[UPDATED VERSION!] The Trouble With The Electoral College


Normal Grey: Not once, not twice, but thrice in American History, the candidate with the most votes from the people actually lost because of the Electoral College. Exasperated Grey: Four times now, this has happened four times. Normal Grey: Three errors in fifty-five plus elections is a failure rate of five percent. Exasperated Grey: Seven percent. Normal Grey: Would anyone tolerate a sport where by a quirk of the rules there was a- Exasperated Grey: Seven percent. Normal Grey: -chance that the loser would win? Not likely.

100 thoughts on “[UPDATED VERSION!] The Trouble With The Electoral College

  1. For all of you saying that Trump supporters love the Electoral College because it got him to win-We don't. We want a fair system of government where everyone has a vote that counts the same.

    Love, a Trump supporter from Florida where my vote will be worth less than 45-ish other states.

  2. I'm glad California and New York alone, don't dictate policy for the whole country. Without EC the rest of the country wouldn't matter in a national election…

  3. "What better way to enslave a man then to give him the vote and tell him he's free"
    -Albert Camus

  4. To the people saying it is meant to protect the small states I have to say: would you rather the group of Americans in the big states be underrepresented or everyone be equal?

    If you say to keep the Electoral College you are saying, "hey, government take away some of these people's representation so these other people are overrepresented." Which goes against the core values of every man being equal

    I just wrote an essay complaining… That was fun, I should this more often.

  5. All of this is operating on the assumption that candidates wouldn't have used different tactics if the election was determined by popular vote. Just because Trump or Bush didn't win the popular vote in an election where it didn't matter doesn't mean that they wouldn't or couldn't have won it in an election where it did. You want to talk about the merits of the system, fine, but don't pretend that people would have voted in exactly the same way. You can't know that.

  6. The confusion melts away once you realize the whole purpose of the United States of America's voting system isn't to represent the 'people', but the States that it is comprised of. It is each State's job to represent its constituent population. The fact that the number of electors a State gets isn't directly proportional to its population should be a very obvious clue as to why old Georgey et al. decided to set this system up the way that they did.

  7. I don't understand why winning the popular vote and losing the election is a bad thing. The electoral college exists to give low populated states a fair representation in elections.

  8. were not a democracy   were a republic    with liberty and justice for ALL not just the majority  .. majority rule is nothing but mob rule .. no thanks..

  9. Notice how in all four elections, it was the Democrat that got screwed over, and the Republicans prevailed. This could be explained by the Solid South in the 19th century, and by big cities in the 21st century. In either case, the Democrats simply ran up big margins in the states they won, while the Republicans simply won more electoral votes in states by smaller margins. And in all four cases, the deciding state, or in the case of 2016, states, were all decided by one point or less, especially Florida in 2000, when the margin was a mere 537 votes for Bush out of nearly 6 million cast.

  10. Some angry republicans have tried saying that the electoral college lets minority party voters get their say in. It doesn't.
    All it does is suppress democrats in rural states and republicans in large cities; while at the same time giving vastly more power to smaller states than they deserve. Should a Wyoming man's vote count 4 times as much as a Californian or Texan, just because Wyoming is small and meaningless? Is that "protecting Americans from big city voters?" No.

  11. Failure rate is 0%. The system was designed this way for a reason. Founding fathers already debated the popular vote, and they decided that popular vote would simply be mob rule. I agree that the current system isn't much better, but the reality is that a pure popular vote would be much worse.

    Rather, what we need is to nationalize what is being done by Maine and Nebraska. Just have each Congressional district represent 1 vote, and 2 votes for the state at large. That way overwhelming margins in some parts of the country won't completely decide it for everyone else.

  12. I'm mostly Conservative with my views, but I must agree, the electorate college is crap.

  13. You Americans make it too hard, like here in Argentina, people are the ones who decide. The candidate that gets the majority wins.

