Friday, November 11, 2016

Abolishing the Electoral College will be a partisan issue

Everyone pretends to hate the electoral college. There's really no way to defend it in the modern era, other than saying "it's not what I would have done if I was drafting the constitution today, but its what we've got and we are stuck with it." But the reality is that there have been five instances where a president has been elected while losing the popular vote, and the last four times it happened the beneficiary of the electoral college who lost the popular vote was a Republican. (The first time it happened was in 1824, before the Republican Party existed). Demographic trends that give minorities an increasing share of the electorate are going to give Republicans less of a reason to get rid of the EC. The fact that the fastest growing minority happens to live in the wrong places to give the Democrats the boost proportionate to their numbers is a built in advantage for the GOP that they will not just give up.

It really should not be surprising that the National Popular Vote bill has only been passed in blue states. The effort won't be able to reach its 270 EV threshold unless it gets some red states, including quite a few that are currently solidly in control by Republicans. And Republicans have no incentive to let that happen.