The two-tier suffrage is so constituted that in a two-party system a very small majority of the popular vote can translate into a very large majority of the electoral vote. And if a party split occurs so that three candidates run for office, then it can even happen that the candidate with only a plurality of the popular vote again gains an overwhelming majority of the electoral vote, as was the case in Woodrow Wilson’s election.
This resonance effect, incorporated into the suffrage and capable of turning a minority candidate into a plebiscite leader of a people, provided the man has the necessary stature, is not at all regarded as unjust but as one of the great advantages of this electoral system. It is in general not that important for the people which party wins the election campaign if surprises from neither one (in a negative or positive sense) are to be expected. Thus, so long as the civil government as such is stable, suffrage manipulations of this kind are not at all a contemptible means for strengthening the ruling authority in a democratic state.
This excerpt is from Published Essays, 1953-1965 (Collected Works 11) (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2004)