18, November 2016
A new poll shows a majority of US Democrats are in favor of putting an end to the Electoral College system, after Hillary Clinton lost the November 8 presidential election to Donald Trump despite winning the popular vote by more than a million votes.
According to the Huffington Post/YouGov poll, released on Thursday, 66 percent of Democrats are in favor of discarding the Electoral College for a popular vote system to elect the US president, while 14 percent want to keep the current system in place.
However, 67 percent of Republicans are comfortable with the Electoral College, while only 13 percent want Congress to amend the Constitution so the candidate who receives the most number of total votes across the country wins the election. Overall, 41 percent of Americans are in favor of scrapping the Electoral College and rely on the popular vote to elect a president, while 34 percent prefer the current system and 25 percent are not sure.
In the United States, the Electoral College, a system established by Article Two of the Constitution, ultimately decides the presidential election, not the popular vote. Americans vote in each state at a general election to choose a slate of “electors” pledged to vote for a party’s candidate who is elected president should they receive an absolute majority of electoral votes among the states. However, the winner does not always correspond to the candidate who won the popular vote.
Democrats have denounced at the Electoral College system as an “outdated, undemocratic system” that does not reflect modern American society, after Democratic nominee Clinton won the popular vote last week but lost the Electoral College to the Republican rival, Trump.
In the popular vote, Clinton has won 62,829,832 votes compared to Trump’s 61,488,190, or 47.9 percent to 46.9 percent, respectively, according to an analysis from the independent Cook Political Report Thursday. However, Trump won 290 of the total 538 electoral votes, compared to Clinton’s 232. It takes 270 Electoral College votes to win the White House. Several Democrats, including 2016 presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, have called on Congress to review the Electoral College.
Trump had earlier complained about the Electoral College system, saying he had “respect” for the system but he preferred the popular vote method. But, in a tweet, he said, “the Electoral College is actually genius in that it brings all states, including the smaller ones, into play. Campaigning is much different!”
Trump’s campaign had been hit with many controversies since its inception in early 2015. But he still managed to stun the world by defeating the heavily-favored candidate, Clinton, in the election. The poll released on Thursday also suggests 78 percent of Americans consider Trump’s victory legitimate, while 40 percent of Democrats say they won’t accept the billionaire as the legitimate president, and 42 percent believe the presidential election was “rigged.”