Opposition to the Electoral College has been a growing movement for some time, but Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton, despite her besting him in the national popular vote, has seemingly rejuvenated efforts by the movement to get states to agree to give their Electoral College votes to the winner of the national popular vote instead of the winner in their state. According to National Popular Vote, fifteen states (all blue states) have already passed such bills, with nine other states having had one legislative chamber pass it. The National Popular Vote Compact will only take effect when it has been enacted by enough states to accumulate 270 or more electoral votes. By their count, they need 81 more votes.
While this is troubling to people who respect the Constitution and understand the importance of the Electoral College, there is a glimmer of hope. According to a Rasmussen poll released Tuesday, “most Americans still understand the reason the Founding Fathers established the Electoral College and are increasingly opposed to efforts to get rid of it.”
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 46% of Likely U.S. Voters still favor eliminating the Electoral College so that whoever wins a majority of the popular voter wins the election. Nearly as many (43%) are now opposed. Eleven percent (11%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Support for eliminating the Electoral College is unchanged from last October but down from a high of 56% in November 2012. Opposition has grown steadily from 25% when Rasmussen Reports first asked this question nearly seven years ago.
The partisan breakdown on this issue is most interesting. According to Rasmussen, “Sixty-three percent (63%) of Democrats favor eliminating the Electoral College, while just as many Republicans (63%) are opposed. Voters not affiliated with either major party are almost evenly divided.” Democrat opposition to the Electoral College is likely connected to their lack of understanding of what the Electoral College does as the poll found that Democrats were the “the least likely to choose the correct answer for what best describes the function of the Electoral College.”
Matt Margolis is the author of The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama and the bestselling The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. His new book, Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy, will be published in July 2019. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis