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Should the President be Elected by Popular Vote?

Thanks to the Electoral College, every presidential election comes down to the candidates' performance in a handful of states. Should that system be abolished in favor of direct election by popular vote?

As Election Day draws nearer, many polls show President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney running neck-and-neck nationally -- but a decided, if slight, advantage for Obama in the electoral vote.

Each state gets a certain number of electoral votes, based upon its population. In order to win the presidency, either Obama or Romney must win at least 270 of the 538 total electoral votes.

The system has the effect of making your vote count a lot more in "swing states" -- states where the majority could conceivably vote for either candidate -- than in other, more politically predictable states. It is a virtual certainty, for instance, that Georgia will vote for Mitt Romney, so an individual Georgian's vote for Barack Obama doesn't mean a lot -- Georgia's 16 electoral votes are going to be cast for Romney. Conversely, an individual voter's choice for Romney in ultra-blue New York won't stop that state's 29 electoral votes from going to Obama.

However, a voter in a state like Ohio -- where the race is much closer -- wields a lot more power. Ohio's 18 electoral votes could -- and probably will -- decide the presidential election.

And that leads to a bit of a conundrum. The national race is very tight, with many polls showing Romney with a slight lead. Most polls in Ohio and other swing states like Wisconsin, however, show an advantage for Obama. It's entirely possible that Obama could win the electoral vote -- and thus a second term -- while losing the popular vote.

It's happened before. In 1876, Rutherford B. Hayes won the presidency by a single electoral vote, but lost the popular vote to Samuel Tilden by a margin of 250,000, according to FactCheck.org. In 1880, Benjamin Harrison won the electoral vote while losing the popular vote to Grover Cleveland. And perhaps most famously, George W. Bush won an electoral victory in 2000 while losing the popular vote -- barely -- to Al Gore.

Obviously, it's not an ideal situation. Which raises the question: Should the Electoral College be abolished? Is it time we elect our president by direct, popular vote? Or should we stick with the system we know?

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Danny Franklin - AKA - Arbuckle Doc November 04, 2012 at 05:46 PM
The fairest method would be, "One Person = One Vote", and, location wouldn't matter, as long as they are US Citizens!!! ~ That way, we have EQUAL representation!!! Danny Franklin - AKA - Arbuckle Doc
Darrell Cole November 04, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Darrell Cole , Yes popular vote by legal American citizen is the only correct way to elect our president, God Bless America !
Elizabeth M. Floyd November 04, 2012 at 08:19 PM
We should stick with the system that we know, because there are a lot of racism on America which cause a certain race of people to vote because of skin color which is very unfair.
Amy Jacks November 06, 2012 at 04:00 AM
As an American we have the right to vote the best man in to represent all mankind and that US born citizen is President Barack Obama
Ron November 07, 2012 at 07:05 PM
With todays fast Computer systems and communication networks the Electorial Vote should have been banned years ago. Popular Vote after ALL Votes have been counted is the only fair and just way. NO MORE CROOKED POLITITIONS AND BIG BUSINESS DECIDING WHAT AMERICANS WANT. Osadin Obama elected and not all the votes even counted. Shift a few from one state to another and make the electorial vote come out any way you want not to mention electorial votes can be cast as desired with out observing popular vote in that state.
Ralph Stepp November 09, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Hey folks there is no right of the citizens to even vote for the president of the United States as ruled by the Supreme Court (Bush vs Gore 2000 I believe) who correctly verified the Constitution as correctly interpreted the Representative Democracy that was devised by the Constitutional Congress of 1789. Those wise men correctly decided that mob rule was no way to run a government. Should we have a direct election of the President by popular vote there would be a cry of unfairness of the rural population which is sparsely populated who would be ignored in favor of population centers or cities which would be courted to the detriment anyone not urbanized. Consider that NY City, Chicago, Miami, Northern New Jersey, Washington DC Area, Baltimore, LA, San Francisco Bay Area, Dallas Area, and a couple other population Centers would control Presidential Elections. No I think the forefathers had it right that a representative democracy was the most enduring government that had the best chance of surviving the whims of the populace.
John W Kistler November 10, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Yes popular vote is the best way to elect the President of US. Electoral college is so far out of date. Candidates go after certain states for electorate and shun all others, meaning many states no voice.
John W Kistler November 10, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Where's the birth certificate. Its a known fact he was born in Kenya. That does not sound like USA.
John W Kistler November 10, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Furthermore, check out Barack Hussein Obama's history. Community organizing in Illinois. Communist party affiliation with his family. Brothers were marxist. This just shows how many of younger generation think. They don't. They are too busy on internet, on phones, at parties, everything but watching which way the country is going.

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