Questions tagged [electoral-college]

In the United States, the President is not elected directly by popular vote, but by electors chosen by each state, which can sometimes produce a different outcome from the popular vote. Use with the [united-states] tag

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65
votes
10answers
19k views

What is the most someone can lose the popular vote by but still win the electoral college?

As the 2016 election results continue to come in, it looks pretty clear that Hillary Clinton will win the popular vote but lose the electoral college. I know this has happened before and usually by ...
59
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12answers
15k views

Does the Electoral College system really favor low population areas?

I was reading some questions on this site, and I stumbled up this comment. I'll transcribe the relevant parts of it here in case it ever goes away: You could throw in something about how Hillary ...
39
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4answers
10k views

Who would become the US President if a fictional character like Cthulhu is elected?

In the year 20XX, Cthulhu is "elected" President of United States. Namely, by "elected", I mean that enough people in the right patterns and places vote for Cthulhu[1] that 270+ electoral votes by ...
34
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8answers
10k views

Can a president win the electoral college and lose the popular vote

Let me preface this by saying I'm not American (I'm British). Last chance I got to look at the figures Hillary is amazingly close (<100k votes) behind Trump. But I realise that irrespective of how ...
33
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4answers
3k views

In the Electoral College, why can electors vote in contrast to their pledge ('faithless')?

The United States uses an Electoral College system, where electors pledge to cast their vote in a particular way. However, these electors have the ability to vote in a manner that directly contradicts ...
27
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8answers
23k views

Who would have won the 2016 presidency if all states' electors were allocated proportionally?

Hypothetically, if all states were to allocate their electors proportionally to the votes in their state, who would have won the last election? That is, let's say that there was a constitutional ...
22
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3answers
52k views

Which US states give proportional Presidential electoral college votes to candidates?

The US Presidential election uses an "electoral college" system, where each state gets a certain number of "electors" (votes), and those electors cast the official votes for President. Each state's ...
19
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5answers
6k views

How many people would it take for California to run the country?

Every ten years, the census reapportions Congressional representation. There are 385 seats in the House that are "up for grabs" based on each state's population. Since a majority in the House is 218 ...
18
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3answers
3k views

Did the candidacy of Ross Perot swing the 1992 presidential election?

Reading the Wikipedia article on the 1992 presidential candidacy of Ross Perot, one would get the impression that it made no difference to the outcome of the election. However, after looking at the ...
16
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3answers
4k views

Is the result of the general election final on 8th of Nov, 2016?

I'm a little bit confused by reading about the faithless elector. If one candidate won more than 270 votes on the election day. Is there an chance when the electors come to vote in December, some of ...
14
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8answers
4k views

How can the US electoral college vote be so different to the popular vote?

I've seen some of the YouTube and news outlet pieces on the mechanics of how the USA's electoral college voting system works. But if electors are supposed to follow the popular vote and the popular ...
13
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2answers
3k views

How can Trump be President-Elect before the Electoral College vote?

In the USA, the President is elected by the Electoral College. After the United States Presidental Election, 2016, Donald Trump was referred to as President-Elect as soon as his candidacy was ...
13
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3answers
1k views

What would be needed for the U.S. to abolish or reform the electoral college?

What would it take to reform the U.S. Presidential Elections such that either The President is elected by popular vote, abolishing the electoral college completely, or every state is mandated to ...
13
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2answers
2k views

Can faithless electors be grounds for impeachment?

Reading comments on previous question (about faithless electors replacing VP), one sentiment expressed was that there's pretty much no way to undo anything that faithless electors do if they choose ...
11
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2answers
746 views

Are state laws restricting electors' votes constitutional?

Several states have laws that purport to restrict or punish faithless electors for their electoral votes. See Wikipedia's Faithless elector: Legal position. Michigan and Minnesota even claim the ...
10
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3answers
4k views

Could faithless electors really change the USA president?

