Encore: The Story Behind the Electoral College

Author and Electoral College expert Tara Ross joins Tim to tell the story behind the Electoral College, how it governs elections and why it is still needed. Tara’s latest book is entitled, “Why We Need the Electoral College.” This episode was first released October 12, 2020.

electoral college

It’s happened five times. Five times a candidate won the presidency even though he did not win the popular vote. He won the presidency because he won the Electoral College.

If you’re wondering why the United States doesn’t just choose a president based only on the popular vote, the answer as we know it was given in 1804.

Some in congress wanted Congress to choose the president. Others wanted a democratic popular vote. And even to this day, many Americans believe that we do elect a president based on that popular vote.

The country’s leaders arrived at a compromise which created the Electoral College.

Tara Ross is a retired attorney and the author of four books on the Electoral College. While she is one of the nation’s leading experts on the Electoral College, she continues to find that most Americans remain generally confused about why it exists and what it does.


About this Episode’s Guest Tara Ross

Tara Ross is nationally recognized for her expertise on the Electoral College. She is the author of Why We Need the Electoral College (2019), The Indispensable Electoral College: How the Founders’ Plan Saves Our Country from Mob Rule (2017), We Elect A President: The Story of our Electoral College (2016), and Enlightened Democracy: The Case for the Electoral College (2d ed. 2012). She is also the author of She Fought Too: Stories of Revolutionary War Heroines (2019), and a co-author of Under God: George Washington and the Question of Church and State (2008) (with Joseph C. Smith, Jr.). Her Prager University video, Do You Understand the Electoral College?, is Prager’s most-viewed video ever, with more than 60 million views.  

Tara often appears as a guest on a variety of talk shows nationwide, and she regularly addresses civic, university, and legal audiences. She’s contributed to many law reviews and newspapers, including the National Law JournalUSA Today, the Washington ExaminerThe Hill, The Washington Times, and FoxNews.com.  She’s addressed audiences at institutions such as the Cooper Union, Brown University, the Dole Institute of Politics, and Mount Vernon. She’s appeared on Fox News, CSPAN, NPR, and a variety of other national and local shows.

Tara is a retired lawyer and a former Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Review of Law & Politics. She obtained her B.A. from Rice University and her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.  She resides in Dallas with her husband and children.