http://www.balloon-juice.com/2012/10/12/pollyanna-sunshine-checking-in/ http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...abcf480-13cd-11e2-be82-c3411b7680a9_blog.html I read balloon juice for the snark, not the depth of analysis. But there's an interesting argument for the electoral college in this post. The US is a huge friggin' country. Running a presidential race is expensive as hell, and the costs are growing at a far higher rate than inflation. If we elected the president by popular vote, I acknowledge that that would engage all voters. But it would diffuse that engagement. With a popular vote election, the Mitt strategy not worrying about fact checks might work. Mitt is flooding the zone with his bullshit. How do you counteract that in a nationwide election? But. In an election where 6-8 states matter, there IS a way to counteract it. You can target your volunteers and ad buys. Canvassing is painstaking work. It's not feasible in 21st century America to make a difference by canvassing in a nationwide election. But it IS feasible in a 6-8 state election. Further, I believe that the voters in those states KNOW they matter and are therefore more engaged. Say what you will about the Iowa/New Hampshire nomination axis, at least the small size of those states allows the campaigns to truly engage the electorate. If the first 2 states in the process were Cali and Texas, the winner would invariably be the biggest fundraisers. The counterargument, I think, would be that in a national election, people in New York and Texas and Georgia and California would give a shit and put some effort into being reached by the campaigns. But I, personally, think that counterargument is weak. I, personally, am looking at the 2012 race as a real life test, and it looks like a good theory, that the electoral college raises the level of discourse where the election will be decided. Romney got a pretty good bump in national polls from his debate performance last week. But because Team Obama has been spending months making their case to voters in Ohio, Ohioans are pretty resistant to the STYLE of the two men last week, and more interested in the substance, an area in which Obama did pretty well. Or maybe I'm just being a smug liberal. Thoughts?