From Jeff Jacoby, In Defense of the Electoral College:
It’s easy to score rhetorical points by claiming smugly that “the people chose Hillary Clinton,” but the American method of choosing a president has been in place for two centuries. The Constitution is indifferent to national popular voting trends. This is a nation made up of states, not the undifferentiated population as a whole. Those states have different political, economic, and cultural interests — Massachusetts and Arkansas are not interchangeable — and the Founders designed a federal system that respects each state’s identity and autonomy. The Electoral College, as part of that system, ensures that voters in a handful of densely populated urban regions cannot hand the presidency to a candidate that a significant majority of the states oppose.
From Josh Gelertner at National Review, Why We Have an Electoral College:
Remember: The constitution intends that most laws be made on a scale much smaller than the federal government, where the individual voter has, proportionally, a much greater say, and where local problems can be dealt with without affecting unconcerned strangers. The federal government is the federation of one level of distinct law-making units — the states — and a direct presidential election would mean that problems unique to sparsely populated parts of the country would be irrelevant to the president.
From John Samples at Cato
What about the democratic principle of one person, one vote? Isn’t that principle essential to our form of government? The Founders’ handiwork says otherwise. Neither the Senate, nor the Supreme Court, nor the president is elected on the basis of one person, one vote. That’s why a state like Montana, with 883,000 residents, gets the same number of Senators as California, with 33 million people. Consistency would require that if we abolish the Electoral College, we rid ourselves of the Senate as well. Are we ready to do that?
The filtering of the popular will through the Electoral College is an affirmation, rather than a betrayal, of the American republic. Doing away with the Electoral College would breach our fidelity to the spirit of the Constitution, a document expressly written to thwart the excesses of majoritarianism. Nonetheless, such fidelity will strike some as blind adherence to the past. For those skeptics, I would point out two other advantages the Electoral College offers.
From Larry Arnn at the Wall Street Journal, The Electoral College Is Anything But Outdated:
The Constitution is paradoxical most of all about power, which it grants and withholds, bestows and limits, aggregates and divides, liberates and restrains. Elections are staggered, so as to distribute them across time. The founding document also divides power across space; the people grant a share of their natural authority to the federal government, but another share to the states where they live.
This innovation is most directly responsible for the greatness of the United States. Think what the Founders achieved: They invented a way of governing, and they extended it without benefit of kings or colonies across a vast continent, bigger than they could imagine, until they got to the other side 30 years later. The magnificent Northwest Ordinance granted free government to the territories, then representative and independent state government thereafter. Ruled from Washington, the nation could never have settled this land in freedom nor made it so strong.
From my own previous post, Thoughts on the Electoral College:
Fully one third of the Democratic House seats are from three states: California, New York, and Massachusetts. While the Democrats may control these populous states and that may have given them the popular vote, note the trends. California and New York are losing populations and businesses to southern states like Texas. At the same time, demographic trends towards Hispanics and minorities are growing in many southern states and the GOP majorities will be threatened there if they do not attract a broader demographic base. You may live to respect the electoral college.
Secondly, it should be hard to ignore the color of the electoral map. The map is overwhelmingly red. The blue vote is largely focused in large urban coastal centers. Not only are the Democratic House seats narrowly focused the Democrats have weak political power among the states. Of the 50 states, only 18 have Democratic governors, and only FIVE have the trifecta of a Democratic governor and both houses of the state legislature. This compares to 27 states which have a GOP trifecta, and 18 states with divided power.
From Varad Mehta at National Review,Nobody Understands What a Popular Vote Presidential Election Would Mean
Do we want a president who wins by running up the score in one or two states, or do we want a president who wins by garnering narrower victories in a wide array of states? Clinton won New York and California. Trump won Texas. And Florida. And North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and even one electoral vote in Maine. He won the Electoral College by assembling a more politically and geographically diverse group of states than Clinton did. In our system, winning the Electoral College confers legitimacy because such a victory exemplifies the reality the Electoral College was created to ground in our political order: that the United States is a federal union of semi-sovereign states.
From The New York Post and Mark Cunningham, Why ‘moral outrage’ over the Electoral College outrages me
To start, it’s based on an illusion: Clinton “won” an election we didn’t have: Neither side was focused on a national-popular-vote win, because both knew the rules.
And if the rules were different, the whole campaign would’ve differed, too.
Just for starters, a lot more Republicans would’ve voted in California. They had no reason to turn out when everyone knew Clinton would carry the state — and the US Senate race was between two Democrats.