Monday, December 19, 2016

Why the Electoral College is genius.

Today is the day that the electors in each state cast their votes for the next president.

Donald Trump, who (as we never stop hearing) "lost the popular vote," will be elected as America's 45th chief executive.

With all the ranting, raging, crying, and confusion surrounding the Electoral College vs. the popular vote, it's a good time to review the genius of our Founding Fathers and why they set things up this way. First, a fun and easy video from Prager University, explaining the basics:

Also, this excellent (and very short!) article explains why the Electoral College was so important in this particular election. Essentially, it saves the rest of us from being dictated by California:

Clinton’s 2.3-million-popular-vote plurality over Trump depends on the votes in a single state: California. Clinton has more than a 4-million-vote plurality over Trump there. In the other 49 states plus the District of Columbia, Trump actually has a 1.7-million-popular-vote plurality over Clinton. So California single-handedly turns a Trump plurality into a Clinton plurality.... 
He also won the national popular vote cast outside of the single state of California. Moreover, Clinton won all of California’s 55 electoral votes despite the fact that 4.3 million of the state’s voters voted for Trump. That big winner-take-all advantage for California’s Democrats and Clinton was certainly felt, but it wasn't enough to override her losses in many other states.
Under our electoral vote system, American voters elected a national president, not California’s choice.

Praise God for the wisdom and foresight of the Founding Fathers!


  1. One thing that doesn't seem to occur to people shouting about the popular vote is that margins would probably be a lot closer in several solid red or solid blue states. A lot of people don't even bother voting in New York or California. (Which is a shame, because local elections are incredibly important, but I think it'd get a lot closer, even there.)

    I'm not a fan of compulsory voting, but it would be interesting, on an academic level, to see how things would shake out if everyone actually voted. But that's not reality, which is a good thing.

  2. I grew up in Kansas. No one with any sense complained about the Electoral College there. Is the system perfect? No. But it is far more fair than the alternatives.

    The Hillary supporters can only cry about the "popular" vote because that's the only thing resembling a leg they can stand on.

    I drive them nuts by telling them that everyone knew about the Electoral College before the election. The popular vote was never the goal. If it had been the goal, then Trump would have run a different campaign and probably would have won that vote too. You can't change the rules after the fact.

  3. The Electoral College makes Dem. votes for Prez. irrelevant in GOP states and vice versa. This along with gerrymandered districts depresses voter turnout. I don't see anything "genius" about it.


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