Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is the latest in the group of Democrat 2020 candidates calling for the removal of the Electoral College, telling a group of people at a town hall Thursday he would support the abolishment of the system.
Sanders appeared at a town hall hosted by League of United Latin American Citizens and expressed support for removing the entire Electoral College.
“It is hard to defend a system in which we have a president who lost the popular vote by 3 million votes, so the answer is yes,” Sanders said.
Sanders joins a growing number of colleagues calling for the abolishment of the system conceived by the founding fathers. Pete Buttigieg (D) told reporters in January that he wanted to do “away with the Electoral College” because there is “not a lot of common-sense justification for it.”
The founders designed the Electoral College to act as a safeguard against mob rule. In a modern sense, it prevents densely populated coastal elite cities from driving the results of all U.S. general elections, giving flyover America an equal voice. However, 2020 Democrats do not see it that way.
“My view is that every vote matters. And the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting and that means get rid of the Electoral College,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said during a CNN town hall in March.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 19, 2019
Beto O’Rourke took his view a step further, tying the system of equal representation to slavery.
“Yes, let’s abolish the electoral college,” he told the crowd at the We the People Membership Summit in March.
He called the U.S. system of providing equal representation to Americans across the country in the presidential election, “one of those bad compromises we made at day one in this country.”
“There are many others we can think of and they are all connected, including the value of some people based on the color of their skin,” he went on. “There is a legacy and a series of consequences that have persisted and remain with us to this day.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand also confirmed her desire to get rid of the Electoral College during an April appearance on MSNBC.
Additionally, failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called for the elimination of the Electoral College in an op-ed for the Atlantic last year.
“You won’t be surprised to hear that I passionately believe it’s time to abolish the Electoral College,” she wrote.
Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has also called for the elimination of the system.
“It is well past time we eliminate the Electoral College, a shadow of slavery’s power on America today that undermines our nation as a democratic republic,” she tweeted last October.
It is well past time we eliminate the Electoral College, a shadow of slavery’s power on America today that undermines our nation as a democratic republic. https://t.co/00HZN3MI6F
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 6, 2018
In January, Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) introduced a bill to eliminate the Electoral College, calling it “outdated”:
In two presidential elections since 2000, including the most recent one in which Hillary Clinton won 2.8 million more votes than her opponent, the winner of the popular vote did not win the election because of the distorting effect of the outdated Electoral College.
“Americans expect and deserve the winner of the popular vote to win office. More than a century ago, we amended our Constitution to provide for the direct election of U.S. Senators,” he added. “It is past time to directly elect our President and Vice President.”