Electoral College Myth #3: The Electoral College is undemocratic

This is a great explanation of why we have the electoral college and how it has served us well over time. An excerpt from the Tara Ross blog:

Myth: The person who wins the national popular vote should win the White House. The Electoral College does not guarantee such results and is thus undemocratic.

Fact: The question is not “democracy” v. “no democracy.” The question is “democracy with federalism” (the Electoral College) v. “democracy without federalism” (a direct popular vote)…

Think about it. Are we really kicking democracy entirely out of the process? In this country, Americans participate in 51 purely democratic elections each and every presidential election year—one in each state and one in D.C. This first phase of the election is what you think of as “Election Day.” These purely democratic, state-level elections determine which individuals (electors) will represent their states in a second phase of the election. Part Two of the election occurs in December—with much less media fanfare!—and is a federalist election among the states. There are 538 electors who participate in this election. A majority of them (270) can elect a President.

America’s unique blend of democracy and federalism has served the country well because it encourages presidential candidates to create national coalitions. A candidate must do more than simply rack up a majority of voters in one region or among the voters of one special interest group. He must appeal to a variety of Americans before he can win 270 states’ electoral votes. A direct popular election would not create the same set of incentives. Instead, the candidate who obtains the most individual votes—even if they are obtained exclusively in one region or in a handful of urban areas—would be able to win the presidency.

America’s unique blend of democracy and federalism has served the country well because it encourages presidential candidates to create national coalitions. A candidate must do more than simply rack up a majority of voters in one region or among the voters of one special interest group. He must appeal to a variety of Americans before he can win 270 states’ electoral votes. A direct popular election would not create the same set of incentives. Instead, the candidate who obtains the most individual votes—even if they are obtained exclusively in one region or in a handful of urban areas—would be able to win the presidency.

Read it all. She’s right!

This entry was posted in 2020 Presidential Race, Civics, Constitution, Government, History. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Electoral College Myth #3: The Electoral College is undemocratic

  1. Lucille says:

    Excellent explanation. It’s a keeper article.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. resolute says:

    When encountering someone who opposes the electoral college be sure to listen carefully to all their arguments justifying their position. Within those arguments you will find all the reasons why we must maintain the electoral college within our system of government.

    Liked by 4 people

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