Former Romney strategist: Abolishing the Electoral College might be key to ‘the long-term survival of the Republican Party’
As much as Republicans like to exalt themselves as the heart and soul of Mainstream America, the reality is that Democrats have won the popular vote in six of the last seven presidential elections in the United States. In light of that fact, some Democrats are asserting that it’s time to abolish the Electoral College — a suggestion that many Republicans adamantly oppose. But Republican strategist Stuart Stevens, in a USA Today op-ed, explains why he has decided that ending the Electoral College would be beneficial for his party.
“I’m now convinced that it is not only in the country’s best interest to end the Electoral College, but that abolishing it might be a key to the long-term survival of the Republican Party,” declares Stevens, who has worked on behalf of Republicans in five presidential elections.
Changing demographics in the U.S., Stevens emphasizes, are not on the side of the GOP — which he describes as “an overwhelmingly white party” at a time when “America is becoming a less white country.” And abolishing the Electoral College, according to Stevens, would force the Republican Party to evolve
“Without an Electoral College,” Stevens explains, “the Republican Party would be forced to grow or die. Donald Trump is defining the Republican Party as a white grievance party, settling the score for the great injustices being wrought on America’s white middle class. That was just enough to win in 2016 with the decline in black turnout and the rise of third-party voters, but losing a campaign by 3 million votes should be a serious warning sign for anyone who cares about the health of a center-right party in America.”
Stevens (a leading strategist for Republican Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign) adds, “The fastest decreasing demographic in the electorate is white voters without a college degree. In 1980, they were about 70% of the electorate, vs. 44% in 2016. This is the Trump base.”
When President Dwight D. Eisenhower was reelected in 1956, Stevens recalls, he enjoyed 39% of the black vote. But that amount of African-American support for a Republican presidential nominee, he stresses, is unheard of these days.
Far-right Republicans at Fox News and AM talk radio have often claimed that the Electoral College is a safeguard against mob rule in the United States. But Stevens disagrees with that argument, and he concludes his op-ed by stressing that ending the Electoral College would be the best thing that could happen to the GOP.
“Let’s quit pretending there is some great benefit to the national good that allows the person with the least votes to win the White House,” Stevens asserts. “Republicans have long said that they believe in competition. Let both parties compete for votes across the nation, and stop disenfranchising voters by geography. The winner should win.”