As the chart below shows, race and religion are attributes that are highly divisive.
White evangelicals compose between a quarter and a third of the voting population in the Midwest battleground states. These states (stochastically) determine the presidency. Therefore candidates in the general election, such as the incumbent, adopt views appealing to evangelicals that are not necessarily held by the candidate personally and are anathema to the rest of the country. In this way the electoral college educes hypocrisy, plays on division, and intensifies hostility among Americans.
Does anyone think that battles among people based on religion and race are good for an open and tolerant democracy? Yet that is what the electoral college fosters.