The election process in the United States is seriously flawed. It is a process where the majority may not determine the President, and this has happened in the past. I first noticed this when Bill Clinton and Al Gore were elected President and Vice President. There were people who refused to acknowledge George W. Bush as President because of the lack of a majority vote. So, while the process is flawed, it has favored both major parties.
The American Election Process
There are numerous problems we need to fix in the election process, with the reform needed in both the primary and general election process process.
A Serious Question
In the case of Bill Clinton and Al Gore we had a tax bill. It is often taught that the United States came about because of taxation without representation. The bill split evenly in the Senate, and in such a case the Vice President casts the tie breaking vote. The bill passed, but by the vote of a Vice President who had not been shown to represent a majority of the people, and signed into law by Bill Clinton. It would seem, if one accepts the taxation without representation reason for the American Revolution, that there should be some way to prevent the above from occurring. The answer is to not allow a President to be elected with less than a majority vote.
Our Current Situation
States are allocated Electoral College votes by a formula that gives those states with large populations more votes, and these are commonly cast as blocks. If a candidate wins with a slight margin in a group of highly populated states, and loses by a great margin in many smaller states, the candidate can end up with more Electoral College votes even though that candidate is not favored by the majority. Some really small states become less relevant.
Super-delegates are party dignitaries and elected officials who are automatically given delegate status at a convention. This was the source of much attention in the Democratic Party. The political establishment controlled so many votes it became apparent they would have much to say about the nominee. Should a candidate have to win enough delegates in primaries to offset political insiders?
The Republican Party had a large field in the beginning of the 2016 election process. The primary vote was split thin. One candidate was different, and did well in gathering delegates with more votes than others in the competition, but was it more votes than all of the competitors combined?
Some primaries do proportion votes, but only in some states, so to get just over half the votes in a state that proportions the delegates is not as important as getting just over half the vote in a winner take all state. Fairness would require all states do the same thing, but this does not happen.
Candidates must first win a party nomination. In a primary several years ago my home state voted for a certain candidate from a large field. He had just under fifty percent of the vote, and led all opposition. However, using a rule I cannot accept allowed all of the delegates voted for another candidate, and it came out that if no candidate has over fifty percent of the votes the delegates can vote for anyone they like. Here is another flaw in the system. There is no runoff in a primary.
Primaries are governed by the political parties. They should make an effort to remove the problems with the process.
This is the real problem, and it must be exposed. Certain states want the attention of going early in the primary process. But, in some early voting states a person can change political affiliation for a day and vote in the election for either party. This can help independents have a voice in the primary process, but often the winner emerges who may be considered a person less likely to be able to win the election.
It appears that some people change their affiliation to sabotage the other party, and vote for the person they fell will lose the general election. Some would vote for the best candidate in their own party, but abandon the right to do so to destroy the other party. And, the result is the best candidates receive fewer than expected votes, and weak candidates can actually emerge victorious.
When party jumping happens in those states going early in the process it influences people who just have to follow the leader. They will vote for the candidate others indicate to be best, and not realize the candidate is weak. So, we can end up with people who gather delegates because psychologically other people accept the results of a biased election of an early voting state, and the weaker candidate gathers momentum.
Currently, we have to choose between two people with high negative ratings. While they may have gotten nominated otherwise, the party jumping could have been instrumental in getting us to this point.