Is it time to revisit the Electoral College?
Let me be clear. I am not suggesting that we delete the Electoral College. I do not like direct popular vote elections because of the potential for vote fraud.
At the same time, we should change how the candidates win the “EV” at every state.
At the moment, you win California and you get 55 votes, even if you win the state with the plurality of the vote as Mr. Clinton did in 1992! Or you get all of Texas’ 38 votes even if you get 41% of the vote as Mr. Bush in Texas in 1992!
So how about changing the calculation? The winner of the state gets 2 EV’s immediately and the congressional districts that he or she carried. It makes more sense because it is closer to how people actually voted.
A few years ago, Aaron Bycoffe and Andrei Scheinkman reported on such idea brewing in GOP circles:
Republicans have a new strategy for 2016: Change the rules of presidential elections in order to swing the Electoral College in the GOP’s favor.
On Wednesday, Virginia’s Republican-controlled legislature became one of the first to advance a bill that would allocate electoral votes by congressional district. Last week, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus endorsed pushing through similar proposals in other states with Republican legislative majorities.
The strategy would have states alter the way they translate individual votes into electors — thereby giving Republican candidates an advantage. Had the 2012 election been apportioned in every state according to these new Republican plans, Romney would have led Obama by at least 11 electoral votes.
I disagree that it would give the GOP an immediate advantage. Indeed, it would have changed the EV’s in 2012 but not in 2008, 2004, or 2000. In fact, such a method would have made Mr. Bush’s EV victories in 2004 and 2000 much bigger!
It will require a constitutional amendment and good luck with that. Nevertheless, it would reflect much better the wishes of the electorate.
A couple of weeks ago, we had polls projecting 400 EV’s for Mrs. Clinton with less than 50% of the popular vote. Does that really reflect the wishes of the electorate? I don’t think so.
Maybe someone has a better idea, but the current Electoral College arrangement is not representative of how people vote. The winner take all provision must be changed to a number that reflects congressional districts.