Do You Understand the Electoral College?
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Do You Understand the Electoral College?


I want to talk you about the Electoral College
and why it matters. Alright, I know this doesn’t sound the like
most sensational topic of the day, but, stay with me because, I promise you, it’s one of
the most important. To explain why requires a very brief civics
review. The President and Vice President of the United
States are not chosen by a nationwide, popular vote of the American people; rather, they
are chosen by 538 electors. This process is spelled out in the United States Constitution. Why didn’t the Founders just make it easy,
and let the Presidential candidate with the most votes claim victory? Why did they create,
and why do we continue to need, this Electoral College? The answer is critical to understanding not
only the Electoral College, but also America. The Founders had no intention of creating
a pure majority-rule democracy. They knew from careful study of history what most have forgotten today, or never learned: pure democracies do not work. They implode. Democracy has been colorfully described as
two wolves and a lamb voting on what’s for dinner. In a pure democracy, bare majorities
can easily tyrannize the rest of a country. The Founders wanted to avoid this at all costs. This is why we have three branches of government
— Executive, Legislative and Judicial. It’s why each state has two Senators no matter
what its population, but also different numbers of Representatives based entirely on population.
It’s why it takes a supermajority in Congress and three-quarters of the states to change
the Constitution. And, it’s why we have the Electoral College. Here’s how the Electoral College works. The Presidential election happens in two phases.
The first phase is purely democratic. We hold 51 popular elections every presidential election
year: one in each state and one in D.C. On Election Day in 2012, you may have thought
you were voting for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, but you were really voting for a slate of
presidential electors. In Rhode Island, for example, if you voted for Barack Obama, you
voted for the state’s four Democratic electors; if you voted for Mitt Romney you were really
voting for the state’s four Republican electors. Part Two of the election is held in December.
And it is this December election among the states’ 538 electors, not the November election,
which officially determines the identity of the next President. At least 270 votes are
needed to win. Why is this so important? Because the system encourages coalition-building
and national campaigning. In order to win, a candidate must have the support of many different types of voters, from various parts of the country. Winning only the South or the Midwest is not
good enough. You cannot win 270 electoral votes if only one part of the country is supporting
you. But if winning were only about getting the
most votes, a candidate might concentrate all of his efforts in the biggest cities or
the biggest states. Why would that candidate care about what people in West Virginia or
Iowa or Montana think? But, you might ask, isn’t the election really
only about the so-called swing states? Actually, no. If nothing else, safe and swing
states are constantly changing. California voted safely Republican as recently
as 1988. Texas used to vote Democrat. Neither New Hampshire nor Virginia used to be swing
states. Most people think that George W. Bush won
the 2000 election because of Florida. Well, sort of. But he really won the election because
he managed to flip one state which the Democrats thought was safe: West Virginia. Its 4 electoral
votes turned out to be decisive. No political party can ignore any state for
too long without suffering the consequences. Every state, and therefore every voter in
every state, is important. The Electoral College also makes it harder
to steal elections. Votes must be stolen in the right state in order to change the outcome
of the Electoral College. With so many swing states, this is hard to predict and hard to do. But without the Electoral College, any vote
stolen in any precinct in the country could affect the national outcome — even if that
vote was easily stolen in the bluest California precinct or the reddest Texas one. The Electoral College is an ingenious method
of selecting a President for a great, diverse republic such as our own — it protects against
the tyranny of the majority, encourages coalition building and discourages voter fraud. Our Founders were proud of it! We can be too. I’m Tara Ross for Prager University.

About James Carlton

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100 thoughts on “Do You Understand the Electoral College?

  1. Why do you think that the Republicans love the electoral college? Could it be that only 3 Republican presidents and during only one of their terms won the White House via the popular vote? They are:

    1876 Rutherford B Hayes
    1888 Benjamin Harrison
    2000 George W Bush

    That is why the Republicans have made gerrymandering and voter suppression an art form.

  2. Maine and Nebraska should have two colors on their state, as they share the electoral vote instead of using the "winner takes all" system.

  3. Can anyone quickly point me to historical examples of imploding direct democracies the founding fathers could have had in mind?

  4. So if republicans lost, they want to abolish the EC

    and if democrats lost, they want to abolish the EC

    So whatever side lost, the EC will be gone by the side who wants it gone the most

  5. When Democrats win: Yeah! The Electoral College is awesome!
    When Democrats lose: Abolish the Electoral College cause it’s stupid

  6. People keep saying they don’t teach this in school…I’m literally here because I have a test tomorrow. I have to explain why we should keep or abolish the electoral college

  7. The world belongs to the living. The EC is corrupt, syphilitic and should have been abolished as soon as the wire telegraph was invented. The 2 party system has destroyed democracy.

