The Corner

Third Parties and The Electoral College

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.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.