Speed Reads

Things that make you go hmmm

Republican support for Electoral College rises sharply after Donald Trump's election

For the first time since Gallup began asking 49 years ago, fewer than half of Americans say they want to scrap the Electoral College and choose a president though a popular vote. After Donald Trump's election in November, only 49 percent of Americans say they want to amend the Constitution to abolish the Electoral College, down from about 60 percent over the past 16 years and a high of 80 percent in 1968, when Richard Nixon narrowly won both the popular vote and Electoral College. Support for keeping the current system is 47 percent, up from 35 percent.

"The reason for this shift in opinion is clear," says Gallup's Art Swift: "In the aftermath of this year's election, the percentage of Republicans wanting to replace the Electoral College with the popular vote has fallen significantly."

Gallup did not ask why Republicans have suddenly embraced the quirky American system of choosing presidents, but "one possible reason is that Republicans are aware that President-elect Trump would not have won the presidency without winning the Electoral College, and that Republicans possess a state-by-state advantage in this area, at least for now," Swift says. A majority of Republicans, 56 percent, say they know Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, while 23 percent say Trump won, Gallup found. Overall, 66 percent of Americans correctly said that Clinton won the popular vote, versus 15 percent who picked Trump and 18 percent who were unsure. Meanwhile, Clinton's lead in the popular vote keeps on growing:

Gallup conducted its poll Nov. 28-29 with 1,021 adults living in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The margin of error is ±4 percentage points.