  8. You should go over the downsides of it too. If you live in blue states like Cali or Illinois, your vote does not matter. In the ec, cities have even greater power than in a direct democracy. Also, an elector may vote differently than what the state decides. I agree that it works for making candidates focused on more places, but other systems could also do that. The ec is flawed, and blindly worshipping the founders asses won't help out country. Listen to their intent, and build upon it if need be.

  9. isnt the first and second phase elections linked in the sense that the electors elected in first phase would vote for their own party presidential candidate in the second election phase? then, why did trump lose popular vote but still win the election? i dont get this part because hillary had more electors but they didnt vote for her?

  10. “Every state and every vote matters”
    Ok so if I win the presidential election with less than 45% of the vote and u have to delete this video.
    You see the states with less population are over represented and therefore if you go to those states (states like Wyoming Montana alaska Hawaii the Dakotas ect) you can win president with less than 45% of the vote. This is NOT democracy

  11. It is likable for me but when it is a tie I get mad when it gets to the house because the big states for example Texas votes is less valuable than for example Delaware

  12. Teachers DO teach this in school. My students learn and are tested on it every year. Don't say things you don't know about.

  13. I do, the question is do the rest of you know? Sad to see the ignorance that has been imposed on this county by so called "progress"

  14. Just to be clear to everyone. The Electoral College is Anti-Democracy. As in, Democracy is bad. As in, even if the vast majority of the country wants a particular candidate. They don't necessarily win the election. Because Democracy is bad. How does that not upset you people?

  15. Highly troubling to even call a system democratic IF its design details were made to neglect basic and main rule of democratic majority vote. Wtf

  16. How can it be that this subsystem is torn apart by experts? They sure know their stuff. Regardless of which party they personally favor, I guess.

  17. "Pure democracy's dont work they implode" athen's pure democracy's for the last 2500 years, btw you forgot to mention how the electoral college was made during an era of no radio tv or internet. Pretty big factor of its creation, look it up

  18. Why? Because the Founders lived before radios or telephones or telegraphs. You wanted to send a message to Washington in 1790, you gave it to man on the horse and hoped he got there without being killed by highwaymen or a landslide.

  19. Wait so I’m a bit confused. So when u vote for a president, ur voting for the 6 electors and then they put them as an elector vote?

  20. alot of people moves to NY and California to work. why would a state that don't contribute anything to the US have any Electoral points.?(fly over states)
    so if 98% of the US population moves to NY. the other 5% of the people from the dumb state gets all the Electoral points?

  21. Basically put, pure democracy is bad as minority will always suffer. However, i fail to see how electoral college system does anything different. After all, candidates will still go after states that has the most electoral votes and its back to square one again. Except its worst when many electors are basically existing politicians that have political positions, they would end up not representing the people at all. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJy8vTu66tE And then there's the freaking one dollar one vote corrupt system.

  22. So it:
    – Exchanges tyranny of the majority for tyranny of the minority
    – Discourages a crazily unlikely coalition of big states that have nothing in common with each other except bigness
    – Prevents the problems of direct democracy in the same way that any other system does
    – Implies every state is important, which is why in reality presidential candidates actually do spend almost all of their time campaigning in current swing states. (When was the last time you saw a Republican campaign in Rhode Island?)
    – I will give you electoral fraud, that's fair enough
    – What it is good at is acting as a middle man in a system where hand-counted, unverified results have to be transmitted on horseback through a country of disunited states where almost nobody could vote.

  23. My problem with the electoral college is that you could have a candidate who wins 39 state with a 100% vote, while the other candidate only gets 11 states with 51% votes. If the 11 states were those of the highest electoral college votes then this candidate who barely won these 11 states with just 51% gets the presidency. Which would put his/her popular vote at less than 20%. It would mean that 80% or more did not want him/ her as president, but how the electoral college they were able to get it.

  24. 3:10 Here's an issue with this map.

    First, this map plus New Jersey would be enough for a candidate to win 270 votes. And with increasing urbanization, it's not as unlikely as it'd appear.

    Secondly, if this map plus New Jersey was the winning map, a candidate would only need a minimum of 27% of the national vote to win.

    I bring that last point up because, while it's unrealistic, it highlights that the EC does not ensure our president is someone that represents the will of the people. It's possible for the EC to elect someone that doesn't have the backing of the American people.

    Another outcome not often thought if is a similar outcome via the house of Representatives – a third party candidate could steal enough EC votes to force the election to the house where they can make the decision against the will of the public

  25. It sounds good and all until you realize the electoral college can be statistically won with only 27% of the popular vote. https://www.npr.org/2016/11/02/500112248/how-to-win-the-presidency-with-27-percent-of-the-popular-vote. Doesn't sound like a democracy to me . Moreover. if it's so good how come no one else is doing it and why we don't do it at the state and local level is beyond me…

  26. So applying this theory the Brexit referendum should be invalid as it was a popular direct vote and therefore tyranny of the majority ?

