Monday, November 21, 2016

Plurality Of Americans Want Electoral College Abolished

The current popular vote for the November 8th presidential election (according to CNN) is:

Hillary Clinton...............62,523,126 (48%)
Donald Trump...............61,201,031 (47%)

That's right. Hillary Clinton got over 1.3 million more votes than Donald Trump did in the presidential election. In any other democracy, that would have meant she would be the next president. But in our archaic electoral system, getting the most votes doesn't mean anything. What matters is winning enough states to get 270 electoral college votes.

This is the second time in the last five presidential elections that the candidate who got the most votes was not chosen by the electoral college to become president (in 2000 and in 2016). This has many people calling for a constitutional amendment to abolish the electoral college -- and let the winner of the popular vote become president.

But what does the general public think about abolishing the electoral college? The Economist / YouGov Poll decided to find out. They questioned 1,659 American adults between November 12th and 15th, and their poll has a margin of error of 2.8 points.

They found that there was not a majority for either abolishing or keeping the electoral college -- but more people want to abolish it than wanted to keep it. A plurality of the general public, and that was also true of every gender, age, race, and income level.

While that is gratifying, it is not enough. It's going to take a substantial majority of the public to make our politicians even consider changing the electoral system. It looks like we're stuck with our undemocratic system -- at least for now.

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