In this clip, Al Gore -- who has had some considerable experience in this area -- argues in favor of scrapping the electoral college system in favor of a direct popular vote. I certainly agree.
So why did the GOP platform include a plank favoring the antiquated electoral college? Not just because the college allows a candidate to win the presidency even if he has lost the popular count. The current system drives the entire national conversation to the right.
Think about it: If we had a popular vote right now, where would all the campaign action be? Not in the "purple" states. The candidates would be forced to tailor their messages for the most heavily populated states.
As things stand, it makes no sense for Democrats to spend money on a Latino-oriented get-out-the-vote drive in California, because California is going blue anyways. In fact, the Latino vote is not a massive factor in any of the purple states (or, as this map
would have it, beige states) in play in 2012 -- with the exception of Florida, where Latinos are 18 percent of the population and tend to vote more conservatively than elsewhere.
Scrapping the electoral college system would instantly give that group more influence nationwide. Fine by me.