Someone in a populous coastal state defends the electoral college:
What should an election system for choosing the president attempt to achieve? Certainly one goal is to reflect the popular will, an outcome that might (or might not, depending on how the system is structured) be achieved with a direct popular vote.
But as the founding fathers recognized, reflection of the popular will is not the only goal.
Another goal is to provide candidates with incentives to broaden their geographic and political bases and to steer toward the center rather than the extremes of the political spectrum.
This, the founders felt, would help reduce the sources of political strife and, in the extreme case, avoid civil war. They understood that passions and irrationalities can afflict mass decision-making under direct democracy.
(Link seen on Roger L. Simon.)