Speed Reads

Shut it down

Democrats are officially launching their doomed campaign against the Electoral College

Democrats are firmly united on one improbable idea.

A slew of 2020 contenders have jumpstarted another push to abolish the Electoral College, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) denouncing the system in mid-March and other candidates saying they'd consider scrapping it. Now, that idea has spread to the Senate, where Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) is planning to introduce a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College on Tuesday, The Daily Beast first reported via a Schatz spokesperson.

Of course, introducing this proposal as a constitutional amendment — which requires approval from two-thirds of Congress and three-fourths of all states — means it's pretty much doomed to fail. Republicans who hold the Senate are almost certain to strike it down, and most Democrats haven't even come out in support of abolishing the system. But as Schatz acknowledged by retweeting NBC News' reporting on his upcoming proposal, an amendment against the Electoral College will just help keep the conversations around it going.

The Daily Beast's report adds another 2020 Democrat, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), to the anti-Electoral College mix. Gillibrand, along with Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), are among senators slated to support Schatz's amendment. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) also recently introduced an anti-Electoral College bill loaded with other electoral system changes. His bill and Schatz's proposal won't be merged, but do highlight continued concerns over how President Trump easily won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote in 2016.