I have been reluctant to support overhauling the Electoral College in favor of a straight-out popular vote model. The College is undoubtedly flawed, and my enthusiasm for it (never all that high in the first place) wanes by the day. But readers of this blog know that I am always leery of unintended consequences, and replacing an age-old nationwide system with another (even a supposedly butt simple one like “whoever gets the most votes wins”) smells, to me, like it would unleash a tsunami of unintended consequences. Isn’t there a halfway measure… a way to fix the Electoral College without killing it entirely?
James Pontuso has the most interesting idea I’ve seen so far:
There is a simple solution to the problems created by the Electoral College. The elections of 1876, 1888, and 2000 – elections in which the popular vote winner lost the election were all close, decided by five Electoral College votes or less. But if the winner of the national popular vote were awarded eleven Electoral votes on a winner-take-all basis, the extra eleven votes (twice the five-vote-margin plus one for good measure) would assure that the popular vote victor would also win the Electoral College vote and become President. The eleven would be too few to “nationalize” presidential elections, and the same dynamics that keep the two-party system intact would prevail.