Circumventing the Electoral College

May 11, 2018 |

Connecticut just became the 11th liberal state (plus the District of Columbia) to pass a law requiring that its presidential electors vote for the candidate that wins the national popular vote. The idea is that if the movement can get states representing 270 electors (they currently have 170), it will be enough to tip every presidential race to the winner of the national majority.

Naturally, this is one more manifestation of the Trump Derangement Syndrome that’s gripped the left ever since Hillary Clinton blew an election that they somehow believed was hers by divine right. The movement would likely be challenged and overturned on Constitutional grounds, since it’s a deliberate attempt to circumvent the Electoral College, which the founders created to insure we would not have a tyranny of the majority in which the most densely populated states crushed the interests of rural states. But putting aside the worse-than-questionable constitutionality of it, it also shows a complete lack of historical perspective and of how elections work.

I’ve explained this before, but one more time for the slow-of-hearing: the fact that Hillary Clinton won a bigger share of the popular vote than Trump is utterly meaningless. That’s because it wasn’t a popular vote election. As Al Gore tried to remind Democrats when polls showed he might win the electoral vote but not the popular vote, “This is not a popularity contest” (later, he decided it was, but that’s another story.)

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Having run two presidential campaigns, I can assure you that vast amounts of planning, effort and money are directed toward a strategy of piling up those 270 electoral votes. Every decision, from where to hold rallies to what kind of ads to prepare and where to run them, is based on winning electoral votes state by state, not the biggest chunk of the national popular vote. If that mattered, then the campaigns would have been run entirely differently and the vote totals would have been very different. Hillary’s winning popular margin came from California and New York, where Trump didn't bother campaigning and many Republicans probably didn’t even bother to vote because – and I’ll say it one more time – it didn’t make any difference!

The only thing we learned from Hillary’s efforts to run up her vote total in safe states while ignoring or insulting swing states where the battle is won is that we’re darn lucky she’s not in the White House planning our military strategies.

Another thing about the ginned-up outrage over the Electoral College is that people only voice it when their candidate loses a close race due to it. They never seem to look at it from a wider perspective than “I’m mad right now!” Right now, they’re mad because Hillary lost, so they want to change the law and undermine the Electoral College for the rest of eternity. They don’t consider that it would give candidates even less reason to bother campaigning in a small state like Connecticut. Besides, if Connecticut’s lawmakers had stopped to research what this law would have done if they’d passed it 50 years ago, maybe they wouldn’t have been so quick to toss the Founders’ genius into the trash can.

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Looking back at every presidential race from Reagan-Carter in 1980 to 2012, we find that the popular vote in Connecticut went to the eventual winner of the national popular vote anyway, in every contest but one. So in most races, this new law would have made no difference at all. The only time it would have was in 2004. Connecticut voted heavily for John Kerry, but under this new law, their electoral votes would have gone to the national popular vote winner: George W. Bush.

All you Connecticut liberals still think this was such a great idea for promoting democracy?

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Comments 1-4 of 4

  • Steve Sega

    05/14/2018 03:02 PM

    Your article alludes to the fact it would have only changed in 2004 to support W Bush's win, which means you know well enough Trump won the popular vote as well, but I think the link to the Pew Research Center showing how their audit of the election removed almost 6 million fraudulent votes for Hillary, meaning Hillary did NOT win the popular vote by the claimed 1.8 million, rather Trump won it by over 4 million!! I don't have it available at the moment, can someone post the link to the Pew Research Center's 2016 election audit?

  • Fred Hinderer

    05/11/2018 04:48 PM

    I certainly hope the courts would over turn it. Two hundred plus years of history in the working of the electoral college being perverted by politics... would hopefully be over turned. This is the same group that tried to redefine the 2nd amendment only being exclusively for a militia and not for private citizens. Once again over two hundred years of understanding the Constitution barely prevailed. Politics of the evil...


    05/11/2018 01:20 PM

    No, it's constitutional. States can decide their Electors by about any means they want. They can have a big game of musical chairs if they want. It's part of the balance between states and the federal government.

    The truth is, the Constitution is a work of men who made mistakes. Don't be surprised that men find a way to make it a suicide pact.

  • Duke

    05/11/2018 01:07 PM

    Sure, California and New York can vote for POTUS and the rest of us in the fly-over country can just get lost. I bet they think we're that stupid!