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John W. York, Ph.D., is a policy analyst in the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics at The Heritage Foundation.
The Electoral College is under fire. Again.
Delaware - Week - States - College - Votes
Delaware last week joined 12 other states that have pledged to award their Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who gets the most votes nationwide, regardless of who wins their state.
Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, is set this week to introduce a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College, The Daily Beast first reported, with an aide telling the news outlet that Schatz has support from fellow Senate Democrats Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Dick Durbin of Illinois, and Dianne Feinstein of California.
Campaign - Trail - Sen - Elizabeth - Warren
And on the campaign trail, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., proposed killing the presidential selection mechanism on the grounds that it leads candidates to focus on a few swing states that are most likely to determine the election.
If presidents were picked via a nationwide popular vote, Warren implied, candidates would journey more widely, going anywhere potential votes may be won.
Candidates - States - System - Nation - Counties
While it’s true that presidential candidates concentrate on swing states, no electoral system could push them to tour all of the nation’s 3,007 counties, 64 parishes, and 41 independent cities. All electoral systems–including the Electoral College enshrined in the Constitution–create incentives to home in on a limited set of places that are most likely to determine the outcome.
The question is not whether it is better for presidents and presidential candidates to care about, and travel to, the entire country or just a portion of it. The question is whether it is better for presidential hopefuls to focus on winning over swing states (as they do under the Electoral College) or big cities (as they would if a nationwide popular election was instituted).
Alternatives - Electoral - College - System
Given these two realistic alternatives, the Electoral College system is far healthier...
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