Electoral College Gets An 'F'

Finally today, I know the election is long past now, but is there still time for one more flip-flop, this one by me? Ever since high school civics, I have believed the Electoral College was a good thing, the only real way for the small states to get the attention they deserve in a national election.

Well, I have changed my mind.

I was in California the week before the election and it had been a sure thing for Kerry for so long that it was as if there was no election out there. Californians and so many others in the sure thing states just watched as nine or 10 states elected a president. Somehow this just does not seem right to me.

Candidates spent so much time in the battleground states that someone said they were going to towns that even Senate candidates don't visit.

The small states do need attention, but what about the rest of the states? And think of this. If John Kerry had won Ohio -- and he almost did -- he would have been elected president even though George Bush won the popular vote by nearly 3.8 million votes. It was hard enough for Bush to govern after losing the popular vote by a half million. Imagine a Democrat trying to govern as he faced a Republican-controlled Congress after losing the popular vote by 3.8 million. It would have been four years of hard and fast gridlock.

The Electoral College was a good idea that has outlived its usefulness. We've spent enough time in the Electoral College to graduate to something better like electing the candidate who gets the most votes.

By Bob Schiefer


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