Recently, Rep. Cortez (D-NY) decided to make a Twitter thread on why we should get rid of the electoral college. It started with the following:
There were more points made, by that was the one quoted Tweeted all across right-wing Twitter.
Here’s what Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), responded with:
Abolishing the electoral college means that politicians will only campaign in (and listen to) urban areas. That is not a representative democracy. We live in a republic, which means 51% of the population doesn’t get to boss around the other 49%.
Is now a bad time to mention Dan Crenshaw won his election with less than 53% of the vote?
Dan Crenshaw is also from Texas, as is Ted Cruz. In 2018, Ted Cruz won his re-election with 51% of the vote, so the 49% of Texas voters who picked Beto O’Rourke are getting pushed around.
That is quite possibly the biggest, and most obvious, issue with many pro-Electoral College arguments. As Jesse Ventura has pointed out, if the electoral college is so great why do we only use the system for selecting Presidents?
And I’m just getting started. In 2008, Al Franken won a Senate seat with 41.991% of the vote. The person he was running against, Norm Coleman, won in 2002 with 50% of the vote.
And I have even mentioned Gerrymandering. For those curious, this is Dan Crenshaw’s district:
In order to understand just how bad Dan Crenshaw’s argument is, we must understand how the Electoral College currently works. Not how it use to work, where it was state legislators who pick electors, but how the winner take all system effects us now.
I’ll use the most infamous example. In 2000, George W. Bush beat Al Gore in the state of Florida by slightly more than 500 votes, so Bush got 25 more electoral votes and Gore got 0. It seems the 48.838% of Florida citizens who voted for Gore were pushed around by the 48.847% who voted for Bush.
Overall, in 2000, 48.4% of Americans were pushed around by 47.9% of Americans.
Now to move into 2016, which kicked this debate back into high gear. Here are some states Trump won with less than 51% of the vote:
- Arizona: 48.67%
- Florida: 49.02%
- Georgia: 50.77%
- Michigan: 47.5%
- Nebraska’s 2nd: 47.16%
- North Carolina: 49.83%
- Pennsylvania: 48.18%
- Wisconsin: 47.22%
That’s seven states Donald Trump won where not even 51% caused the rest of to have this man as President. Am I the only one who sees an issue with this?