In 2000, conservatives were obligated to explain why they supported preservation of the Electoral College even though it produced a victory for their candidate, George W. Bush. In coming elections, their devotion may face a sterner test: Will they favor it if Democrats win the White House even when Republicans carry the popular vote?
Mitt Romney managed to avoid that problem by coming up short across the board. But while Republicans have noticed that the voting public is changing in ways that don’t help the GOP, they may not have noticed that the electoral map has also shifted to their clear disadvantage.
Nate Silver, who does the “FiveThirtyEight” blog for The New York Times and correctly predicted the outcome in all 50 states, noted afterward that Obama would have gotten a second term even if Romney had tied him in the popular vote.
In fact, he wrote, “Romney may have had to win the national popular vote by three percentage points on Tuesday to be assured of winning the Electoral College.” No Republican has done that since George H.W. Bush in 1988.
CONTINUED at Reason. Written by Steve Chapman.