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  Talk Elections
  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion
  Presidential Election Process (Moderator: muon2)
  Is there any plausible argument in favor of the electoral college? (search mode)
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Author Topic: Is there any plausible argument in favor of the electoral college?  (Read 60163 times)
Jr. Member
Posts: 1,842

« on: August 09, 2015, 12:27:00 pm »

Yes. The Electoral College forces candidates to be closer to the center and Presidents to govern with the small middle-ground in mind.

With the Electoral College, the focus of campaigns are on the persuadable 5-10% of voters in a couple of states that, when examined together, represent the United States fairly well. The deciding voters in these states aren't reasonable centrists, I'll give you that, but they vote on the characteristics of the candidates before them. Swing voters are in tune with "the questions" asked in exit polls. These questions cover a diverse range of presidential criteria, such as vision, concern for the common person, strength, values, and experience. In today's campaigns, the base is there to be won over in the primary and galvanized by the opponent in the general election. The middle, the swing voters are turned out by campaigns that believe they've persuaded them. This leads to a system where candidates are able to use their opponents to motivate their base while gearing their public persona and, by extension, their presidency at the persuadable, influenceable middle of the electorate.

Under a national popular vote system, there is a much larger reason to galvanize the base and ignore low turnout, low info swing voters. Democrats will spend a lot more time in California and Republicans will spend a lot more time in Texas. Most people here will not see much of a problem with that because, "it's the will of the people!" But, upon repeal of the electoral college, you are changing the fundamental audience of elections. The tired Tea Party adage about motivating the base will become conventional wisdom. We will end up with a country that is more divided than ever before with the parties nominating fire breathing candidates in each election.

The Electoral College does a very good job of balancing the will of the people with the will of the voters. Sure, it goes haywire every once in a while like in 2000, but the Electoral College has basically preserved the will of the people and produced President that are capable of leading and speaking to the concerns of the average American. Sacrificing the Electoral College to the progressive that traditions are unfounded and without reason will do further damage to our leaders' ability to lead.
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