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Presidential Elections and Majority Rule (Digital Audiobook)

The Rise, Demise, and Potential Restoration of the Jeffersonian Electoral College

By Edward B. Foley, Rick Adamson (Narrator)

Publication Date: April 20, 2020

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (10/13/2021)
Hardcover (1/2/2020)
MP3 CD (4/21/2020)
Compact Disc (4/21/2020)
Compact Disc (4/21/2020)


The Electoral College that governs America has been with us since 1804, when Thomas Jefferson's supporters redesigned it for his re-election. The Jeffersonians were motivated by the principle of majority rule. Gone were the days when a president would be elected by acclamation, as George Washington had been. Instead, given the emergence of intense two-party competition, the Jeffersonians wanted to make sure that the Electoral College awarded the presidency to the candidate of the majority, rather than minority, party. They also envisioned that a candidate would win by amassing a majority of Electoral College votes secured from states where the candidate's party was in the majority.

For most of American history, this system has worked as intended, producing presidents who won Electoral College victories derived from state-based majorities. In the last quarter-century, however, there have been three significant aberrations from the Jeffersonian design: 1992, 2000, and 2016. In each of these years, the Electoral College victory depended on states where the winner received only a minority of votes.

In this authoritative history of the American Electoral College system, Edward Foley analyzes the consequences of the unparalleled departure from the Jeffersonians' original intent—and delineates what we can do about it.

About the Author

Rick Adamson is an Audie Award winner for his work on In a Heartbeat by Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy (with Sally Jenkins) of The Blind Side fame. Also the winner of several ALA awards and a Harper Audio Grammy nominee, Rick has been narrating fiction and nonfiction as well as corporate and educational projects for twenty-five years. Originally from Maryland, he now lives in northern New Jersey, where he and his wife have raised three sons.