Washington Examiner: Why we have to keep the Electoral College (In the News)

Washington Examiner: Why we have to keep the Electoral College

By Brad Smith

In a country as large and diverse as the United States, a system that forces candidates to campaign away from the people who already control the nation’s financial, cultural and governmental hubs is a good thing. The Electoral College forces candidates to build broad-based coalitions that cover the country.

Our constitution is full of anti-majoritarian provisions. The Bill of Rights places limits on what popular majorities can do through government. Texas has more people than the six New England states combined, but federalism prevents Texans from imposing their tax and spending priorities on New England states. It’s hard to imagine this country holding together if pure majoritarianism was the basis of power.

The Electoral College does not assure that the president will have received the most popular votes, but it does assure that the president will have won with substantial popular support, and that his support will not be restricted to one region of the country or to a handful of coastal metropolises. This is ample reason to support a system that, in just five of 49 elections, has gone against the nominal popular vote winner.

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.