When the delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention were deciding how to elect the president of the United States, they settled on a solution: the Electoral College.
Under the College, a temporary group of “electors” equal to the total number of representatives in Congress is created, with each state getting the same number of electoral votes as they have members of Congress. Most states have systems in which the candidate who gets the most votes wins all the state’s electoral votes. In modern times, whoever gets to 270 of the 538 total electoral votes wins the White House.
But Sen. Elizabeth Warren thinks she knows better than the Founding Fathers.
“My goal is to get elected—but I plan to be the last American president to be elected by the Electoral College. I want my second term to be elected by direct vote,” Warren said during a campaign event in Marion, Iowa, on Sunday.
“I want to get rid of it,” she said. “I just think this is how a democracy should work. Call me old fashioned, but I think the person who gets the most votes should win.”
Just five times in history has a presidential candidate on the popular vote but lost the Electoral College (it happened in 2016, when Hillary Clinton got more than 65 million votes and President Trump got more than 63 million votes, but Trump won the Electoral College by a vote of 304-227).
Democrats want to do away with the College in order to take away power in smaller states and give states with large urban populations more clout.
Democrats like South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, author Marianne Williamson, and former Obama administration cabinet secretary Julian Castro want to abolish the Electoral College, while Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Kamala Harris and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard have voiced support for doing away with the College.
But just like a lot of other ideas from Warren — like her $52 trillion Medicare for all proposal — her plan is a non-starter. Doing away with the College would require a constitutional amendment, and that can only take place if a two-thirds supermajority in Congress passes an amendment, which is then ratified by three-fourths of the states.
Yeah, that ain’t happening. Just like so many of Warren’s other wacky plans.