Roughly Speaking: The president vs. the press

George W. Bush

Witcover: Despite outrage, Electoral College remains secure

Witcover: Despite outrage, Electoral College remains secure

Twice in the last five presidential elections, the Democratic presidential nominees -- first Al Gore and then Hillary Clinton -- have had to suffer defeat in the Electoral College after having won the nationwide popular vote.

Mr. Gore in 2000 captured that vote by a half-million ballots, and the then sitting vice president had to endure the pain and humiliation of watching the Supreme Courtrule against him. After a public and arduous examination of Florida's "hanging chads," the court deliberated into the wee hours before deciding against Mr. Gore by a split 5-4 vote.

Ms. Clinton's loss this year came as more of a surprise, losing the Electoral College despite...

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