Monday, November 01, 2004

The Electoral College

It will take Bush or Kerry 270 electoral votes to win the election tomorrow (or next week, or whenever), of 538 total. I've seen more than a couple of stories get states' allocations wrong, so try to keep a guide like this one handy when you're editing these election stories.




Alabama - 9
Alaska - 3
Arizona - 10
Arkansas - 6
California - 55
Colorado - 9
Connecticut - 7
D.C. - 3
Delaware - 3
Florida - 27
Georgia - 15
Hawaii - 4
Idaho - 4
Illinois - 21
Indiana - 11
Iowa - 7
Kansas - 6
Kentucky - 8
Louisiana - 9
Maine - 4
Maryland - 10
Massachusetts - 12
Michigan - 17
Minnesota - 10
Mississippi - 6
Missouri - 11
Montana - 3
Nebraska - 5
Nevada - 5
New Hampshire - 4
New Jersey - 15
New Mexico - 5
New York - 31
North Carolina - 15
North Dakota - 3
Ohio - 20
Oklahoma - 7
Oregon - 7
Pennsylvania - 21
Rhode Island - 4
South Carolina - 8
South Dakota - 3
Tennessee - 11
Texas - 34
Utah - 5
Vermont - 3
Virginia - 13
Washington - 11
West Virginia - 5
Wisconsin - 10
Wyoming - 3
Note that these are not necessarily the same numbers as the 2000 election. Every 10 years, the numbers are reapportioned, based on the census. Florida, for example, had 25 electoral votes in 2000; Ohio had 21.

Now, with an even number of electoral votes, that means there could be a tie. If that's the case, each candidate has 41 days to persuade an elector to switch sides, which is legal but rare. (We've had few faithless electors, but they include one of D.C.'s votes in 2000.)

If that doesn't work, the election goes to the House. There, each state's delegation gets one vote, regardless of how many representatives it has. (That would probably mean a Bush win: Thirty states' delegations are controlled by Republicans, 15 by Democrats. Five are tied, in which case they would abstain from voting.)

A couple of other things to consider: Maine and Nebraska are the only states now that can split their electoral votes. There, the statewide winner gets two votes; then the winner of each congressional district gets one vote. Neither has split before, but there's a chance Maine will this year.

Also, Colorado has a proposition on the ballot that would allow its electoral votes to be awarded proportionally, based on popular vote. If it passes, that change would be in effect for this year's election.

3 Comments:

At 6:41 PM, November 01, 2004, Blogger Aishah said...

Politics.Argh.Why can't blogistan discuss something else,like the benefits of eating choclate for instance?

 
At 10:45 PM, November 01, 2004, Blogger Etaoin Shrdlu said...

Lots of Electoral College maps online. The L.A. Times has a good one where you can play out any possible scenario.

 
At 5:02 PM, November 04, 2004, Blogger Nicole said...

The L.A. Times' was definitely the one I used the most, although the music got annoying at the end when it got close.

 

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