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Beto: ‘I Think There’s a Lot of Wisdom in’ Abolishing Electoral College

Beto O’Rourke speaks with supporters during a three-day road trip across Iowa, in Dubuque, March 16, 2019 (Ben Brewer/Reuters)

Beto O’Rourke endorsed fellow Democratic presidential contender Elizabeth Warren’s call for the abolition of the Electoral College during a Tuesday campaign stop in Pennsylvania.

“I think there’s a lot to that. Because you had an election in 2016 where the loser got 3 million more votes than the victor. It puts some states out of play altogether, they don’t feel like their vote really counts,” O’Rourke told MSNBC’s Garrett Haake when asked about Warren’s opposition to the Electoral College. “So if we really want every person to vote and give them every reason to vote, we need to make sure their votes count and go to the candidate of their choosing. So I think there’s a lot of wisdom to that and it’s something we talked about during that last senate race in Texas.”

O’Rourke’s comments come one day after Warren, citing the outsize influence of voters in battleground states, advocated the abolition of the Electoral College during a Monday night CNN town hall.

“My view is that every vote matters and the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting, and that means get rid of the Electoral College,” Warren told the audience at Mississippi’s Jackson State University.

The Massachusetts Democrat went on to accuse Republicans of seeking to disenfranchise minority communities through voter-ID laws and called for a constitutional amendment that “protects the right to vote for every American citizen and makes sure that vote gets counted.”

The notion of the Electoral College as a means by which the votes of rural, white Americans enjoy greater influence than those cast by the diverse, urban majority has gained popularity among liberal lawmakers and activists since the 2016 election.

The vast majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (81 percent) prefer to maintain the status quo, while the same percentage of Democrats would like to see a constitutional amendment passed to transition to a national popular vote, according to a Gallup poll taken weeks after Election Day 2016.

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