Al Gore's former campaign chairman says abolishing the Electoral College "would be a mistake."
"Now that Donald Trump has won the presidency despite losing the popular vote, there's a growing cry to rethink, or even abolish, the Electoral College," writes William M. Daley, a former White House chief of staff and a one-time secretary of Commerce, in a column for The Washington Post. "This would be a mistake."
He admits the Electoral College is a "tempting target, especially for Democrats" and notes two of the past five presidential elections have seen the GOP claim victory by winning the electoral vote, while losing the popular vote.
"I feel your pain. I was Al Gore's campaign chairman in 2000, when he won a half-million more votes than George W. Bush but lost the presidency. Trump's case is even more stark, as Hillary Clinton's popular vote margin will exceed 2 million.
"But I urge my fellow Democrats to think hard before trying to undo the admittedly hard-to-explain electoral college. The cure might be worse than the disease," he added.
Daley maintains the Electoral College often helps new presidents get started by magnifying their mandates.
"That happened with Barack Obama, who twice finished with under 53 percent of the popular vote but carried the electoral vote comfortably," he says.
And, he notes, it bolsters the two party system, which helps produce long-term political stability.
"The Electoral College is a curious institution, concocted by Founding Fathers struggling to balance the influence of big and small states. It's not perfect. But until we have a clearly better replacement, let's stick with it," Daley writes.
Some Democrats have blasted the Electoral College following the election.
"I, for one, am very focused on this," WCBS radio quoted New York Mayor Bill de Blasio after the election. "I hope people are all over the country, because it's inconceivable to me that the will of 2.3 million people has been ignored in this result.
"It doesn't make sense. And it's supposed to be in our constitution: one person, one vote. That's not what happened here."
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