Politics

Support For Electoral College Hits 49-Year High

| by Oren Peleg

As final ballot counts from states around the country come in, a growing divide is apparent between the popular vote, which gives former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a 2.5 million vote lead over President-elect Donald Trump, and the Electoral College, which will be selecting Trump with 306 votes to 232. Yet, despite this disconnect, a record number of Americans support the Electoral College system.

According to a recent Gallup poll, 47 percent of Americans surveyed said they want to keep the current system of electing the president via the Electoral College. This number is up sharply from 35 percent during the last election in 2012. Meanwhile, support for amending the U.S. Constitution to do away with the Electoral College has dropped from 62 percent in 2012 to only 49 percent.

Gallup says the Electoral College hasn't had this much support in 49 years of their polling. 

However, broken down along party lines, the divide in opinion is stark. The percentage of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters who wish to amend the Constitution "in favor of the popular vote determining the presidential elections” is 81 percent. In 2012, when President Barack Obama, the Democratic incumbent, won a second term, the figure was 69 percent.

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Among Republicans, favor for a popular-vote only approach has dropped to 19 percent. In 2012, it was 54 percent.

According to the Los Angeles Times, on Nov. 15, outgoing Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California filed legislation to amend the Constitution in favor of doing away with the Electoral College.

"In my lifetime, I have seen two elections where the winner of the general election did not win the popular vote," a statement by Boxer reads. "The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately. Every American should be guaranteed that their vote counts."

Sources: Gallup, Los Angeles Times / Photo credit: Heather Katsoulis/Flickr

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