Critics of the Electoral College argue it is intrinsically undemocratic and increasingly over represents a handful of states.
The frequent argument that it ensures that attention will be paid to small states is absurd. In reality, it means that campaigns will ignore both most small and smallish states (neither campaign, for example, seriously contested Wisconsin) and large states where the outcome is not in doubt, like New York, California, and Texas. 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 have the positive effects 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 effect money in politics.
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?