In the 2000 US presidential election, Vice President Al Gore received 543,000 more votes than his rival, George W Bush, then governor of Texas. But when the election and legal disputes were over,. How did that happen? The answer: The electoral college. Contrary to popular belief, Americans do not vote directly for their president and vice president. Instead, they work on an electoral college system. So, while they pick the names of the candidates they are voting for, they are actually casting their ballots for the electors in their respective states. Those electors will then vote for the candidates who got the highest popular votes in that state. P
The president and vice president are elected as a ticket, not separately. The number of electors is determined by adding the number of senators – two in each state – and congressional district representatives. The larger the state\’s population, the larger the size of the electoral college. For example, California, the state with the largest population, is assigned the highest number of electors, 55. Based on the winner-take-all rules and traditions in 48 of the 50 states, the electors will then cast their votes in favour of the winning candidate of that state.
The states of Maine and Nebraska allocate their electors based on the winner of each district and the overall winner of the state. Again using California as an example, the winner gets all of the 55 electoral votes, while the loser gets none. In all, there are 538 electors representing the 50 states plus the capital, District of Columbia. To win, a candidate needs 50 percent plus one of the total 538 electors. In essence, a candidate will have to run 51 separate presidential campaigns – one in each state – if he or she wants to maximise the probability of victory. But in practice, that is not the case. There are states that are reliably Democrat or Republican, based on the number of registered voters. In California, and only 27 percent are Republicans. In Texas, which has the second highest electoral votes at 38,. So candidates usually skip those states, except for fundraising purposes. Instead, candidates concentrate on the so-called \”swing states\”, where the Democratic and Republican registration numbers are almost even, or where there is a large number of, such as New Hampshire.
Other states that could swing either way based on demographics include Ohio and North Carolina. So most often in the 2016 race, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump have been seen campaigning in those states numerous times, as well as in Florida and Wisconsin. P PP There are different paths and factors to 270 and victory. In 2008 and 2012, President Barack Obama won swing states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania by assembling a coalition of female voters, African Americans and more urban area voters. P P The framers of the US constitution also made sure that smaller states are equitably represented, and their voices are heard. Thus, they are also assigned at least three electoral votes, like the state of Wyoming. In close races, winning smaller states becomes even more crucial in reaching the 270 magic number. In the 2000 presidential race for example, Al Gore lost his home state of Tennessee, where he served as congressman and senator for 16 years. Had he won Tennessees 11 electoral votes, he would have obtained 277 electoral votes, seven more than the required 270, winning the presidency even without the contested popular votes in Florida.
After a Supreme Court ruling, Florida\’s 25 electoral votes were awarded to George W. Bush, giving him a slim 271 electoral votes over Gore\’s 267, paving Bush\’s path to the White House. Before 2000, there have been only three other instances of US presidential elections, when candidates who won the popular vote lost the electoral vote and the presidency. In 1888, Republican Benjamin Harrison won with 233 electoral votes, even though Grover Cleveland, the incumbent Democrat president won 100,456 more votes. One even ended up being decided by Congress. Leading up to the November 8, 2016, race, there have been some speculations of. But based on the current polls, the eventual winner could end up winning both the popular vote and the electoral college vote, while making history in the process. P But faithless electors have never affected the final result of any presidential election. And there havenБt been many in modern times; the last time was, when an anonymous elector in Minnesota cast his vote for John Edwards instead of the Democratic candidate, John Kerry. (Other electors thought that this might have been an honest mistake. ) More than a dozen states do not have laws on the books to punish faithless electors, meaning that an elector could legally change his or her mind and defy the popular vote.
But : БElectors generally hold a leadership position in their party or were chosen to recognize years of loyal service to the party. Throughout our history as a nation, more than 99 percent of electors have voted as pledged. Б Do electoral votes have a direct impact on Senate or congressional elections? They do not. How many electoral votes does each state have? Every state gets at least three electoral votes, because a stateБs number of electors is identical to the total number of its senators and representatives in Congress. Seven states have the minimum three electors. Washington, D. C. , also has three electoral votes, thanks to the 23rd Amendment, which gave the nationБs capital as many electors as the state with the fewest electoral votes. California has the most electoral votes, with 55. Texas is next, with 38. New York and Florida have 29 apiece. HereБs with the numbers.