An Important System
Only five times in history has the winner of the nationwide popular vote not become the president. Yet many people believe we should abolish the Electoral College in favor of electing the president by a simple national majority. These people do not understand that the Electoral College serves important purposes.
A Broad Base
Because most states allocate their Electoral College votes to the candidate that wins the most votes in that state, barely winning a state is worth just as much as winning it by a landslide. A candidate therefore benefits more from winning as many states as possible rather than running up totals in states that already lean toward their party.
National Votes and National Chaos
A direct national vote would also mean that every vote could be challenged and recounted equally. State recounts have proven difficult in the past. Imagine the chaos of national recounts, with legal challenges all over the country and each candidate suing in districts with judges friendly to their party.