WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ support for keeping the Electoral College system for electing presidents has increased sharply. Weeks after the 2016 election, 47% of Americans say they want to keep the Electoral College, while 49% say they want to amend the Constitution to allow for a popular vote for president. In the past, a clear majority favored amending the U.S. Constitution to replace the Electoral College with a popular vote system.
Donald Trump secured enough electors in the Electoral College to win the presidency, despite Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote. With Clinton’s popular lead total continuing to expand, now at more than 2.5 million votes, there have been persistent calls since Election Day to abolish the Electoral College. Such sentiment has clearly prevailed when Gallup asked this question twice in 2000 — after George W. Bush won the Electoral College while Al Gore won the popular vote — in 2004 and in 2011. In each instance, support for a constitutional amendment hovered around 60%.
From 1967 through 1980, Gallup asked a slightly different question that also found majority support for an amendment to base the winner on the popular vote. Support for an amendment peaked at 80% in 1968, after Richard Nixon almost lost the popular vote while winning the Electoral College. Ultimately, he wound up winning both by a narrow margin, but this issue demonstrated the possibility of a candidate becoming president without winning the popular vote. In the 1976 election, Jimmy Carter faced a similar situation, though he also won the popular vote and Electoral College. In a poll taken weeks after the election, 73% were in favor of an amendment doing away with the Electoral College.
This year, for the first time in the 49 years Gallup has asked about it, less than half of Americans want to replace the Electoral College with a popular vote system.
The reason for this shift in opinion is clear: In the aftermath of this year’s election, the percentage of Republicans wanting to replace the Electoral College with the popular vote has fallen significantly.
Currently, 19% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents favor basing the winner on the popular vote, down from 49% in October 2004 and 54% in 2011. Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents already widely favored having the popular vote determine the winner and are slightly more likely to do so now than in the past.
People who want to get rid of the Electoral College have absolutely no understanding of it. I say this because I used to the one of them. I’m more knowledgeable now than I’ve ever been before in my life as far as politics and world events are concerned. One of the key things I’ve learned during this election cycle is why the Electoral College is vitally important.
The Electoral College prevents what the Founding Fathers of the U.S. considered to be a flawed system. That flawed system was democracy. Democracy in its purest form was seen for what it was. A system where the majority could tyrannize everyone. The Electoral College was a genius system because it made sure that all states get a say and have a voice. HRC’s 57 counties won should never be counted higher than Trump’s 3,100+.
Those who say we should have a popular vote don’t understand that the U.S. is not a democracy. It’s a constitutional representative republic. It was designed to be that way. And those who want to abolish the Electoral College, are vouching for the dismemberment of our constitution. There isn’t a doubt in my mind if the Electoral College had helped the democrats to win this election, the left would be singing it’s praises. It’s only an issue when their candidate doesn’t win.
There has been an ongoing movement to get rid of the Electoral College for years. It’s popularity rose due to ignorance of what I stated above. Even through the nastiness of electors receiving death threats and being harassed for doing their duty by voting for the candidate that their county elected has been terrible, I’m glad that the left’s bad behavior has lead to more people realizing the importance of this tradition.