President Trump has changed his mind on the importance of the Electoral College versus the popular vote, for reasons that may be connected to his winning the Electoral College and losing the popular vote in 2016. "I used to like the idea of the Popular Vote, but now realize the Electoral College is far better for the USA," Trump tweeted Wednesday, explaining that campaigning for the popular vote is "much easier & different" to campaigning for the Electoral College. He said it was "like training for the 100 yard dash vs. a marathon." Trump won with 304 Electoral College votes in 2016, compared to 227 for Hillary Clinton, who had nearly 3 million more total votes. He once called the Electoral College "a disaster to a democracy," notes the Washington Post; his reversal comes as Democrats including Elizabeth Warren call for the Electoral College to be dismantled.
To win the popular vote, Trump said, candidates only need to visit "the large States - the Cities would end up running the Country. Smaller States & the entire Midwest would end up losing all power." Clinton's 2016 defeat, which was the fifth such loss in US history, has led to Democratic efforts both to bypass the college and to pay more attention to states like Wisconsin, which Trump won after Clinton failed to campaign there, the Hill reports. According to National Popular Vote, 17 Democratic-leaning states plan to sign a pact to award their Electoral College votes to the winner of the nationwide popular vote. (More electoral college stories.)