Al Gore may be the least surprising foe of the Electoral College, since he won the popular vote in 2000 but still wound up losing the presidency to George W. Bush. Speaking at an event in D.C. this week, Gore said that even his own loss didn’t immediately shake his faith in the system. “After the Supreme Court decision in 2000, I continued to support the Electoral College because the original purpose was to tie the states together,” he remembered.
But over the years his stance has evolved, and now he’s renewing his call to abolish the Electoral College in light of Hillary Clinton losing the election despite winning the popular vote by more than 2 million votes (Gore’s popular vote lead was less than 500,000).
“I’ve changed my view on that,” he explained in a video posted by NBC News. “I do think that it should be eliminated.”
Gore has been making noise about ending the Electoral College since 2012, when he worried that it was unfair to voters who lived outside of battleground states. Now he sees doing away with the system as part of a larger effort to “bring our democracy back to life and help us to make good decisions again.”
Gore stressed that changing our voting system would not be a cure-all:
I think moving to a popular vote system is not without peril, is not without problems, it’s not a simple one choice is all good, the other is all bad. It’s a balancing act. But I think the balance has shifted, in my mind at least, and I think that we should go to a popular vote.
He said that he believes eliminating the Electoral College “would stimulate public participation in the democratic process like nothing else we could possibly do.” And he was adamant that something must be done. “Our democracy’s been hacked now,” he said. “It’s pathetic how our system is not working today.”