Yes, Hillary won the popular vote. But if you were watching the election results as they came in, Trump had a fairly significant lead for most of that period… right up until they started counting the votes on the West Coast.
And yes, those are liberal strongholds, but more importantly, they’re liberal strongholds that get to see how the rest of the country voted before they head to the ballot box.
And again, if you were paying attention on election night, you’d have seen the panic setting in and the massive number of calls (on the liberal side) for people to head to the polls.
I’d wager that that, more than anything else, is the cause of Hillary’s lead in the popular vote; panicked Democrats rushing the polls in states where Hillary was almost certainly going to win anyway. The rest is likely caused by a disparity in the absentee ballots and whatnot that are still trickling in.
So would abolishing the Electoral College stop that in the future?
Realize that an awful lot of people understand the way the system works considerably better than you’d think. They know whether they live in a Blue or Red state, and they follow polls, and they occasionally even exploit that knowledge to permit themselves to cast votes for third parties in contentious elections.
Hell, there was a website set up precisely for that purpose this year, letting people in “safe” states swap votes with people in swing states.
So while abolishing the system that permits people to safely vote their conscience (and how horrible a phrase that is) might shift the election once or twice, it’s unlikely that it would have much in the way of long-term effect. Once people understand that the rules have changed, they will alter their behavior accordingly.
You want to have a bigger effect on the election?
Ban the reporting of poll results until all the polls are closed, without exception. Once no more votes are being registered, then and ONLY then can you start telling people how said vote went.
Yes, this includes a ban on exit polling, for what little that’s worth.
The fact that the polls close on the East Coast three hours earlier than polls on the West Coast shouldn’t influence the election, and ironically it’s the Electoral College that keeps it from exerting any more influence than it already does.
Since, after all, the West Coast goes Blue pretty much without fail, and all those people rushing to the polls they’d planned on skipping this year… don’t change the outcome in the slightest.
We have an imperfect system, to be sure, and I’d be perfectly comfortable doing away with the Electoral College if we didn’t get to find out the polling results until Wednesday.
But short of that? Nah, I think I’ll keep it around, since by happy accident it mitigates what would otherwise give one part of the country even more influence than usual simply because of what time zone it happens to be located in.