Let's say Trump wins the Nov 8 2016 election but, because some Alabama electors break their pledge, the electoral college chooses Clinton on Jan 6. It seems that those electors would then just need ...
10
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1answer
285 views

When will the votes of the electoral college become public (knowledge)?

I think/understand there are three (or four) key dates here. After the votes have been counted for each state, the electors will be appointed if the results are conclusive. On December 13rd, 2016, ...
10
votes
1answer
218 views

Do Virginia Democrats support the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact?

Virginia is not currently a member of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. The NPVIC is very popular with Democratic voters (a 2018 Pew Research Center Poll showed 75% of Democrats support ...
9
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4answers
3k views

Why Would the President-elect have a Transition Visit before December 19? [duplicate]

I understand that the President-elect is not officially elected until December 19 - why would there be a transition visit to the White House if that's the case? Isn't it technically premature?
9
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1answer
505 views

What is the maximum count of faithless electors Clinton can possibly get in 2016?

At the time of writing, it looks like Clinton will end up with 232 pledged electoral votes, and Trump with 306. So 37 electors would have to flip just for a tie. My understanding is that some states ...
9
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2answers
441 views

Ballot rounds U.S. electoral College

Is there a requirement to send the election of the U.S. president and vice-president to the House if no candidate gets a majority on the first ballot or can the Electoral College have multiple ballots ...
9
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1answer
252 views

Electors: Are Their Identities Public Information?

Is the identity of each elector who will vote in December available to the public? Or would it be a state by state process to get their identities? (I have sent message to electoral.college@nara.gov - ...
8
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7answers
2k views

Why are California Republicans against the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact?

States allocate their electoral college votes however they want to. Some, including California, legalized NPVIC (national popular vote interstate compact). This forces the state to give all its ...
8
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2answers
310 views

Why are they called faithless electors?

I recently read this question: Could faithless electors really change the USA president? I gather that a faithless elector is an elector who goes against the votes cast, but why are they called a ...
8
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1answer
906 views

Why was the Electoral College the system selected by the founding fathers?

What advantages did the founding fathers see in electoral college that made them pick it over other potential voting systems?
8
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2answers
1k views

How are Electoral College electors chosen for write-in votes for President?

In the United States, when people vote for president, they actually vote for the electors. For instance, the Ohio ballot says the following: "A vote for any candidates for President and Vice ...
8
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1answer
221 views

How does a person go about becoming a member of the Electoral College?

According to the US Constitution, Article II, Section 1, Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators ...
7
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2answers
10k views

Does the electoral vote count ever get reallocated between states?

Without getting too worked up over the election, does the amount of electoral votes allotted to a state ever change? Will California ever change from 55 to say 54, 56, or something else? If so, how ...
7
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4answers
2k views

Would Third Party Candidates in the United States fare better under a proportional representation split of electoral votes?

One major difficulty in winning election as a third party candidate is the first-past-the-post , winner-take-all system of allocating votes in the electoral college. It tends to support a primary ...
7
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2answers
2k views

What happens in the event of a tie for a 12th amendment House vote?

Evan McMullin is running for president, hoping to be elected via the 12th amendment, which would require him to receive at least 1 EC vote, and there to not be a candidate that receives the minimum ...
6
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3answers
1k views

Does the Electoral College majority requirement play a role in keeping the US in a two party system?

From the 12th Amendment of the Constitution (emphasis mine) The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of ...
6
votes
3answers
415 views

Number of winning coalitions of state in the electoral college

Define a coalition as a subset of the set of the 51 states (counting DC as a state) that make the USA. Define a coalition as winning if the total number of electoral votes of the state in that ...
6
votes
1answer
527 views

What happens if the state delegations tie on a presidential vote?

If no candidate gets a majority of electoral votes in the United States, states each get one vote for who becomes president. What happens if 25 states vote for the Democrat and 25 vote for the ...
6
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1answer
374 views

What happens if any of Jill Stein's recounts find evidence of major issues and it's impossible to say who won a state?

