Electoral College Isn't What Its Defenders Say

Electoral College Isn't What Its Defenders Say

Perhaps sensing that it represents their best chance to win the White House in 2020 and beyond, or because four states have joined the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact this year, conservatives have recently come out in droves to defend the Electoral College. Many of their arguments cannot withstand even the mildest scrutiny.

George Will and former Congressman Raul Labrador say the Electoral College encourages presidential candidates to campaign nationally and prevents small states from being ignored. But in 2016 Trump and Hillary Clinton made 57 percent of their post-primary appearances in just four of the ten most populous states—Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Far from encouraging a national campaign, the Electoral College has consistently narrowed candidates' focus to the biggest swing states in any given election.

Congressman Dan Crenshaw argued last week that the Electoral College prevents a “tyranny” in which 51 percent of Americans impose their will over the other 49 percent. But a system of government in which an elected executive is checked by two other co-equal branches is not a tyranny. If it were, every American would already be living under the tyrannical rule of our state governors. More importantly, why would letting the 49 percent impose their will on the 51 percent be any less tyrannical?

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