- Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced on Monday that she supports eliminating the Electoral College.
- Two Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Al Gore, recently won the popular vote in their bids for the presidency, but were denied the White House after losing the Electoral College.
- “My view is that every vote matters and the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting and that means get rid of the Electoral College – and every vote counts,” Warren said during a CNN town hall.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced on Monday night that she supports eliminating the Electoral College.
Warren is among the first 2020 presidential candidates to call for a fundamental restructuring of US presidential elections. She argued during a CNN town hall on Monday night in Jackson, Mississippi that the Electoral College unfairly values swing-state voters over those in states dominated by one of the major parties.
“Come a general election, presidential candidates don’t come to places like Mississippi. They also don’t come to places like California or Massachusetts, because we’re not the battleground states,” Warren told the audience.
She went on, “My view is that every vote matters and the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting and that means get rid of the Electoral College – and every vote counts.”
The announcement earned the Massachusetts Democrat big applause from the Southern audience. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is the only other presidential candidate yet to call for an end to the Electoral College.
Democrats have for centuries come out on the losing end of the Electoral College despite winning the popular vote. A Democrat was on the losing end in four out of the five instances in US history in which a presidential candidate has lost the Electoral College but won the popular vote, dating back to Samuel Tilden’s loss to Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876.
More recently, Democrat Hillary Clinton won the popular vote against Donald Trump by almost 3 million votes in 2016. Trump’s narrow victories in swing states including Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania handed him his Electoral College victory, and consequently, the White House.
And in 2000, former Democratic vice president Al Gore also beat George W. Bush in the popular vote, but lost the Electoral College and the presidency.
Prior to entering politics, Trump himself railed against the “sham” Electoral College , calling the system a “disaster for democracy” and a “total travesty” in 2012. After his November 2016 win, Trump said he would still rather let the popular vote determine the outcome of presidential elections, but added that he “respects” the current system.
During her hour-long town hall, Warren also took the opportunity to endorse a constitutional amendment to protect the right to vote and called to repeal “every single one” of the laws that critics say are designed to suppress the vote.
And she called for a “full-blown national conversation” about reparations for the descendants of slaves and for treating the right to housing as a human right.