A Defense of the Electoral College

This A Defense of the Electoral College activity also includes:

Each presidential election year, the debate about the electoral college rages. Michael C. Maibach's "A Defense of the Electoral College" offers young political scientists an opportunity to examine a reasoned argument for why the Electoral College format is essential to American democracy. Class members do a close reading of Maibach's commentary and then respond to a series of questions about the author's argument.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Before reading the essay, have class members who support the idea of the Electoral College stand on one side of the room, those opposed on the other, and that uncertain stand in the middle; after reading the article, repeat the vote
  • Have groups annotate the essay, using different colored highlighters to note the thesis, topic sentences, supporting details, counter-arguments, and evidence
  • Have groups research and create similar maps of the results of 2002, 2006, and 2020 elections
Classroom Considerations
  • Each class member should have a copy of the essay
  • Includes images of maps that show the number of electoral votes each state has and how the states voted in the 1976 election
  • The map of 1976 election does not show the western states