As we all know, in 2016 Donald Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton but was elected president due a feature of the American electoral system known as the Electoral College. Under the Electoral College whoever wins the majority of votes cast in a state wins the entire state and its allotted electoral votes, other 1-49.9% of voters’ wishes be damned. The minority votes in a given state, therefore, are counted but don’t count.
There’s a lot of frustration with this system and Massachusetts Senator and 2020 Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren gave voice to those feelings in a recent appearance, saying the Electoral College should be abolished.
Speaking at a town hall in Jackson, Mississippi, Warren criticized the fact that presidential candidates rarely come to states like Mississippi because, thanks to the Electoral College, it’s not a battleground state, saying it was the same situation for California and her state of Massachusetts.
Due to the Electoral College a blue vote in a red state doesn’t count and vice versa. That’s why nobody seems to like the Electoral Collage except representatives and residents of small-population states that currently wield disproportionate power.
Every vote matters. We need to get rid of the Electoral College so that presidential candidates have to ask every American in every part of the country for their vote, not just those in battleground states. #WarrenTownHall pic.twitter.com/UT3mYHXHQ2— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) March 19, 2019
In her remarks Warren talked about doing away with voter suppression laws and gave her opinion on the Electoral College, saying “Every vote matters” and “we need to make sure that every vote counts.”
Warren is the first 2020 candidate to come out so forcefully against the Electoral College and people were excited.
Elizabeth Warren calls for the abolition of the electoral college. The crowd loves it. This should not be complicated for Democrats. We can’t continue to use an archaic 18th century relic to power a modern 21st century democracy. #WarrenTownHall— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) March 19, 2019
she's on a roll https://t.co/StWStEXct4— flglmn (@flglmn) March 19, 2019
let me put it bluntly: every argument for the electoral college became null and void as soon as the united states adopted a semblance of something like universal suffrage (so roughly the 1830s, with the advent of universal white male suffrage). https://t.co/1KQBDJ6hql— b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) March 19, 2019
Oh, it’s getting GOOD https://t.co/86clEHNZvw— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) March 19, 2019
It is blue moon rare to have a politician of this caliber be this principled & bold. I love my senator. https://t.co/WO8PLk9Dd3— Rachel Klein (@racheleklein) March 19, 2019
Amen! I have been hoping for the end of the Electoral College since the first time I ever voted. The Electoral College is antiquated. It was created by the founding fathers to prevent someone like @realDonaldTrump from being elected to the presidency. We need to put an end to it. https://t.co/lk1UBvfUAa— Caroline K (@kcbisou) March 19, 2019
Vast majority of Americans support a President being elected who gets the most total votes. Abolishing the electoral college is not a radical position. Electing the President by popular vote would expand the number of states that are campaigned in and give more Americans a say.— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) March 19, 2019
The electoral college is not very popular. pic.twitter.com/mexUxDKaZg— (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) March 19, 2019
If you eliminated the electoral college, it might actually incentivize candidates to create policies that work for the whole country instead of a bunch of weird little cutouts aimed at helping only swing states— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) March 19, 2019
Well... she has a bit of a point.— SigiLK (@SigiLK) March 19, 2019
Since 2000 there have been five presidential elections.
40% of the time, the candidate who got the most votes didn’t win (2000 & 2016).
