U.S. Presidential election is on November 6. It is very confusing how a person is elected U.S. President. It is not by popular vote. It is how many votes a person gets in “electoral college vote”.
What is an Electoral College vote?
There are 538 Electoral College votes. A candidate has to win 270 votes to win the election. Each state is allotted a number of Electoral College votes depending on the population. It is a winner takes all system*. If a candidate wins popular vote in a particular state, he/she takes all the Electoral College votes of that state. For example, California has 55 and Montana has 3 Electoral College votes. If a candidate wins California’s popular vote, he/she takes all 55 (even if the candidate won the popular vote by one vote only). Therefore, both candidates will concentrate in California and not in Montana.
USA has 50 states. Very very big country by area. It is so huge it has 6 different time zones. Theoretically, if someone puts in all efforts in only 12 states and win all these 12 states, he/she can become President. He/She can ignore the other 38 states. Here are the numbers (states and electoral college votes).
New York 29
Is there anyone who won the election but did not win the popular vote? Yes. Here they are:
John Quincy Adams in 1824
Rutherford Hayes in 1874
Benjamin Harrison in 1888
George W. Bush in 2000
Look for a surprise here. Total number of electoral college votes are 538. What if each candidate gets 279 votes and it is a draw? There is a solution in the US Constitution.
The President will be elected by the US House of Representatives.
The Vice President will be elected by the US Senate.
House majority is Republican and so Romney winner.
Senate majority is Democrat and so Biden winner.
That would be fun. Will see what happens on November 6.
PS: * The states of Maine and Nebraska do not have winner take all system. They have “proportional representation” system.