WI: John Kerry pulls a reverse 2000 election in 2004.

As in, what if John Kerry managed to win the electoral college while losing the popular vote, with a particularly close swing state being called for him.

Instead of John Edwards, Kerry selects Dennis Kucinich of Ohio as his running mate. Ohio was the tipping state for Bush to win in OTL so with Kucinich on board, Kerry wins Ohio by something ridiculous like 200-500 votes, similar to 2000 Florida. This is what the electoral map would look like:
Screen Shot 2021-10-23 at 2.37.43 pm.png

National Election Results:
John F. Kerry/Dennis J. Kucinich: 59,087,897 (272 EVs) (48.3%)
George W. Bush/Richard B. Cheney: 61,981,157 (268 EVs) (50.7%)

Ohio Election Results:
John F. Kerry/Dennis J. Kucinich: 2,800,620 (49.763%)

George W. Bush/Richard B. Cheney: 2,800,315 (49.758%)

Would this finally cause the electoral college to be abandoned? How would John Kerry be seen as President by the majority of the population?
 
Would this finally cause the electoral college to be abandoned?
Given that the 2016 election in the real world did not result in the electoral college being abandoned, no.
How would John Kerry be seen as President by the majority of the population?
Given the era, the same way George W. Bush was seen during his first term. He legally won the election because of a quirk of the system and there isn't anything that can be done to change the results so they just accept him being the president for now while hoping that a person more to their liking will win the next presidential election.
 
Given that the 2016 election in the real world did not result in the electoral college being abandoned, no.

This would be diffferent because after 2016 the GOP was sure the Electoral College worked to their advantage (2020 showed they were right) so of course they resisted any effort to change it. In this ATL, the Electoral College would be seen to be defying the popular will in an *arbitrary* rather than partisan way--favoring the GOP one election and the Democrats the next. This seems to me the *necessary* condition for getting the bipartisan support needed to change the Electoral College. Whether it is also a *sufficient* condition, I don't know.
 
Kucinich will drag down the Kerry ticket, not boost it. And I'm saying that as a HUGE fan of Dennis. He was simply ahead of his time, and was too fringe. It's like Bush choosing Ron Paul as his running mate.
 
There are all sorts of ways Kerry could have carried Ohio for Ohio-specific reasons which would not prevent him from losing the national popular vote: (1) don't have same-sex marriage on the ballot (it helped to generate increased turnout by Evangelicals); (2) shorter lines; (3) have the scandals in Governor Taft's administration exposed earlier. Maybe none of these things by itself would have been enough, but some combination could certainly have made a difference.

But Kucinich IMO would only have hurt Kerry in OH and elsewhere--he would be seen as too left-wing.
 
Kucinich will drag down the Kerry ticket, not boost it. And I'm saying that as a HUGE fan of Dennis. He was simply ahead of his time, and was too fringe. It's like Bush choosing Ron Paul as his running mate.
OK, yeah, looking more closely, it seems he would be too far left for the traditional Democratic party. I kind of just chose the most prominent Ohio politician I could see. I apologise for this.
 
I actually think this might lead to an amendment abolishing the EC, as both parties now have reason to dislike it. There can be a consensus around "this is stupid".
 
I actually think this might lead to an amendment abolishing the EC, as both parties now have reason to dislike it. There can be a consensus around "this is stupid".
A consitutional amendment might not actually be necessary if you get states with 270 electoral votes to ratify the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. In OTL this has been impossible because only blue states have ratified; in this OTL it could get support from both red and blue states. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Interstate_Compact#Adoption Of course there would reamin the question of its consitutionality. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Interstate_Compact#Constitutionality
 
A consitutional amendment might not actually be necessary if you get states with 270 electoral votes to ratify the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. In OTL this has been impossible because only blue states have ratified; in this OTL it could get support from both red and blue states. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Interstate_Compact#Adoption Of course there would reamin the question of its consitutionality. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Interstate_Compact#Constitutionality
This could come about as well, though I think if you get broad popular support the most straightforward process would be an amendment, which completely avoids any and all legal issues.

The NPVIC is a workaround for when there is not broad support, and the amendment is opposed by a large segment of the country.
 
I think a Kerry victory is the most likely path to getting Electoral College reform - even though it's still not a sure thing. The idea would presumably be that "look, the Electoral College is broken, it doesn't help anybody" which is much easier to fix than "it only helps a select group of people"...

I've always thought Dems were lucky to avoid a Kerry Presidency - not because I think Kerry would have made a bad POTUS, but given Katrina, financial turmoil in Wall Street, the failing war in Iraq, and his flaky VP, he probably would not have been re-elected.
 
OK, yeah, looking more closely, it seems he would be too far left for the traditional Democratic party. I kind of just chose the most prominent Ohio politician I could see. I apologise for this.
Gephardt being chosen instead of Edwards, despite Gephardt being from Missouri, might've been enough to tip Iowa, New Mexico, and Ohio (Iowa and New Mexico were closer than Ohio, so they'd tip with Ohio).

I do agree with 2000 going to Bush in the manner that it did OTL with Kerry winning 2004 without the Popular vote are the only way I could see a bipartisan push to abolish the electoral college. That said, electoral college or not, Kerry would get stomped in 2008 by Romney, McCain, or Jeb.
 
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