote total is subtracted from her national vote total and Trump’s California total is subtracted from his national vote total, Clinton’s loses the popular vote 57,091,166 to Trump’s 58,496,069, or 44.3% to 48.9%. Conclusions:

    1. One state accounts for Clinton’s popular vote win.
    2. She was, in effect, elected President of California. Trump was elected President of the other 49 states.
    3. Without California, Trump’s percentage of the popular vote is higher than Clinton’s with California.
    4. The disparity, dominance, and influence of one populous state were precisely the conditions the Electoral College was intended to prevent.
    5. Finally, let’s not forgot. We are not a democracy but a republic composed of fifty, sovereign entities whose less populous members would be disadvantaged in any national political campaign if sheer number of votes were all that counted.

  2. Dave Ziffer

    I find it strange that you would write an article regarding the Electoral College on a site called “federalist.com” and within it mention the Federalist party many times, yet not once mention the primary justification for the Electoral College. The United States is a FEDERATION, which is to say an organization of organizations, or in our case an organization of states. Our founders never envisioned it as a direct organization of individual citizens. Hence, the term “federal” in “federal government”. In the founders’ conception, the federal government would rarely if ever interact directly with the populace. And so it is the STATES, not the people, who elect the president. You could of course eliminate the College and just count the popular vote in each state and remove the electors from the process, but you’d see no difference in election results, since the electors have (I believe) overturned their own state citizens’ popular votes. The U.S. is not a collection of citizens; it is an organization of states. The founders never intended that a nationwide popular vote should elect the president, and rightfully so.

    • Kyle

      Yes, I agree that we’re a federal union, and should remain one. I just thought that that point had been covered enough in other articles.

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