Matthew Yglesias has been arguing for the National Popular Vote, an idea I heartily agree with, by pointing out that your individual vote is less likely to be decisive, or that its hard to get involved in the campaign in certain states. These are compelling as symbols of how irrational the system is, but as stated, they don’t make any sense.
Regardless of what state you’re in, the probability of your vote being decisive is incredibly small. Volunteering can multiply your efforts, but not to the point that matters. Popular vote or no, we still come up against the cute thing about voting: thought of in ordinary cost-benefit terms, it’s an incredibly irrational activity, and that won’t change regardless of our system. The reason to favor the national popular vote is that the peculiarities of our electoral system result in tremendous pandering to particular states, and because there’s no reason a candidate should be able to win without a plurality of the popular vote.