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O'Rourke sees 'a lot of wisdom' in abolishing Electoral College

The Hill logo The Hill 3/19/2019 Rachel Frazin

Slideshow by Tribune News Service

Presidential candidate and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) said Tuesday that he sees "a lot of wisdom" in abolishing the Electoral College.

"I think there's a lot of wisdom in that," he said in a video posted to Twitter.

"You had an election in 2016 where the loser got 3 million more votes than the victor," he also said. "It puts some states out of play all together."

The Electoral College is coming under increasing criticism, particularly from Democrats, after President Trump won the 2016 election despite losing the popular vote. Former President George W. Bush, a Republican, also won the presidency in 2000 after losing the popular vote to Democrat Al Gore.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), another 2020 presidential contender, said in a CNN town hall on Monday that she wants to abolish the Electoral College, adding that "every vote matters."

Meanwhile, Delaware and Colorado have taken steps to become the latest states to sign on to a plan that would effectively circumvent the Electoral College.

That plan — called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact — is an alliance of states that would commit to awarding their electoral votes to whoever wins the national popular vote.

However, so far, the states are well short of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House.

O'Rourke, who came close to defeating Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in Texas last year, launched his presidential campaign last week.

His campaign announced raising $6.1 million in his first day, more than any other candidate.

O'Rourke joins a crowded field fighting for the Democratic nomination, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

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