Prepare: Prior to beginning work on this discussion question, read Chapters 5 and 6 in American Government and review Week 3 Instructor Guidance. In addition, read What Are the Arguments Made in Favor—and Against—the Electoral College? (Links to an external site.), Stop Blaming the Electoral College (Links to an external site.), and “Swing States, the Winner-Take-All Electoral College, and Fiscal Federalism.”
Reflect: As the textbook author asserts, the framers intentionally designed a process for selecting presidents that would minimize the president’s political power—the Electoral College. They hoped this institution would insulate the chief executive from the public, because they feared the power of presidents who might be elected by the people. However, the Electoral College has also spawned a long ongoing debate about whether it should be abandoned in favor of new methods, which would ensure that the candidate elected has the most popular votes. The controversy over the Electoral College must be understood to understand better how and why U.S. presidents are elected. Only five times in United States history has the candidate who won the popular vote lost the Electoral College vote. However, this has happened twice in the last 16 years—in the 2000 Bush/Gore election and again in the 2016 Trump/Clinton election.
Write: For this discussion,
Describe how the Electoral College works, select a presidential election from U.S. history, and discuss the results of the Compare the Electoral College results with the popular vote.
Explain your position regarding the Electoral College and whether you are for or against the Electoral College as it is currently. Be sure to elaborate and explain your rationale for your position.
Your initial post must be at least 300 words. If you are citing statistics our outside resources, please list the website or the reference entry.
Respond to Peers: By Day 7, respond to at least two of your classmates’ initial posts. Your peer responses should be substantive and at least 100 words each. For this discussion, respond to at least one peer who discussed a different stance regarding the Electoral College than you did for this assignment. This will allow you to discuss counterarguments and support the position you discussed. As your reply to your classmates, attempt to take the conversation further by examining their claims or arguments in more depth or responding to the posts that they make to you. Keep the discussion on target and try to analyze things in as much detail as you can.