As is widely reported now, Jill Stein's campaign is requesting recounts in two states (and likely soon a third). Ideally, the recounts will closely (or exactly) match the reported totals, and the ...
5
votes
1answer
813 views

Are the death threats against Trump electors unprecedented in America?

Detroit News reports: Trump’s opponents have deluged [Michael] Banerian and other GOP electors with pleas and nasty emails to reverse course and cast their ballots for Clinton, according to the ...
5
votes
1answer
301 views

Why does the US need real electors and doesn't just use virtual electors?

We can simply calculate each states electorates and see who wins. It just mean the relative power of each state. There is no reason to let real people gather and vote. Why not change the amendment?
5
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1answer
125 views

Does the NPVIC only take effect once enough states sign for it to have legal force?

15 state legislatures plus the District of Columbia have passed legislation enacting the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, as described on Wikipedia. However, this represents only 72.6% of the ...
5
votes
2answers
636 views

Why are electoral college votes not secret?

In the United States, the general population votes for a president with secret ballots. However, the electoral college votes aren't secret and because of that, we know which person is a "faithless ...
5
votes
1answer
456 views

A small set of questions on objections to the Electoral College vote by members of Congress

According to this website article (bold emphasis added)... In 2017, the new federal Congress convenes on January 6 for the official Electoral College vote count. The Vice President will open the ...
5
votes
1answer
626 views

Would offering to pay the fine for a faithless elector be bribery?

There has been a lot of discussion lately about faithless electors and whether they are bound in certain cases or what the penalty is. There's a petition circulating which offers to pay the fine of a ...
5
votes
1answer
897 views

What effect would the Wyoming Rule, if in place, have had on the elections since the year 2000?

From Wikipedia... The proposed Wyoming Rule calls for expanding the House until the standard Representative-to-population ratio equals that of the smallest entitled unit (currently the state of ...
5
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2answers
2k views

If the US Presidential Election was based on popular votes, what strategies would be most effective to win? [closed]

There's been a lot of debate lately about popular vote vs. electoral college. One of the major arguments in favor of the electoral college is that it prevents a candidate from simply pandering to, and ...
4
votes
2answers
397 views

What are some of the “true” swing states in the U.S 2016 election cycle?

I'm talking about ones where the margin is less then 7 points, or has swinged by more then 5 in polls within the 2012 results and polls currently in that state or is trending way too much to one party ...
4
votes
1answer
681 views

How does the electoral college give smaller states more of a voice? [duplicate]

I am currently very against the electoral college and don’t see why it’s necessary, but I like to research and know the arguments for both sides of an issue before I form an opinion. The most popular ...
4
votes
1answer
111 views

How could a third party candidate with electoral votes decide the choice of president?

In the 1968 Washington Post story announcing Nixon as the winner of the 1968 presidential election, the author made a peculiar point: Nixon’s Illinois victory, which emerged more than 15 hours ...
4
votes
3answers
662 views

Can states amend their constitutions to pre-determine future elections?

Consider this scenario: a state passes an amendment which automatically allocates all electoral votes to a given Party candidate for all future elections, ignoring the result of each election. Or ...
3
votes
2answers
362 views

Can faulty election results unseat a sitting US President? [duplicate]

Though there are significant real-world scenarios to consider, let's keep this question hypothetical. The situation: a US presidential election is held, votes are tallied, a winner is announced, the ...
3
votes
3answers
536 views

Are all popular votes counted even when one candidate has an insurmountable lead?

Much has been made of the recent election since Clinton seems to have won the "popular vote" while Trump won the vote for the electoral college. I wonder, though, if this is actually true or if we ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

What would the process look like for adopting Ranked Choice (in particular, instant-runoff) Voting in the US?

I'm not asking to discuss whether Ranked Choice is a good system, or the particulars of how it would be implemented with regards to our electoral college system, or even whether people would choose ...
3
votes
2answers
686 views

Could Hillary Clinton become Donald Trump's Vice President?

Coming from this post: It is not unheard of that individual "faithless electors" vote different than mandated by the result in their state for whatever reason. [...] In 1836, 23 faithless ...