Electoral College

Should it be abolished? Should it be changed?


The 2000 presidential race produced one of the closest popular-vote margins in U.S. history and left neither Republican George W. Bush nor Democrat Al Gore with an Electoral College majority on the day after the election. With Florida's 25 electoral votes holding the key to victory, Gore is pressing for a recount to try to overcome Bush's narrow margin in the state while also touting his 300,000-vote lead over Bush nationwide. The race and the recount have focused new attention on the Electoral College. Critics say the 212-year-old system for choosing the president is anachronistic and anti-democratic, but supporters say it forces candidates to build national coalitions and discourages third-party candidates. Despite calls for abolishing or reforming the system, observers say changes are unlikely.

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