A lot of learned idiots out there have been determined to try to eliminate the Electoral College. People like me who do not understand the foundations laid by our forefathers at times, should be grateful they provided an Electoral College as a counterbalance to popular vote for such a critical position as president.
Many people say do away with the Electoral College but look at the results of voting last night between Hillary and Trump.
Republican – Donald Trump 289 electoral votes to Democrat – Hillary Clinton’s 218 electoral votes
As of early Wednesday morning,
Clinton had 58,909,774 total votes compared to Trump’s 58,864,233 total votes
according to CBS News and CNN. The tallies will continue to change but Clinton holds a 47.6 percent lead compared to Trump’s 47.5 percent.
Popular Vote as we have been witness to this election can be warped, changed, and through various means weighed to favor one candidate over another.
Thank goodness for the Electoral College where popular vote is converted to specifically designed calculated votes to level the playing field. Otherwise Clinton would have won by the slenderest of popular vote count over Donald Trump. If the electoral college were not able to counterbalance popular vote, only those states with the highest populations (mostly coastal states) would rule the entire country according to their wishes. The playing field would only pay lip service to the wishes of the entire population.
Electoral College briefly explained – The candidate who receives an absolute majority of electoral votes (currently 270) for the office of president or of vice president is elected to that office. Not only did our forefathers foresee a counterbalance to popular vote but with the Twelfth Amendment provided a third way forward if needed. The Twelfth Amendment provides for what happens if the Electoral College fails to elect a president or vice president. If no candidate receives a majority for president then the House of Representatives will select the president, with each state delegation (instead of each representative) having only one vote.
Presidential Election at History.com has some very interesting facts for trivia buffs.
The 2000 election was not the first time a candidate won the popular vote but lost the election. It has happened four times in our nation’s history:
- In 1824 Andrew Jackson won the popular vote but got less than 50 percent of the electoral votes. John Quincy Adams became the next president when he was picked by the House of Representatives.
- In 1876 Samuel Tilden won the popular vote but lost the election when Rutherford B. Hayes got 185 electoral votes to Tilden’s 184.
- In 1888 Grover Cleveland won the popular vote but lost the election when Benjamin Harrison got 233 electoral votes to Cleveland’s 168.
- In 2000 Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the election to George Bush. In the most highly contested election in modern history, the U.S. Supreme Court stopped the Florida recount of ballots, giving Bush the state’s 25 electoral votes for a total of 271 to Gore’s 255.
Victoria Woodhull became the first woman to run for President in 1872.
Hillary Clinton became the first woman to be nominated for president by a major party ticket in 2016.
So by the slenderest of threads, “we the people” have been able to set our country on a different more constitutionally based path again without firing a shot. By the narrowest of margins we have been able to prevent the loss of our country to some shadowy government located far away. We can’t get cocky in our back patting though, too much is still at stake and too many forces are out there determined to put a spanner in our efforts to move forward.