Dan Haar, in a blog response to my column today on the importance of dumping the electoral college system, argues that relying on the popular vote would mean the small guys — a.k.a. the Hartfords and Holyokes of the world — would lose:
… I didn’t realize until recently this was a serious cause. It’s seriously flawed. All market systems have distortions, and a national popular vote would bring on the mother of all skewed elections: No human outside of a big metro area would ever see a candidate.
Even Hartford wouldn’t make the cut. The top 40 metro areas, from New York to New Orleans, have about 150 million people. The rest of the 361 U.S. metro areas, including Hartford at 1.2 million people (No. 45) and Bridgeport-Stamford at 900,000 (No. 55) have a combined 100 million.
The map below created by FairVote.org shows the reality of Dan’s world. It’s a breakdown of where the candidates spent their time under the present system. I’d rather have them in San Francisco, Dallas, Boston and Chicago than a handful of counties in Ohio.