Is school out for the Electoral College?

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Since the 2016 presidential election ended, there have been calls for the Electoral College-the actual way presidents are elected-to be changed or completely eliminated.

Most of those calls have come from supporters of Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote but lost the election in electoral votes. (And that's another subject: people who argue pollsters goofed badly predicting the election results should note they, in fact, predicted the popular vote totals quite accurately.)

The problem is: in most of the elections since the late 18th century, the winning candidate has prevailed in both the popular and electoral vote. It's just that two of the exceptions have been the 2000 and 2016 contests, more reflective of the nation's divisions than problems with the Electoral College.

"Mainstream" media outlets such as USA TODAY have argued eliminating the Electoral College would mean presidential candidates would focus their campaign efforts on cities and states with large populations instead of smaller states and rural areas, such as West Virginia (and in spite of what pundits said about Florida, the Mountain State played an important role in George W. Bush winning in 2000).

While Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton did not campaign in West Virginia during the election, both appeared there during that state's presidential primary. Even that might not happen if the popular vote alone determined the occupant of the White House. Trump's running mate, Mike Pence, made two stops in rural Southeast Ohio, while former president Bill Clinton appeared at Ohio University and Hillary Clinton made a non-primary stop there.

And take a close look at the final map of states each candidate won. While Clinton, indeed, won the majority of the most-populated states, including New York and California, most of that map is Republican red, reflecting the states Trump won. He even won states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania, states Democrats previously counted on to deliver the White House.

And although he won Ohio handily, Trump won other major states, including the two mentioned above, by close margins. Would more Clinton voters going to the polls, instead of staying home (assuming the polls were right and the election was "in the bag") have meant we would be about to welcome America's first female president?

No one really knows, of course. But perhaps those people eager to scrap a system that mostly has worked for more than 200 years should focus more on convincing people to go to the polls next time.