Disadvantage: Allows Regional Candidates
In a direct popular election, a candidate could theoretically win without having broad support throughout the country. For example, if a candidate was very popular in New York City, Los Angeles and other large cities, she might not need to earn votes from other areas of the country. Electing a president who did not have broad regional support could lead to a fractured and less cohesive country, according to the Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections.
Disadvantage: Creates Logistical Challenges
According to the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School, some proponents of the Electoral College argue that it isolates election problems, such as illegally extended voting hours or irregularly high voter turnout. In a closely contested direct popular election, every precinct across the country might require close examination, rather than a handful of states or precincts.
Disadvantage: Polarizes the Political System
The electoral college encourages a two-party system and rewards candidates who have broad appeal. A direct popular election would make it more possible for third-party candidates to succeed and would also encourage political parties to become more radical and extreme. Although many supporters of the electoral college argue that a two-party political system is more stable, some critics counter that having more than two parties would give Americans more choice.