Former Obama Campaign Manager: Warren's Proposal to Abolish Electoral College 'Not Going to Happen'

March 19, 2019

Jim Messina, who served as Barack Obama's campaign manager during the 2012 presidential election, acknowledged on Tuesday that the elimination of the Electoral College is "not going to happen."

Messina appeared on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, where he participated in a panel conversation about  Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D., Mass.) call to abolish the Electoral College Monday night during a CNN town hall.

Guest host Kasie Hunt asked whether Warren's proposal was realistic, prompting Washington Post reporter Robert Costa to say it would "take a very long process" to change the Electoral College. There are states that still want to protect the system to make sure they have a voice in the national electoral process, Costa said.

Bulwark editor in chief Charlie Sykes slammed Warren's proposal, calling it "not serious," and later saying it "will never happen." He criticized Democrats who support ideas of the sort after claiming they want to preserve institutions and save them from President Donald Trump. Democrats seem to be "lining up  to do more damage" to them, Sykes said.

Later in the segment, Hunt asked Messina to respond to Sykes about Warren's proposal.

"Let me just answer the Electoral College question. I also think, just from a campaign manager standpoint when I ran President Obama’s campaign, we would never go to a small state if there was no Electoral College," Messina said. "You’d go to the major media markets, you would not go to Iowa, you wouldn’t go to Montana, you wouldn’t go to New Hampshire."

Messina said he understands the concerns about the Electoral College deciding presidential elections but agreed with Sykes that the elimination of the Electoral College is "not going to happen."

Clinton and other Democrats have been calling for an end to the Electoral College since she lost to Trump in 2016. Trump lost California by approximately 4.3 million votes and won the rest of the country by approximately 1.4 million votes.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Tuesday responded to Warren's call and expressed support for abolishing the Electoral College.