The last third party, or splinter party, candidate to make a strong showing was Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 (Progressive, also known as the Bull Moose Party).He finished a distant second in Electoral and popular votes (taking 88 of the 266 electoral votes needed to win at the time).
There have been more proposals for Constitutional amendments on changing the Electoral College than on any other subject.
The American Bar Association has criticized the Electoral College as “archaic” and “ambiguous” and its polling showed 69 percent of lawyers favored abolishing it in 1987.
But surveys of political scientists have supported continuation of the Electoral College.
Public opinion polls have shown Americans favored abolishing it by majorities of 58 percent in 1967; 81 percent in 1968; and 75 percent in 1981.
Opinions on the viability of the Electoral College system may be affected by attitudes toward third parties.
Third parties have not fared well in the Electoral College system.
Candidates with regional appeal such as Governor Thurmond in 1948 and Governor Wallace in 1968, won blocs of electoral votes in the South.
Neither come close to seriously challenging the major party winner, but they may have affected the overall outcome of the election.
The founding fathers established the Electoral College in the Constitution as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens.
However, the term “electoral college” does not appear in the Constitution.
Article II of the Constitution and the 12th Amendment refer to “electors,” but not to the “electoral college.” Since the Electoral College process is part of the original design of the U. Constitution it would be necessary to pass a Constitutional amendment to change this system.