Diary

An only slightly-less-dumb idea than abolishing the Electoral College.

Many here have been over why Abolishing the Electoral College™ is a bad idea, but I thought it’d do my own intellectual exercise.  The primaries have always frustrated me in that if one faction is splintered enough a more united, yet less popular overall, faction can take home the whole pie.  We saw this with Romney and McCain and even Trump, as none of them in the full-on early competition won more than about 40%, yet they got 100% of many state’s delegates. While momentum can create the advantage of early unity, it can also expose disunity as with Cruz and Rubio and Kasich unable to bury the hatchet in time to overcome Trump’s united front. This is not a NeverTrump rant, but his example fits my point as well as the previous nominees. As another example that worked out favorably towards conservatives, Paul LePage was elected governor with 38%.  Finally, for all their crowing the Democrats did not “win” any national vote. Hillary maxed out at 48%, and in the purist democracy they advocate a runnoff would have been required to reach 50%+1 for a true majority.

I bring all this up to apply it to the Electoral College.  Especially in the past cycle when there were nearly-viable 3rd-party candidates, and in the up coming one where that may repeat, they can cause chaos and heartbreak playing spoilers in a plurality-take-all system.  As each state has multiple electors, however, it seems ripe to experiment with proportional allocation without throwing the legislative branch into chaos.

So, I took the totals from the 2016 Presidential election and did the math to see what would happen, using the single-largest-remainder method for allocation:

Not much different really, and Trump even still won on electors, 263-260.  Johnson held the balance of power with 14 votes as the Libertarians have a strong presence in the Midwest, the back corners of the West, and his home state of New Mexico of course. Stein and McMullen had one each, but no one cares about them.  Given the House remained GOP that year, they could theoretically have elected Trump as their constitutional duty to break the EC deadlock. Being the Congressional GOP, however, who know how spineless they would have been especially in the gutless way the reacted to the Collusion!™ narrative.

The Electoral college is still the best way to prevent a Tyranny of the majority or large sates, especially in a country al large as ours where 46% “Minority” is still over 100 Million people.