21

Wilson's election was about a generation before scientific polling, so we don't and probably can't ever really know that. However, it was a fact that he ran hard on that issue. Its also a fact that, knowing that he was running on that platform, the electorate voted for Wilson in 30 of 48 states. So it seems reasonable under the circumstances to consider that ...


12

Yes, there is. The deliberations took a while and the participants were all literate, letter-writing folk, so there is actually a lot more documentation about the deliberations than many people think. I have a book in my library, Slavery and the Founders, that goes over this in its first chapter. It relies primarily on records of the deliberations for its ...


10

It appears that it got about 6 (out of 100) votes shy of cloture at its closest. "Cloture" is of course the term the Senate uses for putting a bill up for a vote. Purposely blocking a vote is what is often called a "filibuster". On September 17, 1970, a motion for cloture, which would have ended the filibuster, received 54 votes to 36 ...


10

Just Sit Right Back and You'll Hear a Tale You may or may not be old enough to remember the animated Saturday Morning reboot of Gilligan's Island. One episode of the show had the 7 castaways holding an election for "President" of the island. Each castaway thought they should be the one to run things, and voted for himself or herself. Everyone (but Gilligan)...


6

One of the first suggestions for electing the President was a direct vote. However, it was quickly and resoundingly rejected. The basic problem with having a popular vote was that it didn't take into account the differences in how how Southern society was organized compared to the rest of the country. In particular, slavery. In most states the only people ...


5

The bill in question was known as the "Bayh–Celler amendment". The full text of the bill can be found here (section 3.4, page 143). One way to answer "how close" the US was to Electoral College reform is to compare to other similar events. It seems that at that time this bill was the "closest" in relative terms the US has ever ...


4

It was a power move. A way to exploit the rules in their favor. Congress for the first 50 years of the Union did not say exactly when you had to select your electors, there was a window. South Carolina would postpone their selection until near the end of that window. In a tight race, the combination of selecting near the end of the process and the ...


2

The closest thing I've found to a detailed history of this is here. It's not written by a professional historian, and it's a long and rather rambling essay. (It also was apparently written before the 2000 election, so it doesn't cover recent developments as discussed in the question.) But it basically does trace the history of the Electoral College in ...


1

Question: How close did the US come to removing the Electoral College in 1970? Short Answer: Pretty far away from becoming part of the Constitution. To quantify: A bill once taken up by Congress has a 0.25% chance of becoming part of the constitution. If it had been successfully advanced through Congress, (the house and senate) it's chances in becoming law ...


1

Mostly it is true, yes. The only issue is that electoral votes are tallied by state, not by person. That means it would be difficult to enforce this, unless the state passes a law to make sure they know, or unless the entire state delegation was "faithless", or the guilty party admitted to it. This actually happened in 2004. An anonymous Minnesota ...


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