If The Electoral College Was Proportional, The Election Could Go To Donald Trump
As Election day draws to a close, it will come with a familiar sight — political pundits on all of the major news networks standing in front of a large projected map, colored to match the way each state has swung based on the electoral college. The focus of the evening will largely remain on the map of the electoral college — based on which candidate won a majority of electoral votes, as opposed to the popular vote — to determine who has won the presidency. While these votes are based on congressional representation, what if the electoral college was awarded proportionally? Voters might see an entirely different outcome on Election Day, and one Democrats wouldn't like.
Republican lawmakers have led the effort in changing the way the electoral college works, where votes are allocated proportionately by districts instead of the winner-takes-all system used today. As was seen in the 2012 election, this change could have had a significant impact on the race between President Obama and Mitt Romney. Had the states leading the effort to make the switch succeeded, Republicans would have gotten the biggest boost, effectively handing over the election to Romney.
The electoral college math currently set in place tends to favor Democrats, and will likely be enough to secure a victory for Hillary Clinton. Were it to flip, voters could see a Trump presidency in their future.
But the electoral college as it currently stands was essentially set in place to stop such a thing from happening. Though it gets ragged on every four years, it does serve a purpose — to pull the breaks on impulsive votes that work against the will of the people.
Andrew Trees, a post-doctoral fellow at Roosevelt University and author of The Founding Fathers and the Politics of Character, told the New York Daily News that Trump is the exact type of person this system was designed to stop: "Basically, the Electoral College is an anti-democratic measure built into the Constitution. [The Founding Fathers] didn't want the people voting on thoughtless political impulse." Trees added that it's a "cooling-off site" after the popular vote, and that Trump is just the type of "unprincipled demagogue" the Founding Fathers hoped to prohibit from winning the presidency.
So all in all, the system works to Democrats' advantage — both numerically, and that it was in part created to stop someone like Trump from becoming president. So if the system ain't broke, don't fix it.