  27. But campaigning in just big cities will make them lose you will have to go to other states too and other cities or rural places in a country that allows popular vote plus Prager University is probably not a real University but this is my opinion

  28. If not for the Electoral College, Los Angeles County would have more power than 40+ states. It's funny that after Trump's Election, was the first time I heard complaints about the Electoral College.

  29. Pure Democracy works… look at Switzerland.
    The People elect Represantives for both houses
    Both houses then elect 7 executive minister as head of the executorial branch.
    The Federal Council consists of member of the major parties within Switzerland usually by a formula.
    This enforces consensus within the goverment.
    But in the end… The People have direct veto and initaitive rights over all decisions made by the goverment.
    Vor an initative the People have to gather 100000 Subscribers within 18 Months
    It is then processed and submited to the People for voting on the matter.
    Vor a veto the People have to gather 50000 Subscribers within 100 Days

    it is then processed and submited to the People for voting on the matter.

    The People also elect the Judges.

    It sounds complicated…. but its transparent… clear… fair.
    It also means: "I am Switzerland" L'état c'est moi

  30. States need to have their own individual electorial college's, for states like Washington and Virginia are run by a few counties while the majority are screwed by their policies that may not work for them.

  31. It’s a damn shame Hillary Clinton didn’t lose the popular vote but win the electoral college. We might have been able to get the left and right to agree that it needs to be abolished.

    #wastedopportunities

  32. According to the Democrats, election/voter fraud does not exist and is not an issue. And.. if Trump were a Democrat, would they be screaming about the EC right now..? Who knows.. the EC may elect a Demonrat with the minority of the popular vote.

  33. Thank god the individual states still have some power. Can you imagine what a bunch of corrupt Democratic politician would do to our constitution?

  34. It is a gross exaggeration to say that swing-states are "constantly changing" but it doesn't even matter. It simply doesn't make sense to have a system in which only the voters in swing-states really matter. In 2016, Trump and Hillary spent basically all of their time and attention on Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin and very little time in the other states. Why is that a good thing? For example, I live in Alaska and preferred Hillary over Trump. Alaska is a reliably red state though so it made no sense for me to vote because my vote wouldn't really matter. Why does this lady think that's a good thing?

  35. Fake news and tight wing propoganda. How is it democratic if someone wins a state by just a few votes why do they get 100% of the electors. The electoral college creates a system where the majority rules with no exceptions which is unfair. Why don’t they amend the system so that the electors are spread out proportionally. E.G a state has 100 electors and the candidate gets 60% give them 60% of the electors. Use the D’Hont method. Note: Right Wing Cristism not aloud.

  36. "Isn't the EC just about Swing States you may ask?". "Actually no…swing states are constantly changing". This lady is not answering the question she just asked herself. The answer is yes… the Electoral College makes the election all about the swing states and that's the problem. Sure, swing-states change a bit from time to time but it still doesn't make sense to put each election up to the swing-voters in a couple swing-states to decide. Why should Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin, and Ohio get such an important say in the election and say Oklahoma or Rhode Island get a minimal role?

  37. This is why I have not voted on Presidential Election ever since I've found out that only the electoral votes count on Presidential Election. America's election is the most unfair election on the planet. Not only it's citizens votes don't count but there voting rules are also so bias. Why even vote since only the electoral votes count?

  38. Hey PragerU, when will you start offering classes on differential equations? You can't because you're not a real university and you're too stupid. Good night.

  39. I had always wondered exactly how the electoral college had worked, and not really understood why it was important… until now, thanks PragerU and Tara Ross!

  40. Adam Ruins Everything did a similar video, he basically calls the founding fathers a bunch of racist idiots and ignored all the facts, history and raw data that's openly available. I knew I could trust PragerU with a coherent answer.

  41. I think we have the colllege to repersent the states who in turn repersent the people that’s my guess before going into the video

  42. I disagree with the usage of the electoral college. Something that I hear often is that, if it were a direct democracy the Candidates would just campaign in places like New York, LA, Chicago, etc… However the top 90 cities (by population) in the US is less than 20% of the Country's total population which is far below what is needed to win an election.

  43. Call me a leftist or whatever but don't you think that the outcome of an election should represent what most americans voted for? Even if it's not recorded in a direct democracy?

  44. The electoral college sounds great, but I think that it should be to where not just two major parties can only have a chance to win. Though third parties can run, it takes a miracle from God for them to win just a handful of states. America is the third largest country in population with more than 300M people,of all kinds of political views. Would it be competent to say all of us can be represented by just two parties? That's why I think the EC should stay but have a proportional system that requires 270 to win. Therefore the populous can vote with the party they mist agree with, and also make sure the president who wins requires a majority and not a plurality. If I'm wrong on my solution, at least maybe im right about the fact that America shouldn't be represented by just 2 parties, right?

