Support for electing president through popular vote rises among both Democrats and Republicans

·2 min read

Support for abolishing the Electoral College and moving to a popular vote system is at a record high as Americans continue to worry about the direction of the country.

A new Pew Research Center survey published last week found that 63 per cent of Americans support moving away from the Electoral College to a popular vote system — the highest number the poll has ever recorded. Previously, the record was 62 per cent, recorded in 2012.

Support for the Electoral College itself is tied for the lowest rate on record, at 35 per cent. The dissatisfaction with the Electoral College spreads into voter bases of both parties, with 80 per cent of Democrats and 42 per cent of Republicans favouring the popular vote system.

The survey was conducted between 27 June and 4 July 2022, among 6,174 US adults. The margin of error is 1.8 percentage points.

Its findings come at a time when the GOP is smarting from the defeat of Donald Trump in 2022, where the ex-president lost the popular vote as well as the Electoral College before attempting to thwart the latter with slates of false “electors” in states he lost.

Democrats, meanwhile, still carry bitterly the memory of Hillary Clinton’s combination Electoral College defeat/popular vote victory in 2016, which cost the party its chance that year to see the first woman elected president as well as a chance to stop Donald Trump from being elected.

Many in both parties are eager for new leadership. A growing number of Democrats, even including members of Congress in public statements, have called for “generational change” to sweep the party’s geriatric leaders out of power positions in the House, Senate and White House as the party’s voters question whether Joe Biden and other senior Democrats are acting with the urgency they worry the current political atmosphere demands.

As for Republicans, Donald Trump continues to dominate polls of the party’s 2024 primary field even as a majority of the country continues to say in often those same surveys that he should step aside and let someone else run for president.

Abolishing the Electoral College would potentially require a constitutional amendment; alternatively, some advocates are pushing a plan to urge state legislatures to pass laws which would award the electoral votes from their individual states to the winner of the national popular vote.

The Senate is currently debating changes to the process of counting Electoral College votes in the hopes of solidifying the largely-ceremonial process and avoiding a situation like the one that occurred in 2021 when Donald Trump contested the results of the 2020 election and sought to block the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.