Electoral College gives rural states a voice


Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrats presidential candidate, called for scrapping the electoral college. She claims that election by simple popular vote would better represent the will of the people. Actually, the exact opposite would occur.

The Electoral College is an important part of an election process that fairly represents all people of the United States. In effect, the Electoral College system turns our national presidential contest into 51 smaller elections. So, each state has a stake in the election. The Electoral College preserves federalism and encourages candidates to build a national coalition. It requires a presidential candidate to win simultaneous elections across 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The call to eliminate the Electoral College is a reaction to the 2016 election. For only the fifth time in history the U.S. elected a president who did not win the popular vote, and Democrat’s are determined not to let this happen again. How did this happen? President Trump built a coalition (voting base) in all states while Clinton, as an example, totally ignored the state of Wisconsin, believing it too small to invest her time.

Those calling for the end of the Electoral College fail to consider history when, in 1992, Bill Clinton did not win the majority of the popular vote (only 43 percent) but received 70 percent of the electoral votes, or 1960, John F. Kennedy won only 49.7 percent of the popular vote, to Nixon’s 49.5 percent. However, Kennedy won 56.4 percent of the electoral vote.

Without an Electoral College there would be less incentive for candidates to travel to talk with rural America. Consider that the rural areas (i.e., places outside the nation’s metropolitan cities) contain just one-sixth of the U.S. population. Democrats want a president who will be elected by the big urban centers that they control and has the most voters – New York City, Los Angeles. In doing so they do not need to listen to the rest of normal America.

Further, it would result in televised campaigning instead of meeting the people. Instead of visiting each state, they would hunker down in the TV studios of New York and L.A. with carefully prepared scripts. Even here candidates would likely skip smaller and rural areas. Candidates would shift focus to raising the billions of dollars for TV time. We could not ask questions and would lose all control of the conversation. They would talking at us rather listening to our voice.

Eliminating the Electoral College means that Wyoming, for instance, would have only 585,000 votes whereas California would have 39 million and New York City 8 million plus votes. As you can see, rural Americans’ voice would be drowned out by the Metropolitan vote. Likely some rural voters would not go to the polls.

I ask my fellow citizens to read up on the Electoral College and the reason it exists. Yes, there are flaws, but eliminating the college would eliminate the voice of rural America.

Dennis Barnes