Do all the votes in a precinct go to the majority candidate (eg winner take all) and then the tallies added up by precinct? Or do they take the simple majority in the state?

2 Answers 2


The 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution established the popular election of United States Senators:

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislatures.

As the US Senate website explains:

The Seventeenth Amendment restates the first paragraph of Article I, section 3 of the Constitution and provides for the election of senators by replacing the phrase "chosen by the Legislature thereof" with "elected by the people thereof."

The candidate that receives the most votes in the state will win the Senate election.

  • Yep. It is this amendment that tilted the balance of power between the States and Federal Government to the Federal Government.
    – EvilTeach
    Dec 26, 2017 at 15:46
  • 1
    Some states require a majority and have a second round vote of the top two vote getters in a runoff election if no candidates receives a majority, others require a mere plurality in the first round vote. The choice between these two rules is a matter of state law (other rules like instant runoff could also be adopted but have not been adopted).
    – ohwilleke
    Jan 3, 2022 at 18:12

It is a statewide tally of popular votes where the candidate with the plurality or majority of votes wins.

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