The National Popular Vote campaign lets people believe that their plan will elect Presidents who win the majority of popular votes, but that is false. Because of third parties, we’ve had many elections (including three of the last five) when no presidential candidate received a popular-vote majority. Abraham Lincoln won with less than 40% of the popular vote and only our Electoral College system elected him President.
Let’s look at some recent history. If National Popular Vote had been in effect in the year 2000, Al Gore would have become President instead of George W. Bush because Gore received more individual votes than Bush. Remember our national trauma as we suffered through recounts in Florida where the margin between Bush and Gore was only about 500 votes? If the election is based on the national popular vote and it’s close, we would suffer recounts in many of the 50 states.
Mexico uses a national popular vote system, and it’s a good illustration of why we don’t want it here. In Mexico’s last presidential election, one candidate received 35.89 percent while his opponent got 35.31 percent, a margin of just one-half of one percent. For months, Mexico was on the verge of civil war as the runner-up held mass rallies attracting millions of his angry supporters.
People who pretend that the Electoral College system is undemocratic are not only ignorant of the history and purposes of the U.S. Constitution, but they probably don’t even understand baseball. Basing the election on a plurality of the popular vote while ignoring the states would be like the New York Yankees claiming they won the 1960 World Series because they outscored the Pirates in runs 55-27 and in hits 91-60. Yet, the Pirates fairly won that World Series, 4 games to 3, and no one challenges their victory.
Contributing Editor, Phyllis Schlafly, is the Founder and President of Eagle Forum.
Used with the permission of Eagle Forum.
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