National Democrats have become increasingly more vocal about their want to abolish the Electoral College in favor of a winner-take-all popular vote in U.S. Presidential elections, and now that sentiment is trickling down to their state parties – even in Mississippi.
Earlier this week, the Mississippi Democratic Party retweeted Hillary Clinton after she participated in casting an Electoral College vote in New York for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Clinton wrote in the tweet: “I believe we should abolish the Electoral College and select our president by the winner of the popular vote, same as every other office.”
I believe we should abolish the Electoral College and select our president by the winner of the popular vote, same as every other office.
But while it still exists, I was proud to cast my vote in New York for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. pic.twitter.com/th9qebu9ka
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) December 14, 2020
Clinton lost the 2016 election to President Donald Trump in the Electoral College despite winning the national popular vote. The same scenario happened in 2000 when former President Bill Clinton’s Vice President Al Gore lost to George W. Bush.
Democrats have won the national popular vote 7 of the last 8 Presidential elections dating back to the first Clinton win in 1992. Clinton won two terms, followed by Bush and Barack Obama each with two terms in the White House, and now Trump with one.
Y’all Politics sought comment on the retweet of Hillary Clinton’s call to abolish the Electoral College from Mississippi Democratic Party chairman Tyree Irving.
“The Mississippi Democratic Party believes that every person’s vote should count,” Chairman Irving sent in a statement. “In my personal opinion, the utilization of the Electoral College has had a pernicious effect on our democracy by prohibiting, in certain instances, the will of the voters from prevailing. Therefore, I agree with Hillary Clinton that the Electoral College should be abolished.”
Other Democrats active in the state party have gone on social media to share this view. For example, this week David Baria, the former state House Minority Leader and Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, tweeted his support for abolishing the Electoral College.
— David Baria (@dbaria) December 15, 2020
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has said she is “open to the discussion” of abolishing the Electoral College. In a 2019 interview with ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel, Harris told the late night host, “There’s no question that the popular vote has been diminished in terms of making the final decision about who’s the president of the United States, and we need to deal with that. So, I’m open to the discussion.”
President-elect Joe Biden is on record in a New York Times interview in December 2019 not supporting abolishing the Electoral College, saying, “[T]hat structural change requires constitutional amendments… It raises problems that are more damaging than the problem that exists.”
Other prominent national Democrats are supportive of abolishing the Electoral College, including Senator Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg. Buttigieg was recently announced as Biden’s pick to be Transportation Secretary.
Mississippi Republicans do not support an effort to abolish the Electoral College. Party Chairman Frank Bordeaux, who was one of the state’s six electors for the 2020 Electoral College, said such a move would be foolish.
“Mississippi would be foolish to seek to abolish the Electoral College,” Bordeaux said. “It would have a harmful effect on our state. Our citizens deserve the opportunity to have just as much attention from those running for President as those in larger states. The Electoral College helps to ensure that the candidates will address the needs of the entire country, not just California or New York, and that if they win, they will have learned at least a little about our people and our politics, and will be able to work with our leaders to address concerns of Mississippians.”