Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America break down the news of Maine and Nevada refusing to join the popular vote pact to change presidential elections. Michael Avenatti is on his way to losing his license to practice law. And Baltimore’s Mayor wants criminals to swap bullets for boxing gloves.
Many Democrats, including several presidential hopefuls, are advocating an end to the Electoral College, so why do we have it in the first place and what would happen if we ditched it for the national popular vote?
Pete Buttigieg is the latest Democrat urging the abolition of the Electoral College, telling a crowd at his campaign launch that the Electoral College has overturned the will of the people twice in his lifetime, referring to the 2000 and 2016 presidential elections.
Does the Electoral College overturn the will of the people or is it actually a better representation of the nation as a whole than the one man-one vote argument?
In this podcast, we cover that question with Trent England, director of Save Our States. England explains why we have the current system, why have states have diminished in importance compared to the time of the American founding, and why states vowing to allocate their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote are really the ones disenfranchising their voters.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America admit that it’s good politics for President Trump and Republicans to postpone another effort to dismantle Obamacare until after the 2020 election but are frustrated that the GOP still doesn’t have a coherent plan almost a decade after Obamacare as passed. They also blast Beto O’Rourke as he calls for the abolishing of the electoral college because it goes all the way back to the founding and claims that it somehow perpetuates racial discrimination. And they get a kick out of reports that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is reconsidering a 2020 presidential bid if Joe Biden decides not to run or becomes too damaged to have a decent shot at winning.
After winning the popular vote but losing the presidency twice in 16 years, Democrats are determined to make a majority of the Electoral College contingent on which candidate wins the popular vote, but one expert says we might want to remember why the founders set things up this way before we change them.
This week, Colorado became the twelfth state to enact legislation requiring it’s electoral votes to be awarded to the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of the outcome in those states. Right now, those 12 states total 181 electoral votes.
So why did the founders create the Electoral College?
“The founders didn’t fully trust the idea of democracy yet also wanted to give some leeway to the states to have their own voting system. They wanted to protect the idea of federalism and leave to them how their elections would go,” said Jarrett Stepman, an editor and commentary writer at the Daily Signal, which is affiliated with the Heritage Foundation.
He says it also gives smaller states a slightly larger voice in the presidential election. Electoral votes are awarded to states based on the number of senators and representatives they have. Since all states have two senators, smaller states receive a bit more of a percentage of the electoral vote than their populations would indicate.
In the early decades of the United States, state affiliation often trumped national affiliation, prompting the founders to put a premium on state power.
“They all had this general concept that the concept of federalism really protects the idea of liberty and self-government, especially in a broad-based republic like ours,” said Stepman.
In addition to principle, says Stepman, is practicality. He says as ugly as the 2000 Florida recount was to determine whether George W. Bush or Al Gore would win the state and the presidency, imagine a nationwide recount to settle such a dilemma.
“It would have been a giant national nightmare, even beyond what it was. This would have looked like a mass national recount. It was so bad as it was in Florida itself, you can only imagine what this would be across the country,” said Stepman.
Listen to the full podcast to hear Stepman explain the legal hurdles awaiting this movement to circumvent the Electoral College, what Alexander Hamilton said about it in Federalist 68, and why we badly need to improve civics education.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are back from vacation. Before discussing the day’s martinis, they remember the horrific events of September 11, 2001 and why we must remember what happened that day. Then they welcome the news that Hillary Clinton will never run for office again and laugh as she blames the “godforsaken electoral college” among many other factors for her defeat last year. They also shake their heads as a tongue-in-cheek Facebook page encouraging people to “Shoot at Hurricane Irma” gets the media and even law enforcement very alarmed. And they sigh as the major networks once again send their reporters into fierce storms, somehow thinking we won’t believe there is a hurricane unless we see their people getting hammered by the rain and wind.