The simple fact is that our nation has had 56 presidential elections. In 53 of them (94.6 percent), the winner in the Electoral College also happened to be the one with the most popular votes. … So people are expending a lot of time and energy trying to figure out something that has about a 1-in-20 chance of happening.
Given the fact that the average person from State X would be fairly unlikely to know about candidate from State Y, given the state of roads, communication, travel, etc., they thought it made more sense for people to pick someone they did know (who in turn knew the national candidates) to vote on their behalf in a national election.
The South would never agree to a direct popular election because they couldn’t count their slaves for voting purposes. Using the Electoral College got them presidential votes on behalf of 3/5 of their slaves (without, of course, asking the slaves who they wanted to be president).