  14. Fatal error on line 1: “In a perfect democracy…”The USA is a republic, not a democracy. It’s a big difference: in a republic, certain rights cannot be trampled on by majority as they can in a democracy. Those limits are established in the constitution. One of those fundamental rights is the existence of “states“ which are granted their own power to create laws and establish their own local norms, standards, and customs. The electoral college and the senate make up specifically protect those states’ rights and grant additional power to states. There are good reasons for this, backed up with actual data and history. It protects regional identities and cultural norms, yet it still supports one nation. It strengthens that nation because states can govern in their own right, can challenge federal overruns of authority (they are a check and balance), and can even recover and manage basic services in case of a catastrophic federal failure. (Watch the post-apocalyptic show “Jericho.”) This construction and state influence at the federal level wasn’t an accident, it was intentional. Thus, it is not the people themselves that are voting for the President. It is the people AND the states. Both need a voice or we radically re-engineer the unique (up to that point in history) framework that made our country so amazing.

  15. I’m sorry, but is that a bad thing? The electoral college makes sure that the ideology that mob rules don’t come to determine the laws, or who the president is!

  16. "It gives states more power in elections!" States don't need voting power, people do. A state's just land, that's all it is. Fucking land. Land shouldn't get a say in elections, people should.

    "Without the EC, candidates would only campaign in big cities" yeah and you know what would happen? No one would vote for them. Because the 10 biggest cities in the US only contain 12% of the population, and you can't win an election with just 12% of voters. You CAN, however, win an election by winning just 11 states with the EC (CA, TX, FL, NY, PA, IL, OH, GA, NC, MI, and NJ). No one complains that these states hold all the power.

    "We're a republic, not a democracy" Republics are inherently democratic, dumbass. Republics are where the people elect the head of state, and when you don't elect the head of state, you are not a democracy.

  17. All you people saying Trump actually won the popular vote ,please read this from the federal election commission https://transition.fec.gov/pubrec/fe2016/federalelections2016.pdf

  18. I just love how many Trump voters are getting frustrated and whiny in the comment section. People, this isn't some sort of corrupt system where anyone can just make 3 MILLION votes appear out of nowhere. You'd really think that an institution would really allow it to be a monstrous number of fake votes to reach the elections? Sure maybe a few hundreds, or even a couple thousands (and on both sides, republicans aren't angels, remember that, fanatics are everywhere.) but not 3 effing millions! Really, if Grey sounds annoyed at this, its not because of who he supports, its because of the failing electoral system of probably the most influencial and powerful country in the world! IT'S NOT THAT THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE FAILED, IT'S THAT THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE IS A FAILURE!

  19. It makes me upset that so many people didn't watch grey's earlier videos on the electoral college here in the comments section. So many of people's arguments are addressed there.

  20. If popular vote determined the winner, Trump would have won.

    Reason? Simple. Nobody thought he would win, so people who were leaning towards Trump were much more likely to not bother voting. Tha's why Trump lost the popular vote, because we all know popular vote isn't that relevant to the final outcome.

    But everyone who supported Clinton voted, because of the first woman president thing.

    So my guess is that if the electoral college didn't exist, Trump still would have won.

  21. Wow, Hillary had more pieces left on the board in a game of chess, but Donald got the checkmate. But that's not fair, just because those were the rules set in stone since ancient time on how this would work I really won, not you! Doesn't matter that you would have changed your strategy and ignored the rust belt like I did, California loved me, so I should win!

  22. after reading a bit on the topic, i love the electoral collage, it's a brilliant idea.

  23. Using the sports simile, it wouldn't be the best player, it would be the most liked.

  24. The fact that the electoral college can make the loser the winner is actually very important as otherwise the elections would always be decided entirely by people in cities.

  25. We live in the UNITED STATES of America. A country made up of semi-independent states that all get to have a say in how the country is run. Why should we change this and only allow California and New York to vote and decide the fate of the country for all of the other states?

