Ever since Americans reluctantly agreed to the “bundle of compromises” that would become our Constitution, there have been debates about abolishing the electoral college and instituting a national popular vote to elect the President of the United States. Many of the loudest proponents in recent years have been on the left: when Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election while losing the popular vote by almost three million Americans, many Democrats started to feel more strongly about their philosophical issues with the electoral college. 

But there is also a debate on the subject on the right. As demographics in cities and states shift, some conservatives argue that holding onto the electoral college may not favor the Republican Party in the long term. There are also questions about fairness, and the importance of amplifying voices outside of the nation’s major metropolitan areas. Finally, at its core, this is a debate about how we prioritize those principles that are essential to our founding vision, such as federalism and democracy. 

Watch this lively debate, moderated by Broad + Liberty’s own Todd Shepherd, featuring conservative cases for and against the electoral college. Advocating in favor of the electoral college is Sean Parnell, Senior Legislative Director of Save Our States. Advocating for a national popular vote is Patrick Rosenstiel, Senior Consultant to National Popular Vote.

Watch the full video at our YouTube channel.

3 thoughts on “The Electoral College or a National Popular Vote: The debate among conservatives”

  1. “As demographics in cities and states shift, some conservatives argue that holding onto the electoral college may not favor the Republican Party in the long term.”

    Uh oh, I think you just said out loud what’s supposed to be the quiet part. Republicans don’t care about what’s right, just whatever is politically convenient for The Party.

    1. Very silly Will. Partisans on both sides worry about how the rules affect their party. We know that many Democrats want to get rid of the Electoral College because they think they would benefit from a different set of rules. Human nature is hardly unique to one party or the other.

  2. The pro-NPV arguments are based on mostly non-factual data, it seems. First and foremost, the assignment of who chooses who the President of the American Federation will be has always been assigned to – the STATES. It has NEVER been assigned to the U.S. population. Ever. On purpose. By design. It is a massive check against the federal government that the STATES have to decide who the President shall be and not left to a weaker and easily manipulated democratic process. Almost all the Founders who published anything spoke eloquently and often about the outright dangers of applying democracy to the Federation.

    They ALSO designed the Electoral College to cast their State Votes ON THE SAME DAY and physically WITHIN THEIR OWN respective States. On purpose. By design. So that the Electors could not COLLUDE among themselves in casting these State Votes! The Founders write about their concerns for such Collusion and designed against it.

    And then the 21st Century comes along with our Communications technology to make such Collusion not only possible, but instant. Just because a few States CAN Collude today to throw these elections by no understanding means that any States SHOULD Collude to throw these elections. But they will say, “It is NOT collusion!” Well, the fact that all 15 of the signatory States have agreed to WAIT until they can control the election is evidence on its face of Collusion! If it is such a great idea that any State ignore its OWN voters and turn the control of WHO gets the STATE’s Votes for President over to people who are NOT related to the State wa such a Great Idea – WHY WAIT until you get more States to sign on to this scheme?!

    Once they get you thinking that it has ALWAYS been the design that the U.S. population SHOULD BE choosing the President, then the remaining debate simply becomes, “Which popular voting handicapping scheme is a the better one?” And that is simply not the case.

    There are MANY “points of error” in this debate made to sell the dangerous NPVIC scheme, but one that jumps out is the claim that “58.8 million people live in America’s cities, while 58.4 million people live in the rural areas. The rural voters will be just as relevant in every election as the urban voters.” That statement conveniently measures only the Urbanites who live within the core city of 486 urbanized areas. It astonishingly counts only 117 million Americans and ignores more than 220 million others.

    The U.S. Census Bureau, reports that 59.4 million people live in rural America, while 249,253,271 total population live in urbanized areas!
    https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/geography/guidance/geo-areas/urban-rural/ua-facts.html

    The national popular vote scheme exists to USURP the correct and rightful role that our STATES play in keeping the Federal government in check, by requiring the State Legislatures to decide from time to time the Manner in which that STATE’s Electors are chosen! Popular voting for the office has no federal nor constitutional requirement, at all.

    The U.S. population has NEVER cast a single vote for any candidate for the office of President nor Vice President. We vote only for our STATE Electors – and THAT is done only at the discretion of each State Legislature, each using State-specific voting rules and timelines. That popular voting discretion can be withdrawn by any Legislature at any time. (The SCOTUS in Bush v. Gore 2000 affirmed that specifically.)

    There are dozens more problems with this scheme, but these are three that jumped out of this sales pitch.

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