NBC News/WSJ Poll: Americans Divided by Party on Electoral College

Will Donald Trump Win the 2020 Election?

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Most Americans say the United States should do away with the Electoral College, but whether they voted for Hillary Clinton or President Donald Trump in the 2016 election determined their feelings about the institution, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

The poll shows 53% would back a popular vote, while 43 percent said the Electoral College should remain.

But Clinton voters said by 78% the popular vote should determine the presidency after she won the popular vote by nearly 3 million in 2016. Trump voters, by 74%, said the Electoral College should remain, reflecting his 306-232 victory.


Their parties were also divided on whether the Electoral College should stay or go:

  • 74% of Republicans want to keep the Electoral College; 25% prefer the popular vote.
  • 79% of Democrats want the popular vote; 18%, Electoral College.
  • 49% back the popular vote; 44% of Independents back the Electoral College.

The Electoral College has been criticized for allowing rural states and those with less population to have more influence. 

As a result:

  • 35% of people living in urban locations want the Electoral College; 59%, the popular vote.
  • 51% of rural voters favor the Electoral College; 45% call for the popular vote.
  • 44% of suburban voters prefer the Electoral College; 53% favor the popular vote.

The poll was conducted April 29-May 1 of 900 people and carried a 3.27 percentage point margin of error.



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