Poll: Most voters support abolishing Electoral College

A majority of voters says the Electoral College system should be abandoned in favor of a national popular vote, according to a new poll.

The latest NBC News–Wall Street Journal survey finds that 53 percent of voters say the outcome of the presidential election should be determined by the popular vote, with 43 percent saying the Electoral College system should remain in place.

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Democrats are increasingly advocating to abolish the Electoral College. The party’s 2016 presidential nominee, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE, received nearly 3 million more votes overall than President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE in 2016, but she only received 232 electoral votes, compared to Trump’s 306.

A similar scenario played out for Democrats in 2000, when then-Vice President Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreCNN coronavirus town hall to feature science author David Quammen, ‘Empire’ actress Taraji Henson Top Democratic pollster advised Biden campaign to pick Warren as VP Melania Trump to appear on CNN coronavirus town hall Thursday night MORE won the popular vote but lost in the Electoral College to then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

Support for moving away from the Electoral College system cuts sharply along partisan lines.

Seventy-nine percent of Democrats say the popular vote should determine the outcome of the presidential election, while 74 percent of Republicans say the nation should stick with the Electoral College. Independents are almost evenly split, with 49 percent saying popular vote and 44 percent saying Electoral College.

Advocates for change say the current system places outsized importance on a handful of swing-states. Defenders of the Electoral College argue that the system ensures candidates pay attention to rural areas and low-population states.

A number of blue states have joined a push to award their electoral votes to whoever wins the national popular vote, although it’s highly unlikely the change will take place in 2020.

The NBC News–Wall Street Journal survey of 765 registered voters was conducted from April 28 to May 1 and has a 3.5 percentage point margin of error.

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