Arguments that the Electoral College should be replaced by a national popular vote include:
all of the original rationale for the Electoral College has disappeared and it is now a constitutional anachronism the winner is not guaranteed a majority of the popular vote (or may even lose the popular vote), and consequently may lack legitimacy the Electoral College gives some voters more clout than others; extra weight is given to voters in smaller rural states (alternatively- smaller states tend to be safe for one party or the other and are consequently ignored by candidates) and the campaign is concentrated in ‘swing states’ the long history of ‘faithless electors’ third parties are penalised the exaggeration of the winning margin of ECVs compared to the percentage of the popular vote gives the winner an artificially strong mandate a constitutional amendment is not necessary to introduce a national popular vote; some reformers are campaigning for an interstate compact, which would retain the Electoral College but impose a national vote on it (see for example http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/ )
Arguments that the Electoral College should not be replaced by a national vote include:
the Electoral College is an important element of the federal identity of the constitution the Electoral College requires candidates to campaign across all regions of the US, when a national vote might enable them to concentrate on the major cities or regions of strength, or create an incentive to campaign in major media markets since the pursuit of ECVs determines the nature and course of the campaign, it is invalid to criticise the Electoral College for failing to reflect the popular vote
administration is simplified by being the responsibility of the states and problems such as recounts are confined within one state; a nationwide recount would be burdensome and potentially controversial
‘faithless electors’ have never affected the result the concept of a mandate is of limited relevance in a separated system; however ‘strong’ a president’s mandate, congressmen and senators will regard themselves as having their own mandate and will not feel any duty to support the president’s agenda a national vote could lead to a proliferation of third party candidates and lead to the winner having possibly only 20% (or less) of the vote
A threshold Level 2 response will typically exhibit the following features: awareness of the nature of the Electoral College and the national popular vote limited knowledge of arguments in favour of the Electoral College limited knowledge of arguments against the Electoral College
A threshold Level 3 response will typically exhibit the following features: clear knowledge of the nature of the Electoral College and the national popular vote clear explanation of arguments in Favour of the Electoral College clear explanation of arguments against the Electoral College
Arguments Against the Electoral College
Those who object to the Electoral College system and favor a direct popular election of the president generally do so on four grounds: the possibility of electing a minority president the risk of so-called "faithless" Electors, the possible role of the Electoral College in depressing voter turnout, and its failure to accurately reflect the national popular will.
Opponents of the Electoral College are disturbed by the possibility of electing a minority president (one without the absolute majority of popular votes). Nor is this concern entirely unfounded since there are three ways in which that could happen.
One way in which a minority president could be elected is if the country were so deeply divided politically that three or more presidential candidates split the electoral votes among them such that no one obtained the necessary majority. This occurred, as noted above, in 1824 and was unsuccessfully attempted in 1948