I just don't agree with the point you feel is so salient that I must be either ignoring or fail to understand. It's not failure to understand it, it's failure to agree with it.
We knew we disagreed at the outset. I stated in my very first post, the first response to the thread, that i disagreed. Whether or not we agree was not at issue. I stated that discarding the college leaves the choice of President to a hand full of urban areas, and that i feel that this is not consistent with a recognition that this is a union of sovereign states. I don't ask you to agree, but simply to recognize my position as i have stated it. To respond to that with an observation to the effect that you don't have any reason to assume that rural voters would exercise better judgment in the matter is essentially to erect a strawman, because it ignores the argument i made, and erects a false position for you to oppose. It was never my position that rural voters are qualitatively superior to urban voters.
I don't expect your agreement. I do expect that when you do disagree, and object to my position, you will object to the position i have taken, and not to a position i have not taken. You can demure to your heart's content; however, when you cite my post, and respond with a comment about the qualitative differences in rural and urban voters (or a lack of it), when i have not offered an argument on that basis, it is not a matter of interpretation, it is a clear case of your having erected a straw man. In that you didn't address my remark about the union of sovereign states, but only made that observation about rural voters, it was perfectly reasonable that this was the burden of your objection to my argument--as that was not my argument, your objection constituted a straw man.
Do you know of any cases where you think a legitimate regional interest was protected in modern presidential politics due to this structure?
I will leave aside the issue of what constitutes modern presidential politics, while observing that i look at such issues as having continuity over the entire course of the nation's history. On such a basis, i would point to the 1860 election. With Douglas and Breckenridge splitting the Democratic ticket, Lincoln's election served the interest of northern "free" states. Lincoln was a minority President, he won in the electoral college, but he did not secure a majority of the popular vote. I will also note that although i am willing to respond, my argument is not predicated upon a contention of majoritarian tyranny. In fact, in that i would object to the population of a few states electing the President in despite of the wishes of the rest of the states; in that i am looking at this with the sovereign states in mind, i might object that there would be a possibility of a minoritarian tyranny, in terms of the several states. But that's not my argument, either, really. My argument is that the institution of the Presidential electors was a compromise to protect the sovereignty of the several states, just as was the institution of the Senate, with its unique powers of consenting to the appointment of exectutive officers and the ratification of treaties.
So i respond simply for the sake of discussion, and not because i have stated or implied that the college serves to protect regional interests from majoritarian tyranny.
But looking to electoral politics in recent times, i would point to the 2000 election. I don't think that the United States Supreme Court had any business to interfere in the decision of the Florida Supreme Court's to allow a recount--but that is not to say that i have any good reason to assume that Gore would have taken Florida if the recount had been completed. Had Florida's electoral votes been awarded to Gore, he would have trounced Bush in the electoral college, even though his popular vote margin would have been a squeaker--a half million votes or less out of more than 100 million votes cast. The regional interest served (if there actually was one) was the conservatism of largely rural and agrarian states. Gore did not take a single state south of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River, including his home state of Tennessee. West of the Mississippi River and east of the continental divide, Gore took only Iowa, Minnesota and New Mexico. Bush took every western state which does not have a Pacific coastline except those three, and he took absolutely every state south of the Ohio River. They all have in common that they are more sparsely populated than the states which Gore took (with the exceptions noted) and they all have in common that they are not industrial states (Ohio was the closest thing to an industrial state which Bush took), that agriculture is (even if it is just livestock) the principle business of the state.
What is more germane to the argument i make is that Bush carried 30 states to Gore's 20. You should have no doubt that i deplore Bush's presidency--i've certainly made that clear. But i have never deplored it on the basis of his having been elected by electoral votes rather than popular vote. My only suspicion in the matter is the interference in Florida's recount, and as i have already noted, i have no good reason to assume that the recount would have resulted in those 25 electoral votes being awarded to Gore.
Before leaving this, i would be at pains to point out that i haven't argued for a regional interest as a basis to justify the institution of the college, either. That has rather the flavor of a straw man argument, too. However, i don't think that it was your intent to introduce a straw man with that question. I specifically stated that as this is a union of sovereign states, i approve of the college as protecting the interest which all states in the union have in making their voice heard--and 30 of those states, 60% of those states, spoke for Bush.
Finally, it is worth noting that in all of my comments about the college, i have pointed out that i dislike and disagree with the winner take all aspect of the allocation of electoral votes. For my mind, the ideal situation would be the retention of the college, with the elimination of the winner take all allocation of electors.