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Growing number of Americans want to end Electoral College

Efforts are underway to abolish the Electoral College for a national popular vote as more Americans favor getting rid of the status quo.
Growing number of Americans want to end Electoral College
Posted at 12:58 PM, Sep 26, 2023

About 65% of Americans say they favor eliminating the Electoral College to decide presidential elections and go to a national popular vote, Pew Research said in a new poll released Monday. 

The new poll marks the most amount of support behind eliminating the Electoral College in the last 23 years, Pew said. Support for the current system rose slightly around the 2016 election, but has since dropped. 

Democrats were far more likely to support a national popular vote. About 82% of Democrats said they would be in favor of a national popular vote, compared to 47% of Republicans. Young adults were also more likely to say they're in favor of a national popular vote compared to seniors. 

In the 2000 and 2016 elections, the Republican candidate won despite not winning the popular vote. While electors are based on the total number of congressional representatives a state has, voters from smaller states and swing states tend to have an outsized amount of power in the Electoral College. 

SEE MORE: Michigan could be next state to join national popular vote compact

Given population size, a voter in Wyoming would have more than three times the power of a single voter in California. 

But since neither state is generally competitive during presidential elections, they are largely ignored by both parties. Instead, candidates tend to focus their campaigns on the handful of "swing states." 

There have been efforts at the state level to abolish the Electoral College. Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have signed on to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. The idea behind the compact is if enough states agree, states will require their electors to vote for the winner of the national popular vote, regardless how that state voted.

As of now, states possessing 205 Electoral College votes have agreed to the compact. For the compact to be enacted, that number would have to increase to 270, which marks a majority of electors. 

There are questions on whether the compact would survive legal challenges if ever enacted. 

The same poll found that 79% of Americans favor age limits to hold federal office. 

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