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Divide CA's electoral votes?
26 October 2004 - Los Angeles Times

In the span of eight days Times readers have been subjected to three letters, a column by George Skelton, an editorial, and then three more letters, all calling for the replacement of the Electoral College with a direct popular vote. Despite the points raised, doing away with the Electoral College or proportionally dividing electoral votes would be a bad thing for America.

Complaints that strong Red or Blue states are ignored by candidates are nothing but bickering about which states control the election of the president. 15 urban states with half the population would love to override 35 rural states with the other half of the population. The Electoral College was put in place to ensure that 10 or 12 densely populated cities couldn’t elect a president who didn’t at least win a general mandate across the rest of the nation.

Proportionally dividing electoral votes would be even worse for the states that think they’re ignored. California’s 55 votes may seem like a treasure chest now, but the polarization of America’s two-party system would reduce the value of winning California to 5 or 10 votes at the most. Each party’s nominee could count on the 25 votes assured to him by his loyal base of 30-35%, leaving the battle for California only worth the 5 votes up for grabs each election. California would be no bigger a draw for a campaign visit than Nebraska. Is this really what the Electoral College naysayers want?

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