Amid a number of proposals pushed by 2020 Democratic presidential candidates trying to stand out in a crowded field comes an idea that totally doesn’t scream “sore loser” at all: abolishing the Electoral College.
During a CNN town hall on Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said, "My view is that every vote matters. And the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting, and that means get rid of the Electoral College."
But the disdain you’re seeing from Democrats to get rid of a system that’s been a thorn in their side is a sentiment that was once held by some Republicans, namely President Trump.
Rewind back to the 2012 presidential election where President Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney. Donald Trump, who was then just a businessman and reality television host, tweeted, “The electoral college is a disaster for democracy.” Following his historic 2016 presidential upset, Trump changed his tune, tweeting, “The Electoral College is actually genius in that it brings all states, including the smaller ones, into play. Campaigning is much different!”
It’s not at all surprising that Democrats are using this proposal to stir up the base. After all, in the 2000 and 2016 elections, Democrats lost in the Electoral College after winning the popular vote.
The framers of the Constitution established the Electoral College as a compromise between election of the president by a vote in Congress and election of the president by popular vote. It maintains the institution of national representation by preventing bigger states from wielding more influence over smaller states in elections. Additionally, the Electoral College distributes popular support and gives minority interests more sway in each state.
The Electoral College is a fundamental part of our democracy. Democrats proposing to abolish it merely want to shift the balance of power in their favor, by changing the rules of a game they just lost fair and square.