A new Pew Research survey on Americans’ feelings toward the Electoral College finds a nearly two thirds of overall respondents, 65 percent, in favor of ditching the antiquated and flawed system of electing the president, while only 33 percent want to hang on to it. Even 47 percent of self-identified Republican respondents said they want to switch to a national popular vote system.
The part that you will not at all be surprised to learn is the Republican respondents describing themselves as “highly politically engaged” were the group most in favor of keeping the GOP’s presidential head start program in place, at 72 percent support. Which might just kind of indicate a whole lot of Republican voters don’t really know shit and what sounds good and fair to them on paper would actually be game over for their chances of ever winning the White House again.
Pew’s 2023 finding on the question is consistent with last year’s 63 percent against the Electoral College versus 35 percent in favor. Funny enough the last time a pollster saw support for switching to the popular vote at near parity with keeping the unpopular vote was in December 2016, when Gallup found 47 percent favoring the Electoral College and 49 percent against, a switch from their June 2013 finding of 63 percent against and 29 percent for, very consistent with Pew in 2023.
Weird how that was the month so many Americans suddenly remembered how awesome the Electoral College is and then that awareness ebbed over the next half-decade-plus, right?
Now it’s easy to declare that this is just a long, pointless thought experiment because there’s no fucking chance in hell a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College is going to pass Congress, let alone in 33 states, and you would be right – about that part at least. If you look at the map of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact’s progress it’s actually not hard to see a real path. Not tomorrow, next week, or next year, but you shouldn’t be against it over the next 10 to 20 years. They’re already at 205 votes and there’s 65 to go with Michigan (15 EC votes), Pennsylvania (19), Nevada (6), Arizona (11), Virginia (13), and Maine (4) all still on the table. Knock those 68 down and it’s over… at least until the Supreme Court finds some unique and interesting way to fuck it up.
If that hurdle could be cleared there would still be need for a far larger caution in this potential NPVIC regime over a bastardized Electoral College: Would you really trust hardcore MAGA states like Wyoming and Arkansas to be completely upfront and honest with their tabulations and continue to blithely count the Dem presidential ballots same as they did for however many elections now?
Joe Biden won 28,120,566 votes from Red States in 2020, just over a third of his popular vote share and well within the delta between him and Trump. You see where we’re going with this. We’re already in a world where Pennsylvania couldn’t certify their 2022 election statewide for more than a month and a half, when those canvasser scumbags nearly derailed it Wayne County, Michigan in 2020, and then again at the statewide level where that one Republican got death threats for voting to certify Biden’s win. Now take that and imagine that you would need to worry about that AND Mississippi, Idaho, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, and so on so forth, pulling even worse bullshit. You would no joke probably need FEMA and/or the National Guard to administer a presidential election. Good fucking luck with getting the MAGA hicks to trust the result that year.
Not trying to be so dark about it or say the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact isn’t the right thing to do. It is. Just be aware of the practical dangers over the years as it moves closer to the finish line. Clearing the 270 vote threshold and the Supreme Court won’t be the hardest part.