Progressive candidates and Freshman Democratic representatives have offered lots of radical new proposals lately about voting and voters. Including scrapping the 215-year-old Electoral College. Progressives also talk of extending the vote to 16- or 17-year-olds and ex-felons. They wish to further relax requirements for voter identification, same-day registration and voting, and undocumented immigrants voting in local elections.
The 2016 victory of Donald Trump shocked the left. It was entirely unexpected, given that experts had all but assured a Hillary Clinton landslide. Worse still for those on the left, Trump, like George W. Bush in 2000 and three earlier winning presidential candidates, lost the popular vote. This has led to calls for abolishing the Electoral College, especially with the increasing fear from the left that Trump very well could win in 2020 if the economy continues to remain strong.
The Electoral College was designed in part to ensure that candidates at least visited the small and often rural states of America. The generation of the Founding Fathers did not want elections to rest solely with larger urban populations. The Electoral College balances out the popular vote. It also put in place due to some of the smaller colonies being concerned that their interests would be ignored or worse trampled on by the larger ones. That fear is still just as valid today when the just five of the larger states could sway the vote for the entire country.
Democratic support in national politics tends to be strongly concentrated in smaller, densely-populated urban areas, while Republican support tends to be more broadly spread across larger, sparsely-populated geographic areas. Especially in these days, there is often a very distinct disconnect between urban and rural values and ways of life.
Even on the state levels, many people are upset with large population centers overriding the votes of the rest of the state. The above map that shows the 2016 Presidental election results by county dramatically illustrates just how the population of the United States is divided.
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Sean Walton is a researcher and journalist for The Daily Sheeple.