If you abolish the Electoral College, the political fringe will gain more influence.
The idea here is that it's hard for a third-party candidate to win any individual state. By contrast, a third-party candidate with a significant minority of the vote nationwide could conceivably set himself up as a power broker. In practice, though, it's usually hard for a candidate who departs a race to exert much influence on the people who intended to vote for him. It would be easier for a third-party candidate who won a few states under the Electoral College system to play kingmaker by throwing his electors to one rival candidate or another. The novelist James Michener, a Humphrey elector in 1968, spent a lot of time that year worrying that George Wallace would do just that. (See "James A. Michener, Near-Faithless Elector.")
Under our federal system, "one man, one vote" isn't everything. If you want to abolish the Electoral College, you have to also want to abolish the
In a perfect world, we would abolish the Senate for this very reason. Thomas Geoghegan makes a powerful argument along these lines in his book The Secret Lives of Citizens. If someone wants to pass around a petition, Chatterbox will sign it. Meanwhile, we can start by getting rid of the filibuster. (See "Abolish the Senate!")
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