In the wake of an election in which Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but Donald Trump was elected president by winning the Electoral College, a survey showed the lowest percentage of people ever in a Gallup poll saying they would support amending the Constitution to eliminate the Electoral College and decide presidential elections by the popular vote.
“This year, for the first time in the 49 years Gallup has asked about it, less than half of Americans want to replace the Electoral College with a popular vote system,”Gallup said in an analysis of its poll results.
Gallup’s latest poll on the issue, conducted November 28-29—three weeks after this year’s election—showed that 49 percent said they would amend the Constitution so that the nationwide populate vote would decide the presidential election. Forty-seven percent said they would keep the Electoral College system.
The poll surveyed 1,021 adults nationwide.
Since 1967, Gallup has conducted ten polls in which they asked Americans if they would approve amending the Constitution to eliminate the Electoral College.
The first five polls were conducted from 1967 to 1980. These included one poll in 1967, two in 1968, one in 1977 and one in 1980. In this poll, respondents were asked: “Would you approve or disapprove of an amendment to the Constitution which would do away with the Electoral College and base the election of a President on the total vote cast throughout the nation?”
The second five polls were conducted from 2000 to 2016. These included two polls in 2000, one in 2004, one in 2011 and one in 2016.
In this second set of polls, Gallup asked: “Thinking for a moment about the way in which the president is elected in this country, which would you prefer: to amend the Constitution so the candidate who receives the most total votes nationwide wins the election, (or) to keep the current system, in which the candidate who wins the most votes in the Electoral College wins?”
Prior to this year, when 47 percent said they preferred keeping the Electoral College, the highest percentage who had said that in the five Gallup polls asking the same question was 37 percent. That was in a survey done December 15-17, 2000—after an election that resulted in George W. Bush winning the Electoral College and Al Gore winning the popular vote.