Changing the Electoral College is About Disenfranchising Rural VotersSpeaking
Not every rural state is a “red state,” and vice-versa. Even so, there is a strong correlation between red state sensibilities and America’s Heartland; in other words, those rural states know as “fly-over country.” As Real Clear Politics reports, lefties are trying to alter the Electoral College to disenfranchise these very states.
To understand what I mean, you first must understand the purpose of the Electoral College, which unless you study electoral politics, you most likely do not. The purpose of the Electoral College is to strike a balance between the relative power any given area of the country has in electing our President.
Contrary to common belief, the President is not directly elected by the people, but rather by the electors selected by the voters on election day. Each state is allotted a number of electors based on its Representation in Congress. That Representation, of course, is based on population. More populous states, naturally, have more electors, but smaller states are still represented. For the same reason the Congress has two chambers (to give the states equal footing in the Senate, but to maintain a measure of the broader population in general via the House), the Electoral College exists to balance the needs of the several states against the concentration of citizens in a few large states like New York and California.
Following President George W. Bush’s election in 2000, liberal academics starting seriously pushing concepts on how to be rid of the College and instead elect the President based purely on the popular vote (Bush won the Electoral College, but Gore narrowly won the popular vote). Gore’s advantage in the popular vote was earned in a few highly populated states, while President Bush won a majority of votes in more states across the country.
As RCP notes, shortly after the 2000 election “a college professor proposed an intriguing end-run around the Electoral College: each state would simply pledge its electors to the winner of the popular vote. The law would take effect only after states with 270 electoral votes passed the law.”
Now a half-dozen states have passed such laws, with a few more like New York likely to follow suit. RCP points out the clear fact that “all these states have something in common: They are deep blue states that likely feel as if they were disenfranchised by the 2000 outcome.” These states are also fairly well populated, as blue states tend to be. By voting to more or less bypass the Electoral College, these states are potentially disenfranchising their own voters, but as importantly are lending credence to a national effort to torch the College.
These efforts are not in the best interests of the Republic, and are certainly bad for rural America, red state or not.