Electoral College grumblings

We were somewhat surprised to see a fellow New Hampshire newspaper publish such a scathing indictment of the process that has been used to elect presidents since George Washington: the Electoral College.

This is especially true because if the Electoral College were no longer used to elect presidents, there would be virtually no chance of any major party presidential nominee bothering to campaign in Northern New England, due to the region’s relatively low and sparse population.

If only the popular vote is used to determine a president, candidates will spend the vast majority of their time and resources in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area and a few other major metropolitan areas. They would likely send a few flyers and campaign workers to Boston, but that would be about it for New England.

The ferocity of the New Hampshire newspaper’s disdain for the Electoral College is expressed through words and phrases such as: “slavery-era artifact,” “undemocratic,” “heavily favors Republicans,” and “outdated and flawed.”

Moreover, numerous Democratic presidential candidates are pledging to do all they can to eliminate the Electoral College, if elected.

To be sure, the U.S. is not a perfect nation. However, we find this whining about how bad the Electoral College is to be quite absurd.

Rather than blame the Electoral College for their inability to elect a Democrat in 2016, these liberals should accept the fact that Hillary Clinton was a deeply flawed candidate. For all of President Donald Trump’s problems, the Democrats insisted on nominating someone who people in “flyover country” did not believe shared their best interests.

Having said that, we agree that something seems unfair about the Electoral College. For example, California has a population of about 40 million people. In 2016, Clinton trounced Trump in the Golden State by nearly a 2-to-1 margin, or about 3.4 million votes.

However, because of the Electoral College system, it did not matter if Clinton won California by 10 votes … or 10 million votes. The number of Electoral College votes for California is currently fixed at 55, regardless of what the popular vote total is.

A compromise to this dilemma could be found to New Hampshire’s immediate east. Maine is one of two states, along with Nebraska, to split its Electoral College votes by congressional district. Any state can adopt such a system by simply changing its law.

In 2016, Clinton got three electoral votes from Maine, while Trump got one. In 2008, former President Barack Obama got an electoral vote by winning a district in Nebraska, while John McCain took the rest of the state.

Overall, though, Democrats should stop whining about the Electoral College. They should accept the fact that Hillary Clinton and her team did a horrible job of campaigning in the Midwest in 2016 – and try to do better in 2020.