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Actually, no. For example, in 2016 the minimum number of jurisdictions needed to reach Hillary Clinton’s popular majority was 39 states plus DC.

But let’s get serious. Let’s review origins, consequences, & flaws of the Electoral College.

[here beginneth the thread]
The Electoral College was part of the same compromise that led to the apportionment of the House and Senate. (Recall that each state gets electors = members of House and Senate combined.)

A major, major driving force was slavery.
House-type electors were (and are) proportional to population. But how to count slaves? Under the logic of slavery, it would not be fitting for them to vote. But their owners wanted the power of their numbers. So they counted for three-fifths of a person each.
We have the Electoral College so that slaveowners could vote their slaves. In the Presidential election of 1792, there were 132 electoral votes, with 53 EV in states with significant slave populations (GA/MD/NC/SC/VA). About 11 EV arose from the slave population.
There was one consolation, though. The Electoral College was supposed to deliberate, thus cooling the passions of the mob. Federalist 68, Hamilton. avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/f…
No more. Oh well.

I think we can safely say that in 2016, that would have been an interesting deliberation.
On the other hand, slavery is gone, women have the vote, and the voting age is now 18. So the Electoral College reflects the will of the people. Right? Right??

Sadly, not always.
It is a happy feature of the Electoral College that it *usually* elects the popular-vote winner. That’s because a state’s electors scale monotonically with the population. (“Monotonically”: a ten-dollar word meaning that the more people a state has, the more electors it has.)
(“Usually” is doing a lot of work in that last tweet. More on that in a moment.)
Consequently, the popular-vote winner tends to get more electoral votes. However, this has sometimes failed: 1824 (JQ Adams), 1876 (Hayes), 1888 (Harrison), 2000 (GW Bush), & 2016 (Trump). That’s a "failure" rate of 5/49. But that understates the problem.
In elections where the popular vote margin was <3%, the “failure rate” is more like 3 in 10. And simulations suggest that under a broad range of conditions, the Presidency goes to the popular-vote loser about 1 in 3 times.

(Simulation: Vinod Bakthavachalam, @MEVCUSA)
OK, next flaw: swing states. I should know from swing states – they’re what I originally analyzed in 2004 when I did the first probabilistic online poll aggregation.

(Footnote: I believe Andrea Moro and I are tied for this honor. And of course @NateSilver538 started in 2008!)
In any given year, only a handful of states are genuinely up for grabs. Today the closest states are more white, fewer blacks, as well as (to pick a few examples) fewer Mormons and within-50-state Puerto Ricans.

(first image, @FiveThirtyEight. Voter power calculation, PEC)
People like to complain about too many electors per unit population. This cocnern misses the point in a big way.

Such an effect is tiny compared with the swing-state effect. Swing-state voter power varies far more than electors/population.
And in the Age of Data, campaigns know exactly how to target the swing states. That's why the major candidates ignore all but a few states. In 2016, 68% of post-convention events occurred in 6 states representing only 23% of the total population.

Source: nationalpopularvote.com
And guess what? Turnout in non-swing states is lower. That's bad for democracy, without a doubt.
On top of all this, there's a serious national security risk. The number of votes that have to be hacked to flip an election can be quite small.

How many votes would it take to flip...
For those who would argue...do you genuinely think this is good? Or do you just like electing your candidate? To clarify your thinking, GWB narrowly escaped such a fate in 2004. If Kerry had gotten 120k more votes in Ohio, he would have prevailed despite losing the popular vote.
The interesting thing about all of this is that it’s solvable – and doesn’t even need a Constitutional amendment. States could simply vote to assign their electors to the winner of the *national* popular vote. They can do that. And boom, done.
There are fancier versions, most notably the National Popular Vote Compact. I'll leave that aside for another day. The point is that in a time of turmoil in our democracy, maybe it's time to think of ways to build a better system.
/end
Postscript: I didn’t forget about Senate electors. But of all the flaws in the EC, that’s a minor one. The Presidential election of 2000 (a big one, sure) would have been reversed by taking away Senate electors. But other close elections wouldn’t have been affected.
P.P.S. Remember that the founders were not gods. They were men. Men trying to do their best in the 18th century. Fifty-odd elections later, after the end of slavery, experience and modern computation can help us understand what they wrought.
And guess what? Turnout in non-swing states is lower than in battleground states. That's bad for democracy, without a doubt.
On top of all this, the Electoral College poses a serious national security risk. The number of votes that have to be hacked to flip an election can be quite small.
If you disagree...do you genuinely think it is good to have an almost-popular-vote? Or do you just like electing your candidate? Here, this may help: George W. Bush only narrowly escaped such a fate in 2004. It just would have taken 120k more votes for John Kerry in Ohio.
Or perhaps you think, as a resident of a small state, you are powerless. That misses the point. If you live in Idaho or Vermont, national candidates don't visit you because your individual vote has so little influence. But they also didn't visit California or New York!
The interesting thing about this problem is that's solvable - and it doesn't even need a Constitutional amendment.

States could simply vote to assign their electors to the winner of the *national* popular vote, not their own state's vote. They can do that. And boom, done.
There are fancier versions of this idea - most notably, the National Popular Vote Compact. I'll leave that aside for another day.

The point is that in a time of turmoil for our democracy, maybe it's time to think of ways to build a better system.

/end
P.S. I didn't forget about Senate electors. Of all the flaws in the EC, that's a surprisingly minor one.

The only Presidential election to be reversed by taking them away would be 2000, Bush v. Gore (though yes, a big one). But other elections would not have been affected.
P.P.S. Remember that the Founders were not gods. They were men. Men trying to do their best in the 18th century, under particular conditions.

Fifty-odd elections later, after the end of slavery, experience and modern computation can help us understand what they wrought.
P.P.P.S. I can imagine blowback from those who focus on specific details of the original compromises that informed the creation of the Electoral College. My responses:

(1) We have to understand what it does *today*, not what they thought then. That requires math and analysis.
(2) The history isn't one event. It was a lot of things: who was expected to choose (originally not the people!), how much say everyone got (a secondary outcome of Congress apportionment), & later fixes (VP selection, freeing slaves, women voting, all-or-none state elections).
My goal was to show you what the practical consequences are of those many factors. Some, like the desire to represent owned human beings, made it impossible to elect a president by popular election.

The resulting kludge almost works: Democracy 1.0. In 2019, we can do better.
Historians, please add your favorite bits of background. I welcome the information.

Some interesting trail heads:
archives.gov/federal-regist…

usnews.com/opinion/articl…

delanceyplace.com/view-archives.…
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