Let’s Hear It for the Electoral College

Wall Street Journal, December 2, 1992; reprinted in Walter Berns, In Defense of Liberal Democracy (Regnery Gateway, 1984).


Once again we have reason to be grateful for the Electoral College.

Bill Clinton’s victory has been widely termed a “landslide.” Yet it was that, of course, only in the Electoral College. Among those who went to the polls on Nov. 3, Mr. Clinton’s margin of victory was much narrower. Indeed, some 57% of them voted for one or the other of his opponents. Still, as happened in 1860 with Abraham Lincoln and in 1960 with John F. Kennedy, Mr. Clinton’s popular plurality (43%) was translated into a solid (69%) majority of the electoral vote.

American Enterprise Institute