The Electoral Interstate Compact redivivus

The last time I wrote about a nefarious and unconstitutional plan to kill the Electoral College was five years ago. At the time, the Utah politico pushing this plan was Howard Stephenson, my own State Senator. Howard seems to have moved on (or at least quieted down on the subject) but his mantle has been taken up, according to a report in politico.com, by Curt Bramble, from Senate District 16, Utah and Wasatch Counties. In the interim, Donald Trump has been elected with a minority of the popular vote, but…

The wisdom of the Electoral College

Prior to this year’s presidential election, four times in our history has a candidate become president without winning the popular vote. In 1824, John Quincy Adams lost both the popular vote and the electoral vote to Andrew Jackson. But Jackson fell short of the electoral votes needed that year to claim the presidency. That election fell to the House of Representatives to decide and it chose Adams. I’ll come back to this example in a minute. In 1876, Rutherford B. Hayes won the electoral vote, by one vote, but lost…

Electoral College vs. popular vote in presidential elections

We’ve had 58 presidential elections, one every four years since 1788. Twice the president was selected by Congress when no one succeeded in getting a majority of electoral votes. In both instances, Congress gave the presidency to the candidate who came in second in the popular vote. 1824’s John Quincy Adams only won 30.9% of the popular vote among four candidates. The other was 1876’s Rutherford B. Hayes, who won 47.9% of the popular vote and vowed to only serve one term. Three other times a candidate has won the…

Testing Evan McMullin

Last week, Wednesday evening found me in the ballroom at the historic Provo City Library at Academy Square, doing something I had never done before: listening to an independent presidential candidate speak. The candidate was Evan McMullin. The crowd included infants, children, youth, middle-agers like me, senior citizens, and countless late millennials and early post-millennials, that is, college students. We were only a few blocks from BYU, after all. I already had a mixed bag of first impressions. In press appearances, Mr. McMullin sounded like an intelligent guy with a fine…

No, we shouldn’t be treating Evan McMullin as a serious candidate

“It’s never too late to do the right thing.” So says long-shot independent candidate Evan McMullin on his campaign website. Yet it’s pretty obvious that sometimes it is too late. He announced a bid for president on August 8 after missing the filing deadline for ballot access in 21 states and having less than a month in 18 more. To date, the only states where he has ballot access are Utah, Colorado, and Minnesota. There’s no huge financial backer funding a media blitz to make up for lost time or provide any…