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College education: Popular vote doesn't matter

November 15. 2016 9:52PM

During Sunday night’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, the New England Patriots won Time of Possession, 30:25 to 29:35. But they lost where it counted, like Hillary Clinton.

Clinton winning the so-called popular vote, an aggregation of the votes in the 50 states and District of Columbia, is irrelevant. Our federalist system, spelled out in the U.S. Constitution, awards the presidency to whichever candidate wins a majority of the Electoral College.

With no Republican U.S. Senate candidate on the ballot in California, Clinton ran up the score, amassing enough votes in the Golden State to overtake Trump nationally.

This may soothe Clinton supporters still feeling the sting from last week’s upset, but it does not provide any reason to scrap the Electoral College. There have been some longtime critics of the Electoral College, but the newfound fervor to replace it is mostly sour grapes.

The United States does not conduct national elections. Electing federal officials state by state, including the President, requires political parties to build broad, geographically diverse coalitions. Trump won by cracking the Democratic “Blue Wall” in the Upper Midwest. Democrats are cutting into Republican strongholds in the Southwest.

The Electoral College ensures that small states, and rural areas in large states, are not completely ignored in presidential campaigns. Replacing the Electoral College with a national referendum would turn most of America into Flyover Country.

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