What is the Electoral College? State vote breakdown explained

THE winner of the presidential election will be the candidate who takes the majority of the Electoral College votes.

Whoever gets to 270 electoral votes – a majority of the 538 – wins the election.

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What is the Electoral College?

Congressional representatives are determined by a state's population, and electors are assigned based on the number of representatives. 

States with larger populations have more electors. 

No state can have fewer than three electors. 

There are 435 representatives in total and 100 senators.

Due to the 23rd amendment, Washington, D.C. has three electors, making the combined number a total of 538 electors.

A candidate needs to win a majority of electors, or 270, to become the candidate-elect.

Because most states have a winner-take-all system, where the winner of the popular vote in a state gains all of the electors, several presidents have lost the popular vote and won the electoral vote.

The Founding Fathers established the electoral college to prevent the popular vote from being the final determination in an election.

The popular vote is simply the total votes cast for each candidate across the whole United States.

What is the state Electoral vote breakdown?

  • Alabama: 9
  • Alaska: 3
  • Arizona: 11
  • Arkansas: 6
  • California: 55
  • Colorado: 9
  • Connecticut: 7
  • Delaware: 3
  • Florida: 29
  • Georgia: 16
  • Hawaii: 4
  • Idaho: 4
  • Illinois: 20
  • Indiana: 11
  • Iowa: 6
  • Kansas: 6
  • Kentucky: 8
  • Louisiana: 8
  • Maine: 11
  • Maryland: 10
  • Massachusetts: 11
  • Michigan: 16
  • Minnesota: 10
  • Mississippi: 6
  • Missouri: 10
  • Montana: 3
  • Nebraska: 5
  • Nevada: 6
  • New Hampshire: 4
  • New Jersey: 14
  • New Mexico: 5
  • New York: 29
  • North Carolina: 15
  • North Dakota: 3
  • Ohio: 18
  • Oklahoma: 7
  • Oregon: 7
  • Pennsylvania: 20
  • Rhode Island: 4
  • South Carolina: 9
  • South Dakota: 3
  • Tennessee: 11
  • Texas: 38
  • Utah: 6
  • Vermont: 3
  • Virginia: 13
  • Washington: 12
  • West Virginia: 5
  • Wisconsin: 10
  • Wyoming: 3

How many Electoral College votes are needed to win?

There are currently 538 electors, and an absolute majority of electoral votes, 270 or more, is required to win the election.

Thirty-eight out of the 50 states have voted for the same party since the 2000 presidential election, which has made it relatively easy to predict which states will vote for a Democratic candidate and which will vote for a Republican.

However, with swing states, there is no consistent favorable party and any candidate of the party they represent can take all the electoral votes and win the state.

The swing states in the US vary and not necessarily by region.

Potential swing states are: Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.

It has been noted that urban areas tend to vote Democratic and rural areas tend to lean Republican.

How many votes did Donald Trump get in 2016 election?

In 2016 the election was called at 2.30 am EST when Donald Trump won Wisconsin.

Trump received 304 and Clinton 227.

However due to postal ballots because of coronavirus, a clear result of the election might not be known until some time after Election Day.

The winner of the 2020 presidential election is scheduled to be inaugurated on January 20, 2021.

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