  26. I once disagreed with you on this. I thought the electoral college was an important check; a body with somewhat more political acumen than the masses, who could resist the pull of a "bread and circuses right up until I change the nature of the game enough to be able to show my true colors" type candidate.

    Then, a shining paragon of that exact sort came along and they did the opposite of protecting us from ourselves.

    I was wrong.

  27. Why are you acting like the popular vote is the win condition?
    That's actually foolish.
    We need to abandon democracy and just stick to having a republic.

  28. This is like claiming that you won a chess game after you've been checkmated because you have more pieces. No one went into the election thinking they needed to get the popular vote.
    You're bullshitting.

  29. "The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy."
    6:45 AM – Nov 7, 2012
    – Donald Trump.

  30. This video is wrong. It's happened 5 times not 4. He forgot about John Quincy Adams in the election of 1824. And it doesn't mean the system failed. It worked exactly how it was designed to work. To be president you have to win STATES. Not population. It's the "President of the United STATES". Not the president of the most populated states.

  31. Late to this video, but seeing the lefties getting triggered by trump supporter comments has genuinely brightened my day.

  32. The analogy to sports is not good. Winning the popular vote is like getting more hits in a baseball game. It correlates well with winning, but it doesn't matter because the objective of baseball is to score more runs. Maybe you think that more hits is better, but that would be a different game.

  33. Soon it’s gonna be 5, that is if trump plays his cards right ( I mean his surpporters would vote for him again)

  34. I don't see how it is a failure. It is working as intended by not allowing all the voting power to concentrate in a few populous states.

    We aren't a pure democracy. Protecting rights is more important than giving the mob what it wants all the time.

  35. When are you going to take this idiotic video down?
    https://youtu.be/NECVl0QqybI

  36. It did not fail but worked as it should have. And who is to say the outcome would have been different had the rules of the contest been changed the candidates would have played differently. Purchase the delagets should be allocated by proportion rather than winner take all

  37. CGP Grey- this is the only video (I’ve watched) where you’ve presented incorrect information Electoral College is a hybrid: popular vote + representative vote. Other ways to view the data: #Precincts or #States that voted for Trump vs Clinton. A true ‘popular’ national vote risks high-population states over-running the low-volume states.

  38. FYI, 1.2 million votes for Trump were withheld and thus not counted, meaning Trump DID in fact win the popular vote in addition to the college.

    Even while cheating, Hillary couldn't win, which is pretty sad.

  39. This is only "failure" because you presuppose that the popular vote should win… That's where you're wrong kiddo.

  40. The video is based on the idea the US is a democracy. It is not! The United States is a Democratic REPUBLIC which was intentional. Not for a lack of ease of voting, but put checks on the majority. The founders feared the majority would eventually simply vote to give themselves things until the country was bankrupt. Each time we become less of a republic, the more their fears are realized. Lastly, we are 50 states voting for the leader of the union. We are not individuals voting for president. The premise that the election was Wrong, is , well, WRONG.

  41. How is this considered a failure? We don't do presidential elections by the popular vote.

  42. In 1960 Kennedy also probably lost the popular vote to Nixon due to the way some southern states counted votes at the time.

  43. It's only a failure if you think the election of the President is supposed to be a popularity contest.

  44. It's not a failure, Trump played a different way to win and did so. Comparing it to a boxing match isn't accurate at all.

  45. That's sport analogy doesn't make sense since it's not the popular vote that determines the winner. That's like having the World Series played and one team wins the four out of seven games required but the other team scored more runs all together in the games played. Doesn't matter that's not how the rules are applied.

  46. REMINDER: First past the post is the true trouble for not many votes Republican in New York or California.

  47. I love your videos but this is by design , the electoral college is a buffer essentially

  48. Awwwww poor baby. We are a constitutional republic, not a democracy.

  49. There can never be a flawless election, such a thing is impossible.

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