Outgrowing the Electoral College

61% of Americans are in favor of abolishing the Electoral College. 2020’s tension-filled election cycle may demonstrate why.

“The Electoral College creates distortions in political campaigns and voting outcomes most people would find objectionable,” says Dr. James McCann, political science professor at Purdue.

“Smaller states are overrepresented, and states that aren’t “swing states” (like Indiana) get little to no attention from presidential and vice-presidential candidates during campaigns.”

The disproportionate influence of swing states (and the resulting attention given to those states) is one of the main criticisms of the winner-take-all system. For example, 94% of 2016 campaign events occurred in just 12 states, while two-thirds of the events took place in just six states.

“Furthermore, the fact that a candidate who leads in the popular vote would not become the next president seems illegitimate on the face of it,” says Dr. McCann.

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