SAN DIEGO: The war on the Electoral College is nothing new. Virtually every election cycle is preceded or followed by attacks against this institution. One of the reasons people argue for the end of this function of government is because most Americans do not understand it from a historical perspective.
The United States Constitution was created by state representatives in order to protect the individual states
The Constitution was created to not only have a more efficient federal government but also to protect the interest of all the states, which are wildly different from each other. Let’s face it; what the people in a big city, like Los Angeles, California is very different from their fellow Americans in places like Texas. Texas leads the nation in the number of farms and ranches, with 248,800 farms and ranches covering 130.2 million acres.
Population density in Texas of 42 people per square mile, does not equal that of California with 217 people per square mile (2010 Census Bureau)
The Electoral College makes every state equal
The Government’s Archives’ website describes the Electoral College as “a compromise between election of the President by Congress and election by popular vote.” (What is the Electoral College?) An important video that explains the machinations of the electoral college, note at 1:11 in the video, the video clearly states that the Electoral College votes for the candidate that wins the popular vote in that state. Meaning that the Electoral College does represent every vote cast.
What the Electoral College ensures is that each state is playing the game with the same number of balls.
Today’s broadcast and social media and PAC advertising make the Electoral College more important than ever
Without the Electoral College, Candidates would ignore states with a small population base. With the high cost of advertising, this is truer. Why would a candidate spend advertising money on a small population state? And what is the cost to America of
As the video explains, Electoral College votes are a combination of the number of US House members a state has and the number of Senators (always two). This means that even one of the smallest states, like Vermont, has at least 3 Electoral votes (it has one Congressman and two Senators).
The largest state (California) has 55 Electoral votes (two Senators, 53 House members). Vermont’s population is just over 620,000, while California has over 39 million.
Mathematically, California is 57 times larger than Vermont. However, it is only 18 times more powerful in the Electoral College. The Electoral College makes sure that our smaller states have political influence.
As you can see, without the Electoral College, more than 50% of the country would be politically ignored both during the Presidential Campaigns as well as during the Presidential election.
A presidential candidate must obtain a minimum of 270 electoral votes to win.
It takes a minimum of 11 states to win the White House, thanks to the requirements of the Electoral College. If it were a pure popular vote, the voice of most of the states would be silent. In fact, without the Electoral College, only some cities, like Los Angeles, New York or Denver would have a voice.
In 2008, for example, 138 million voted in the Presidential race. Without an Electoral College, densely populated urban areas would be the only areas presidential candidates would focus on. There will be no more visits to New Hampshire, Vermont, or Wisconsin.
Advertising is, without question, one of the single most significant costs of running for office. Advertising in cities is very costly, but nationwide it is outrageous. The cost per vote in big cities is a fraction of what it is nationally.
With that, the aforementioned densely populated urban areas will be the only ones that would get the attention of presidential candidates. The vast majority of big cities vote for candidates that support bigger government, progressive policies, less individual responsibility, and with a disregard for economic growth that is the engine of the fly-over states.
Without the Electoral College, low-density areas, think Montanna, would be of no consequence in the election. Nor would they be of concern to the candidate. There would be no reason for a candidate, or President, to have awareness of that state, or its unique needs.
Big city wants versus fly-over state needs
Interestingly the vast majority of big cities vote for candidates that support bigger government, progressive policies. They believe in less individual responsibility and disregard economic growth. The death of the Electoral College would lead to the demise of state individuality.
These days opponents of the Electoral College make the case that all states deserve the attention of Presidential candidates is moot. Over 90 percent of all general election dollars are spent in “swing states.”
These are states that are “too close to call” and politicians are putting almost all of their energies there. What the opponents are missing, is where those “swing states” are.
Typically, the swing states are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin. You may recall, Clinton lost the 2016 elections when Wisconsin tipped to Trump.
Without an Electoral College, smaller states cease to exist to Politicians. Small states like New Hampshire, Iowa, and Nevada will not count without the Electoral College.
Every electoral scenario makes a powerful and eloquent case for the Electoral College.