  45. Now with the electoral college, imagine a group of two lambs and a wolf except the wolf gets three times as much voting power.

  46. This video is basically using a "strawman" fallacious argument. When the "problem" is POLITICIANS would focus their attention on states with higher populations, the ANSWER isn't to deny representation to those populations.

    See also, "FAITHLESS electors"

    No system, that makes one vote "matter" more than another, is a
    democracy. When your argument is you MUST steal representation from
    PEOPLE who live in states with higher populations, because otherwise the
    MAJORITY would rule, then you shouldn't dare to call us free,
    impartial, or democratic.

    "Taxation without representation" led to The Revolution.

    The U.S. Declaration of Independence states that "when a long train of
    abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a
    design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is
    their duty, to throw off such Government"

    NO MORE "Nomination without Representation". @7iVI

  47. This video is basically using a "strawman" fallacious argument. When the "problem" is POLITICIANS would focus their attention on states with higher populations, the ANSWER isn't to deny representation to those populations.

    See also, "FAITHLESS electors"

    No system, that makes one vote "matter" more than another, is a
    democracy. When your argument is you MUST steal representation from
    PEOPLE who live in states with higher populations, because otherwise the
    MAJORITY would rule, then you shouldn't dare to call us free,
    impartial, or democratic.

    "Taxation without representation" led to The Revolution.

    The U.S. Declaration of Independence states that "when a long train of
    abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a
    design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is
    their duty, to throw off such Government"

    NO MORE "Nomination without Representation". @7iVI

  48. This video is basically using a "strawman" fallacious argument. When the "problem" is POLITICIANS would focus their attention on states with higher populations, the ANSWER isn't to deny representation to those populations.

    See also, "FAITHLESS electors"

    No system, that makes one vote "matter" more than another, is a
    democracy. When your argument is you MUST steal representation from
    PEOPLE who live in states with higher populations, because otherwise the
    MAJORITY would rule, then you shouldn't dare to call us free,
    impartial, or democratic.

    "Taxation without representation" led to The Revolution.

    The U.S. Declaration of Independence states that "when a long train of
    abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a
    design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is
    their duty, to throw off such Government"

    NO MORE "Nomination without Representation". @7iVI

  49. Who are these people? Do they get paid? How do you become a member of the EC? Are they appointed? What are the qualifications? That's what I want to know. I haven't found out yet and this is the third site I've been to, guess I'll keep looking.

  50. People complaining about a system established in our Constitution are basically too lazy to try and do the work that it takes to Win a National Election—Instead they want to strip away rights of people they disagree with, they want to classify themselves as correct without debate, they want to Rule over the rest of the country by use of Tyranny and then deny the reason for the Electoral College. Their Emotional Rants Show the Genius of the EC system; they are just too irrational to realize it.

  51. What happened in this country threatens the very heart of our existence….The Constitution. If Socialist do away with the electoral college as they control the left coasts, we will forever be lost an ideology that never worked. .My video intro to my new book spells out the idiocy of AOC and socialism…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yehopd1Ym1Q Here's the book that makes a great gift www.amazon.com/Still-Talking-About-Alinsky-Since/dp/1695724542/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=dad%2C+why+are+you+still&qid=1574878549&sr=8-1

  52. People, who want to get rid of the Electoral College, are also essentially stating that they do not value the U.S. Senate either and would just as easily seek to eliminate the U.S. Senate as well.

  53. People who are against the EC have probably never lived in a more rural area that struggles to have their issues heard in the wider political ring. More rural states DEFINITELY should have a "louder voice" per vote from the EC. I mean… if they didn't, how could they express themselves? Urban folk don't get it. Even poorer people in urban communities can at least organize a huge protest and easily get news coverage, or go to big company or government offices and be heard that way. What could poor farmers in Nebraska do? It's so obvious to me why we need the EC. It shocks me how little many people have thought deeper about it and realize why…

  54. Without the electoral college you would litterally have California (well just the coast) New York (well New York City) Texas (Well Houston Austin Dallas) Illinois (well Chicago) and Florida decide every election …… Yes Trump lost the popular vote by 2,864,974 ok he lost California the by far most Left state in the country by 4,269,978 so if you can do basic math Trump was winning the popular vote until California was counted ….. I personally don't want America's fate in California's hands every election cycle

  55. Isn't it funny how often Democrats like changing the rules when they LOSE!!!

    What's more funny is how they act after they lose!!

  56. Fred:
    "Hey what is democracy?"
    Sam:
    "Its when people have the power to elect people based on popular vote for office."
    Fred:
    "Ok so Ima make a electoral college and that means that sometimes the president can actually become president EVEN if he doesn't get the MOST VOTES."
    Sam:
    "…Well wouldn't that be against the concept of democracy?"
    Fred:
    "Shut up I hate California and New York."

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