One often hears the claim–made in today’s Washington Post and New York Times, and in the latest issue of NR–that the Electoral College discourages third parties. I don’t understand how this is so. Let’s say you’re a liberal who would like to vote for Nader except that you don’t want to give the election to Bush. If the election were determined by the national popular vote, wouldn’t you still have just as much of a reason not to vote for Nader? If you’re a possible Nader voter in New York or Illinois, wouldn’t you be less likely to vote for him under those rules? I don’t get it.