Week 3 – Discussion 1
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Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday) and you have until Day 7 (Monday) to respond to your classmates. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses. Refer to the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric under the Settings icon above for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated.
The Electoral College and Presidential Leadership
Prepare: Prior to beginning work on this discussion question, read Chapters 5 and 6 in American Government and review Week 3 Instructor Guidance. In addition, read What Are the Arguments Made in Favor—and Against—the Electoral College? (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., Stop Blaming the Electoral College (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., and “Swing States, the Winner-Take-All Electoral College, and Fiscal Federalism.”
Reflect: As the textbook author asserts, the framers intentionally designed a process for selecting presidents that would minimize the president’s political power—the Electoral College. They hoped this institution would insulate the chief executive from the public, because they feared the power of presidents who might be elected by the people.
However, the Electoral College has also spawned a long ongoing debate about whether it should be abandoned in favor of new methods, which would ensure that the candidate elected has the most popular votes. The controversy over the Electoral College must be understood to understand better how and why U.S. presidents are elected.
Only five times in United States history has the candidate who won the popular vote lost the Electoral College vote. However, this has happened twice in the last 16 years—in the 2000 Bush/Gore election and again in the 2016 Trump/Clinton election.
Write: For this discussion,
Describe how the Electoral College works, select a presidential election from U.S. history, and discuss the results of the Compare the Electoral College results with the popular vote.
Explain your position regarding the Electoral College and whether you are for or against the Electoral College as it is currently. Be sure to elaborate and explain your rationale for your position.