Not your Founding Fathers Electoral College: could a popular presidential vote be coming?

Apr 5, 2011

It seems that nobody likes the Electoral College—Al Gore certainly didn’t like it in 2000, when he beat George W. Bush by roughly 500,000 popular votes but lost to him in the Electoral College vote. Aaron Burr didn’t much care for the Electoral College in 1800 and a little later, in 1888 to be exact, Grover Cleveland beat Benjamin Harrison by 100,000 popular votes but lost in the College. A majority of Americans agree that a direct popular vote is the best way to vote for president, according to multiple Gallup poll surveys in the past ten years. The tricky thing about eliminating the Electoral College is the pesky U.S. Constitution and the difficulty of amending it, but there is a national movement a foot that might circumvent those pesky legalities. The National Popular Vote organization has bankrolled bills in a number of states that would pledge that state’s electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote, and a similar bill will soon be up for consideration here in California. AB459 would change California’s electoral process to award its College votes to candidate who wins a plurality of the vote. Does this movement spell the end of the Electoral College?

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