National Constitution Center’s Rosen Decries Electoral College: ‘Anti-Democratic,’ Meant to Help ‘White Men’

‘It allows small states to hijack democracy and prevent the people’s will from happening’


ROSEN: "Absolutely. So the argument against the Electoral College is the one that you addressed, that it’s anti-democratic. We’ve had two presidents recently who have won the election while losing the popular votes. It’s happened five times throughout American history. And as late as 1970, there was a bipartisan consensus that the Electoral College should be eliminated. Senator Birch Bayh introduced amendment in 1969, 80 percent of the public supported it. President Richard Nixon, a Republican, supported it, but it failed in the Senate by four votes because of the reason you said. You need 2/3 to pass and basically in those days southerners in the Senate wanted to keep the Electoral College because it gives the advantage to smaller states. The argument against it is allows small states to basically hijack democracy and prevent the people’s will from happening. The argument for it is it’s good to get support in small states as well as big ones. If we had a national popular vote, New York, California and Texas would determine the election and you wouldn’t campaign in the smaller states. And therefore it encourages values like federalism and broad-based campaigns. Those are the arguments for and against it basically."

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