In the prior 53 elections before 2000 it previously happened three times (1824, 1876 & 1888). https://t.co/1jRolmmYJq
Indeed. As a Democrat in Louisiana I am essentially disenfranchised.— Alan Stolier (@astolier) March 19, 2019
I don't care about you eating ice cream what are you going to do to eliminate the electoral college and stop white guys from mass murdering all of us with assault weapons? https://t.co/pNsNRSJlj7— KB (@KaraRBrown) March 19, 2019
I've wanted to get rid of the Electoral College since 2000.— Richard Hasse (@RichardHasse) March 19, 2019
I understand it was meant to protect the country from wild populism frenzies. Though with the political parties now controlling the electors on the state level, it's no longer a functional mechanism. https://t.co/sSI2TDELij
Another point for Senator Warren in my candidacy mental notes tally. https://t.co/7TJySrvTYN— Asha Dahya (@Ashadahya) March 19, 2019
It really is stunning how much Warren is pushing the conversation this time around. She's just about got my vote locked up. https://t.co/LPZl9l3ej3— The worst name for this frog would be Fin Coe (@FinCoe) March 19, 2019
Just to remind everyone -- the R's were planning to blow up the Electoral College if the 2000 election went wrong for them.— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) March 19, 2019
if gore had been sworn in to the presidency in 2000, we'd likely have popular vote and scrapped the electoral college by now. republicans would never stand for twice having the popular vote loser in the presidency within 20 yrs like the dems have. just wouldn't happen.— Devin Nunes is a Whiny Baby (@owillis) March 19, 2019
One day a Democrat will win the Electoral College while losing the popular vote, conservatives will realize the EC gives virtual representation to non-citizens (even “illegals”!), and it will be abolished in like six hours.— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) March 19, 2019
Can’t wait to see Republicans turn on their beloved Electoral College when Texas flips blue within the next decade. The GOP would be able to win every other swing state and still lose. pic.twitter.com/0zBZJ4sS9E— Adam Best (@adamcbest) March 19, 2019
People hellbent on keeping the electoral college should just be honest: they want to keep it because it helps their “side.”— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) March 19, 2019
Of course the Electoral College has its defenders and not everyone was in agreement.
The e.c. requires that candidates campaign in and appeal to voters in many States. Getting rid of it hands the decision to a few large States, so it is the opposite of what you say.— Mitchell Kaufman (@kaysguy) March 19, 2019
Another presidential candidate that doesn’t understand the United States is a republic, not a democracy. https://t.co/NVZ22g6mYX— Jeremy Alexander (@Jeremy_Alexandr) March 19, 2019
Here’s my issue: if the Eletoral College was abolished, candidates might only feel the need to show up in population centers. Rural America would be left behind. https://t.co/EdJrQIhVBR— DWash (@DAW912) March 19, 2019
You realize this would accomplish the exact opposite, right? The EC was established because the founding fathers didn’t want to be like France where Paris decided every election. Different parts of the country have different values. NY and LA doesn’t decide the President. https://t.co/hz1V8lixEm— The Lonesome Kicker (@pellscuse11) March 19, 2019
Great so when someone forgets Wisconsin again it won’t matter because only the issues of California, New York, Texas, and Florida would matter.— Beto O'Dork (@BetoDork) March 19, 2019
Can she hear herself? The electoral college was specifically designed so the voters who lived in less central areas had their voice heard, and not have just the citizens of a few major cities decide the outcome.— Chuck Ullman (@realChuckUllman) March 19, 2019
But most observers were on board.
No, the Electoral College was specifically designed to count black people as 3/5 of a person.— Eric Walkingshaw (@EricWalkingshaw) March 19, 2019
The Electoral College currently incentivizes candidates to ignore the largest states, which creates secession pressure.— Black Panther 2020? (@lakesideliberal) March 19, 2019
I agree. Every vote should matter & no vote should count more than another. Ie. Alaskans & Hawaiians should feel that their votes matter -many don't bother to vote because national elections are called before polls even close in these states. #everyvotecounts #endelectoralcollege https://t.co/Q6FLn7b7AO— Elizabeth Tackett (@TackettInternet) March 19, 2019
Hell yeah https://t.co/OhAWGXOcq1— Chuck (@Semprini15) March 19, 2019
Completely agree. The Electoral College brought us two of the worst presidents in history, based on the will of the MINORITY. Get rid of the Electoral College!— Ravenna Ramos (@ramos_ravenna) March 19, 2019
Count every vote and let every vote count equally! https://t.co/8cvWYW89Be— JL.Espo (@JoanLEsposito) March 19, 2019