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Utah News

Utah Split On Electoral College Down Partisan Lines

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According to a recent survey, Utahns are in favor of keeping the Electoral College. The poll, which was conducted by Dan Jones and Associates, found that 60 percent of Utahns are against abolishing the Electoral College while 37 percent are in favor.

Bryan Schott, managing editor at UtahPolicy.com, said that the division surrounding the issue is very partisan.

“Republicans really like the Electoral College system. We found that 75 percent of Utah Republicans think that the Electoral College should not be abolished,” Schott said. “Meanwhile—as you might imagine—on the other side, Democrats don’t like the Electoral College. We found that 85 percent of Utah Democrats say that the Electoral College should be abolished.”

While the winner of the popular vote has failed to win the White House twice in the past 16 years, the last time there was such an outcome before 2000 was 1888. Not exactly a regular occurrence. Damon Cann, a professor of political science at Utah State University, added that states with fewer Electoral College votes favor the current system for including their voices in picking the nation’s next Commander-in-Chief.

“Utah tends to be a state that is very into federalism, and Utah tends to be a state that cares about state voices in the national political system. The Electoral College designed to provide those kinds of voices,” Cann explained. “The intent was to make it so that candidates didn’t just think about individual voters but thought about state when they were constructing their campaign strategies. Utahns like the idea of having state voices heard.”

Despite calls and petitions for Electoral College members to change their choice, reversing the election in favor of Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton would require 38 faithless electors.