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But those who created the Electoral College would not be alarmed if a presidential candidate won the popular vote but still lost the election for not getting enough electoral votes, Lee said.
“The founders would see such an outcome as a feature of our constitutional republic and not a bug that needs to be fixed,” he wrote in a plea for constitutional conservatives to join his defense of the college.
Princeton University history professor Kevin Kruse argues the growing margin between the popular vote winner and the winner of the Electoral College signals time for a change.
In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote by half a million votes; in 2016, Hillary Clinton won it by nearly 3 million votes.
“At this rate, we’re on a course for an election soon in which one candidate wins the popular vote by a staggering margin — 8, 9 or perhaps 10 million votes — but is denied the presidency due to the archaic mechanisms of the Electoral College,” Kruse wrote in an opinion piece for MSNBC. “If that happens, the engine will explode, and perhaps our democracy will, too.”
Allen Guelzo, senior research scholar in the Council of the Humanities and director of the Initiative on Politics and Statesmanship in the James Madison Program at Princeton, said that criticisms of the Electoral College as undemocratic or unnecessary or invented to protect slavery are misguided.