Should the presidential election be based on the popular vote?
via AP

Should the presidential election be based on the popular vote?

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President Trump told the hosts of "Fox & Friends" that he "would rather have the popular vote" determine the presidency than the Electoral College. Many have argued that our outdated system undermines democracy and disproportionately favors a handful of states. But others claim the Electoral College is deeply misunderstood. Our founding fathers were right to be wary of direct democracy, and abolishing the Electoral College in favor of the popular vote would cause campaign spending to skyrocket. What do you think? 🤔

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During his interview with the hosts of "Fox & Friends," President Trump argued the popular vote, not the Electoral College, should determine who becomes president.

" I would rather have a popular election, but it's a totally different campaign... It's as though you're running—if you're a runner you're practicing for the 100-yard dash as opposed to the one mile. The Electoral College is different. I would rather have the popular vote, because it's—to me, it's much easier to win."

Despite losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million votes, Trump has maintained, without evidence, that he would've won the popular vote if "millions of people" hadn't illegally voted.

For once, it seems Trump and Clinton agree. Clinton told CNN's Anderson Cooper the Electoral College "needs to be eliminated." Clinton is the fifth presidential nominee to lose an election despite receiving more votes, and Trump lost the popular vote by the largest margin in U.S. history.

Critics of the Electoral College have long argued it is intrinsically undemocratic and increasingly overrepresents a handful of states.

There is no democratic value to largely confining presidential campaigns to a relatively small number of large states where the outcome is perennially in some doubt. And white rural states, which are already massively overrepresented in the Senate, hardly need further overrepresentation when choosing the president.

But others argue the Electoral College is unfairly attacked, and to abolish our current system would not produce the kind of change some would hope.

The electoral college was an integral part of that federal plan. It made a place for the states as well as the people in electing the president by giving them a say at different points in a federal process and preventing big-city populations from dominating the election of a president.
Abolishing the electoral college now might satisfy an irritated yearning for direct democracy, but it would also mean dismantling federalism.

And there are questions as to how dismantling the Electoral College would affect money in politics. A shift to a popular vote system might sound nice in the abstract, but there would be a lot of unintended consequences that could threaten or weaken our democracy. 

But what if the country abandoned the Electoral College and switched to a direct-vote system, where votes are simply tallied nationally to determine the winner? How would that change presidential TV ad strategies and spending—which reached nearly $1 billion in 2012?
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