The electoral college nearly always operates with a winner-takes-all system, during which the candidate with the very best number of votes during a state claims all of that state’s electoral votes. for instance , in 2016, Trump beat Clinton in Florida by a margin of just 2.2%, but that meant he claimed all 29 of Florida’s crucial electoral votes.
Such small margins during a few key swing states meant that, no matter Clinton’s national vote lead, Trump was ready to clinch victory in several swing states and thus win more electoral college votes.
Biden could face an equivalent hurdle in November, meaning he will got to focus his attention on a couple of battleground states to win the presidency.
The unequal distribution of electoral votes
While the amount of electoral votes a state is assigned somewhat reflects its population, the minimum of three votes per state means the relative value of electoral votes varies across America.
The least populous states like North and South Dakota and therefore the smaller states of latest England are overrepresented due to the specified minimum of three electoral votes. Meanwhile, the states with the foremost people – California, Texas and Florida – are underrepresented within the electoral college.
Wyoming has one electoral college vote for each 193,000 people, compared with California’s rate of 1 electoral vote per 718,000 people. this suggests that every electoral choose California represents over 3 times as many of us together in Wyoming.
Who does it favour?
Experts have warned that, after returning two presidents that got fewer votes than their opponents since 2000, the electoral college is flawed.
In 2000, Gore won over half 1,000,000 more votes than Bush, yet Bush became president after winning Florida by just 537 votes. In all, the US has had five presidents who lost the general popular vote but won the election.
Professor George Edwards III, at Texas A&M University, said: “The electoral college violates the core tenet of democracy, that each one votes count equally and allows the candidate finishing second to win the election. Why hold an election if we don’t care who received the foremost votes?
“At the instant , the electoral college favours Republicans due to the way Republican votes are distributed across the country. they’re more likely to occur in states that are closely divided between the parties.”
As candidates easily win the electoral votes of their solid states, the election plays call at a couple of key battlegrounds. In 2016, Trump won six such states – Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – adding 99 electoral votes to his total.
The demographics of those states differ from the national average. they’re older, have more white voters without college degrees, and sometimes have smaller non-white populations. These characteristics generally favour Republicans, and made up the bottom of Trump’s votes in 2016.
For example, 67% of non-college-educated White race voted for Trump in 2016. altogether six swing states, this demographic is overrepresented by a minimum of six percentage points quite the national average.
The alternatives To electoral college
Several alternative systems for electing the president are proposed and grown in favour, as many seek to vary or abolish the electoral college.
Two states – Maine and Nebraska – already use a special method of assigning their body votes. the 2 “Senate” votes attend the state-wide popular vote winner, but the remaining district votes are awarded to the winner of that district. However, implementing this district method across the country could end in greater bias than the present system. the favored vote winner could still lose the election, and therefore the distribution of voters would still strongly favour Republicans.
The National Popular Vote Compact (NPVC) is an alternative choice