This chapter investigates justifications for the electoral college. It focuses in particular on the protection of significant interests which would be overlooked or harmed under a system of direct election of the president. Advocates argue that allocation of electoral votes by states that then cast their votes as units ensures that presidential candidates will be attentive to and protective of state-based interests, especially the interests of states with small populations. As such, the chapter considers the question from several angles. It asks how much additional protection states—especially small states—require. The chapter also considers whether or not presidential candidates appeal directly to state interests and give disproportionate attention to small states in their campaigns and if the electoral college gives minorities special influence in the selection of the president.
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