A headline at "The National Review," which describes itself as "a leading conservative magazine and website covering news, politics, current events and culture with detailed analysis and commentary": "The Electoral College Favors Republicans."
This was yesterday. Considering that in two of the last five presidential elections the electoral college has delivered the White House to a Republican candidate who was outpolled in the land by the Democrat, we should all anticipate tomorrow's headline concerning the possibility that Pythagoras might have been onto something regarding triangles.
On a cheerier note, Connecticut just joined the National Popular Vote Compact, bringing the electoral vote tally of member states to 172--less than a hundred shy of the 270 needed to ensure that the winner of a presidential election is the candidate who receives the most votes. The last 98 will be a hard pull, because "the electoral college favors Republicans," so the states outside the compact are lopsidedly red in hue. But it is not impossible to imagine that partisan interests could give way to a needed, good government reform. In the recent vote in the Connecticut general assembly, for example, four Republicans joined 17 Democrats to form the 21-14 majority in favor of joining the compact.
If the electoral college had not been enshrined in the Constitution, in part as a sop to slave states that feared voters in the more populous north might put an end to their "peculiar institution," I'm pretty sure it would be found to be unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause. How can you enjoy the equal protection of the laws if your vote doesn't count as much as someone else's? And the electoral college indisputably weighs ballots differently depending upon the state in which they are cast--else, it wouldn't be possible for a candidate to "win" with fewer votes. In a presidential election, an individual voter in Wyoming has more than three times the "pull" of an individual voter in California, but that is only the half of it. The above map shows the number of general election campaign events held in each state in 2012. Four states--Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Iowa--received more than two-thirds of the candidates' attention as measured by campaign stops. Iowa and New Hampshire, which together have less than two percent of the country's population, were visited 40 times. California, Texas, New York, and Illinois, which together have about 30 percent of the country's population, were ignored--along with 34 other states.
I get a kick out of it when defenders of the electoral college complain about "flyover country." Thanks to the electoral college, almost all of us live there.