I posted this elsewhere, but a brief explanation of the electoral college is always a good idea.
The Electoral College was devised to eliminate some of the bias that a straight popular vote gives to the election. Suppose, for example, that a candidate thought up a strategy that would get the votes for California, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, D.C., and maybe one or two others. Something, say, like promising each resident of those states a free car or some such thing. If a candidate got all the votes from those few states, he could win the election with the popular vote and not have to worry at all about the rest of the states. (Mind you, this is using exaggeration to make the situation clear.)
The Electoral College sees to it that no one can win with a strategy like that.
Here is that same site, but applied to 2004:2004 Election Map
Although the Electoral College made the 2004 election look close, you will see that by the state maps, once you left California, you could go completely across the country on I-10 or I-40 and never pass through a state that voted for John Kerry.
In addition, take a look at the 2000 map:2000 Electoral Map
Again, once you left California, only NM voted for Gore all the way across the country.
This is in recognition, also, that some states with relatively small populations (many of the western states) are very important to the country, and ignoring their concerns is very bad for the country as a whole. After all, someone who won with the 2004 election results, if they were reversed, could ignore the concerns of farmers and much of the manufacturing base of the country.
I believe our country is becoming steadily more urbanized and the interests of the country as a whole are become more homogeneous, and that trend may eventually make the Electoral College obsolete and lead to its abolishment.