2020 Democratic Candidates Push to Abolish Electoral College

By Miguel Moreno

Democratic candidates for the 2020 election are pushing to abolish the electoral college.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, and many other candidates oppose the U.S. presidential voting process, claiming that it undermines individual voters. But Nicholas Girodano, a political science professor at Suffolk County Community College, said that this is not the case.

“No, and it shows there is a clear misunderstanding of the electoral college,” said Giordano in an interview with NTD News. “In the electoral college, votes do matter, but it’s on a state by state basis.”

Nicholas Giordano
Nicholas Giordano (Courtesy of Nicholas Giordano)

The electoral college splits the presidential election into two phases: the popular vote, where all Americans vote for state electors—and the electoral vote, where 538 electors vote for the president.

Whichever candidate has more electoral votes wins—even if they get less individual votes (the popular vote).

“The founding fathers looked at it from the perspective that, in order to win the presidency you should have a majority of states support the president,” said Giordano.

For example, President Trump received close to three million votes fewer than Hillary Clinton, but he won more electoral votes from 30 states.

President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as he walks toward Marine One while departing from the White House in Washington, DC. on May 16, 2019. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

‘Tyranny of the Majority’

Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and 2020 Democratic candidate, said the electoral college has “gotta go,” adding that it “would be reassuring from the perspective of believing that we’re a democracy,” he told The Washington Post.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg
2020 Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks to reporters in New York City on April 29, 2019. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

But according to commentary by the Heritage Foundation, our country is a republic—not a pure democracy.

“The founders were determined to forestall the inherent dangers of what James Madison called ‘the tyranny of the majority,” wrote Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D. “So they constructed something more lasting … A system of government carefully balanced to safeguard the rights of both the majority and the minority.”

With the electoral college, candidates need more widespread support than just the most densely-populated areas of the country to win. Therefore, it gives less populated states enough leverage in the election to balance out the most populous states.