John B. Anderson condemns Electoral College

© Copyright 2015 Corbis Corporation


In two of the last five presidential elections, the American people have been saddled with chief executives who didn’t win the popular vote — George W. Bush in 2000 and Donald Trump in 2016.

The problem arose, of course, from the Electoral College.

On the first of those two occasions, former Republican Congressman John B. Anderson of Rockford co-authored with Steven Hill a column about the matter in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Here are a few excerpts:

Imagine if, after the conclusion of the Super Bowl or the World Series, it was announced that the “winner” didn’t really win. That instead the championship would be given to, well — the loser.

We have a long tradition of the person or team with the most points, runs or votes winning — except when it comes to electing our president, the highest office in the land. How do we explain that to young people, already so disengaged from politics? It’s like two elections taking place, side by side, one open and the other hidden. And suddenly, the nation is realizing that the one that counts is the hidden one. Nothing less than the legitimacy of the presidency is hanging in the balance.

The blame for this democratic anomaly rests with that 18th-century anachronism, the Electoral College. Created in less-democratic times by our founders, the Electoral College is a clumsy device that has been the subject of more proposed amendments than any other part of our Constitution. It harkens back to a time when the U.S. Senate also was devised to be elected by our state legislatures, instead of a direct vote of the people. We changed the Senate to a direct vote in 1913 with the 17th Amendment. But after 200 years, we are still left with the ponderous Electoral College…

The time has come to scrap  the electoral College and institute a national direct election.

Amen to that.

Why should it take fewer votes to elect a Republican to the presidency than to elect a Democrat?

Why should seven of the 50 states get more than twice the electoral vote per citizen as California?

Why should a resident of Wyoming get more than three times the electoral vote as a citizen of California?





  1. There have been hundreds of unsuccessful proposed amendments to modify or abolish the Electoral College – more than any other subject of Constitutional reform.
    To abolish the Electoral College would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population.

    Instead, pragmatically, The National Popular Vote bill is 61% of the way to guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by changing state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), without changing anything in the Constitution, using the built-in method that the Constitution provides for states to make changes.

    All voters would be valued equally in presidential elections, no matter where they live.
    Candidates, as in other elections, would allocate their time, money, polling, organizing, and ad buys roughly in proportion to the population

    Every vote, everywhere, for every candidate, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election.
    No more distorting, crude, and divisive and red and blue state maps of predictable outcomes, that don’t represent any minority party voters within each state.
    No more handful of ‘battleground’ states (where the two major political parties happen to have similar levels of support) where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 38+ predictable states that have just been ‘spectators’ and ignored after the conventions.

    The bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes—270 of 538.
    All of the presidential electors from the enacting states will be supporters of the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC)—thereby guaranteeing that candidate with an Electoral College majority.

    In 2017, the bill has passed the New Mexico Senate.
    The bill was approved in 2016 by a unanimous bipartisan House committee vote in both Georgia (16 electoral votes) and Missouri (10).
    The bill has passed 35 state legislative chambers in 23 rural, small, medium, large, red, blue, and purple states with 261 electoral votes.
    The bill has been enacted by 11 small, medium, and large jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the way to guaranteeing the presidency to the candidate with the most popular votes in the country


  2. Neftali

    States rights, that’s why. Trump won more states than Clinton, so he deserves to be President.

    If Clinton would have bothered campaigning in states like Wisconsin, she likely would have won them. So she deserved to lose, and we all get to enjoy liberals bawling like a baby about the Constitution.

  3. If the tables were turned and Clinton won the Electoral College and lost the popular vote Pat would be praising the Electoral College.

  4. Wilson: You’re an idiot. I have never praised the Electoral College and I never will.

  5. Shawn Robinson

    Liberals haven’t liked the electoral college since at least the 2000 election. There’s really going to be a big problem with the courts, especially thanks to the Republicans blocking Obama’s appointments. The people who won the 2012 election didn’t get their say in those court vacancies including the Supreme Court vacancy. The Republican losers of the popular vote in 2000 and 2016 has gotten to pick judges for the country while they have further blocked the liberal popular vote winners from seating their picks. Although, the electoral college determines the winner and Bush got to fill his judicial vacancies, we know that Obama didn’t even get to rightfully fill his and his won the popular vote and electoral college. As a result, the courts will not reflect the will of the people but the partisan whims of the senate majority. The appointments will appear illegitimate because the rightful appointer wasn’t heeded. The regular process of confirmation with up and down voting was voided. Even worse, if Trump has more Russian connections, people will start to think Putin is in charge of our courts.
    Putin > Trump > anyone Trump appoints

  6. Typical Pat, he shows his lack of intelligence by name calling.
    I guess I should be happy he didn’t call me something nasty and more tasteless.
    Pat is a classy fellow, never say never

  7. He sure is a sore loser. Donald Trump won a higher percent of the vote than Bill Clinton did in 1992.

  8. Bill: Clinton finished first in the popular vote in 1992, but Trump finished second in the popular vote in 2016.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *