This article by Edward B. Foley is published by The Washington Post. Here is an excerpt:
In state after state, winners have one-third of the votes or less. J.D. Vance won Ohio’s Republican Senate primary with 32.2 percent of the vote. Nebraska’s GOP gubernatorial primary was won with 33.8 percent. In Pennsylvania, the virtual tie between Mehmet Oz and David McCormick for the GOP Senate nomination means that about 31 percent will be enough for victory.
There is no way to say these winners are the collective choice of each primary’s voters. The fundamental idea of an election is that the will of the majority should prevail. To be sure, in our constitutional system, we guard against a tyranny of the majority through a set of checks and balances. Still, when we put questions of public policy and the representation of citizens to a vote, we want that vote to be decided by the larger share prevailing over the smaller — not the other way around.
Yet we undermine that objective when we let a candidate win an election with a mere plurality of votes. If the winner has only one-third of the votes, that means two-thirds — twice as many voters — were on the losing side. That’s backward.