Texas’ Winner-Take-All Elections Mean Unfair Results

Jason Harrow @ Houston Chronicle May 29, 2018

President Trump said something recently in an interview that most Americans should be able to agree on: We should change the way we elect the president. He told Fox & Friends that he would “rather have a popular election” for president than use the current system, which, in most cases, awards all of a state’s electoral votes to whomever wins the popular vote of the state, even if only by a small margin. As the president rightly recognized, if we eliminated swing states and safe states and just counted every vote equally, then we’d have a “totally different campaign” than we do now.

That last point is crucial to understand. As the president’s comments highlight, those who campaign to lead our nation every four years do not actually run national campaigns. Instead, presidential candidates focus on energizing voters in only a few swing states, because votes in those states actually impact the election — but votes in safe red or blue states don’t. That’s why 99 percent of campaign spending in the last election was in only 14 states. If you live in the other 36, you can watch the campaign on the news and follow along online, but don’t expect the campaigns to speak to your interests or try to persuade you or get you to the polls. To them, your actual vote hardly matters at all.

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