The journalists at CBS This Morning on Wednesday touted the effort on the left to abolish the electoral college in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s loss. Reporter Tony Dokoupil insisted that the political process “may be upended next.” The program featured the angry, sometimes violent, crowds who chanted “not my president” and “Donald Trump has got to go!”
Dokoupil explained, “Ohio is one of 29 states with rules preventing electors from switching votes, but there's nothing in the federal law or the Constitution to stop them from going rogue.” He closed the segment by adding, “In a year that upended the old ways of Washington, the electoral college may be upended next.”
To his credit, the journalist featured Republican elector Alex Triantafilou who plans on resisting the efforts of the left: “They are wasting their time and they are only making me stronger in my resolve to go and cast my electoral vote with the voters of Ohio.”
Co-host Gayle King highlighted a go-nowhere effort in the Senate: “Retiring Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer yesterday introduced a long shot bill to abolish the electoral college.”
Over on NBC’s Today, Peter Alexander promoted the same doomed effort:
PETER ALEXANDER: In light of Hillary Clinton's popular vote win but Electoral College loss, retiring Senator Barbara Boxer of California is filing a long-shot bill to end the Electoral College. It’s not likely to go anywhere. Still, she tweeted, “The presidency is only office where you can get more votes and still lose.” By the way, the latest popular vote total this morning shows Clinton's lead over President-Elect Trump now approaching 1 million votes and growing.
A transcript of the CBS segment is below:
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CBS This Morning
GAYLE KING: Hillary Clinton now leads the president-elect by about a million people in the popular vote, but that won't change the outcome of the election in the crucial electoral college where Mr. Trump has a big advantage. Retiring Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer yesterday introduced a long shot bill to abolish the electoral college. Tony Dokoupil shows us the growing movement to reform the way we choose our presidents.
CROWD: Not my president! Not my president!
TONY DOKOUPIL: Donald Trump is not the president they voted for.
CROWD: Donald Trump has got to go! Hey, hey!
DOKOUPIL: But none of us actually voted for president last week. Technically, we voted for members of the electoral college who cast the official votes on December 19th.
ALEX TRIANTAFILOU: I'm a party guy.
DOKOUPIL: Republican Alex Triantafilou of Ohio is looking forward to a vote for Trump, but he says hundreds of people have asked him to reconsider.
TRIANTAFILOU: They are wasting their time and they are only making me stronger in my resolve to go and cast my electoral vote with the voters of Ohio.
DOKOUPIL: Ohio is one of 29 states with rules preventing electors from switching votes but there’s nothing in the federal law or the Constitution to stop them from going rogue. At least three Democratic electors are openly trying to persuade them to dump Donald Trump.
JACK RAKOVE: The fact is that the Electoral College is an institution that Americans have been debating off and on since at least the '18-teens
DOKOUPIL: Stanford History professor Jack Rakove says the Founding Fathers had their reasons.
RAKOVE: They were doubtful about the idea of popular election. They were doubtful about the idea of having election by Congress. The Electoral College emerged as the best alternative.”
DOKOUPIL: Donald Trump attacked the electoral college as a disaster for democracy four weeks ago. But on 60 Minutes this week, the President-elect softened his tone.
DONALD TRUMP: I would rather see it you went with simple votes. You get a hundred million votes and somebody else gets 90 million votes, and you win. There’s a reason for doing this because it brings all of the states into play.
DOKOUPIL: Still in a year that upended the old ways of Washington, the electoral college may be upended next. For CBS This Morning, Tony Dokoupil, New York.
NORAH O’DONNELL: That debate will continue.