Mike Dukakis Hates the Electoral College
Donald Trump is about to become the president, even as his opponent’s share of the popular vote is larger and growing larger still. If that sounds like nonsense to your ears, know that you aren’t alone. Mike Dukakis hates the Electoral College, the ancient system that made it happen, as much as you do.
“Hillary won this election, and when the votes are all counted, by what will likely be more than a million votes. So how come she isn’t going to the White House in January? Because of an anachronistic Electoral College system which should have been abolished 150 years ago,” Dukakis tells Politico.
Donald Trump felt the same way in 2012, when he announced that he didn’t support the system because it appeared Mitt Romney was about to win the popular vote but lose the Electoral College. He lost both.
The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2012
Trump said on 60 Minutes last night that he still, sort of, opposes it, but has “respect” for it, given that that’s how he won.
“I’m not going to change my mind just because I won,” he said. “But I would rather see it where you went with simple votes. You know, you get 100 million votes and somebody else gets 90 million votes and you win. There’s a reason for doing this because it brings all the states into play. Electoral College and there’s something very good about that. But this is a different system. But I respect it. I do respect the system.”
Dukakis, the former Democratic presidential candidate—and current Northeastern professor, steward of Brookline’s sidewalks, and champion of the North-South Rail Link—lost both the popular and Electoral College vote during his run in 1988.
There is, of course, nothing that can be done this year (and that includes the impossible dream of convincing electors not to cast their official votes for the president-elect).
And the likelihood of an overhaul of an electoral process, especially one that would have favored Democrats in all but one of the last presidential elections of the past seven years, is dismal.
But Dukakis says Democrats ought to be pursuing it, because it long ago stopped making any sense.
“That should be at the top of the Democratic priority list while we wait to see what a Trump administration has in store for us,” he tells Politico, while also making time for a quick jab at the incoming administration. “So far, all we know is that dozens of lobbyists are all over the Trump transition — a strange way to drain the swamp.”