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Representation and the Electoral College$
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Robert M. Alexander

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190939427

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190939427.001.0001

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Federalism and the Electoral College

Federalism and the Electoral College

(p.62) 4 Federalism and the Electoral College
Representation and the Electoral College

Robert M. Alexander

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines federalism as it relates to the Electoral College. While the Framers sought to create a system safeguarding federalism, they also wanted a process that yielded a leader who could command supermajorities across the country. The Electoral College process has become increasingly democratized, as have many other features in American politics. The emergence of political parties has emphasized differences based on ideology rather than one’s location. Moreover, the protections afforded to less populated states by the Electoral College are largely exaggerated due to the attention given to swing states. Candidates limit their resources to a handful of states and rarely visit most states, including both the most populated and least populated states. This suggests the failure of the Electoral College to (1) produce campaigns appealing to smaller states and (2) produce candidates with broad national appeal.

Keywords:   federalism, swing states, battleground states, candidate visits, vote swapping, vote pairing, tipping-point states, political equality, political participation

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