2 What do the following four men all have in common? A. Andrew JacksonB. Samuel TildenC. Grover ClevelandD. Al Gore
3 The AnswerThey all won the popular vote in a Presidential election but did not become President.
4 Why?We do not pick our President by direct ballot. Technically, we only select electors. These electors form what is called the Electoral College and are the people who officially elect the President.
5 What is The Electoral College? The electoral college is a body of people representing the states of the US, who formally cast votes for the election of the president and vice president.
6 The Electoral CollegeEach state will have electors equal to the number of senators plus representatives given to that state.There are 538 electors.To become President you need to receive 270 votes in the electoral college.
7 This is a map before the last census (a count of how many people live in certain areas) from 2010 so you can compare to the next map as to how numbers changed.
8 As you can see, Illinois lost an electoral college vote after the 2010 census
9 Why an Electoral College? The Founding Fathers felt an electoral college was necessary for a few reasons:First, they questioned whether the electorate was capable of selecting an adequate leader for the nation if the people chose the “wrong” President, the EC could override the vote.
10 Why an Electoral College? Second, voters had very littleknowledge of candidatesoutside of their local areaor state voting wasbased primarily onREGION
11 Popular VoteThe vote for a U.S. presidential candidate made by the qualified voters.These votes are used to determine who the electors of each state will vote for.
13 Step 1: Popular Vote On election day, voters choose who they want to be President and VicePresidentWhat we’re actually choosing are ELECTORS who represent the political party of the candidate we likeThese electors are then supposed to vote for the candidate that winsthe popular vote in a given state
14 Step 2: “Winner Take All” The EC system is “winner take all.”That is, the candidate with the most popular votes gets ALL of the electoral votes (except in Maine and Nebraska where the electoral votes can be divided)
15 Step 3: Counting the Votes The electors then meet in the State capitol to cast votes for the candidate they represent (Monday after the 2nd Wednesday in December).Those votes are then sent to the president of the Senate in Washington D.C.The president of the Senate counts the votes on January 6 (this is done before Congress)
16 Step 3a: What if There Is A Tie (or if no one wins)? If no Presidential candidate gets 270 electoral votes, the US House of Representatives takes a vote to determine the winner (this happened in 1800 & 1824)If no Vice Presidential candidates receives enough votes to win, the Senate takes a vote to decide who the winner is (this happened in 1837).Richard M Johnson
18 What are the drawbacks to the Electoral College? Encourages low voter turnoutDiminishes third party influencePerson with most popular votes may not winLeads to tactical, insincere votingIf there is no majority winner in the Electoral College, the election goes to the H.o. R and there is a loss of separation of powers
19 Why low voter turnout?The Electoral College is a winner take all system of deciding who receives a states electoral votes. Consequently, if a person gets 50.1% of the popular vote (in a two man race), he get 100% of the electoral votes. Therefore, many people feel that their vote does not matter and choose to not vote.
20 Third PartiesThe Electoral College discourages 3rd parties because a candidate must have a broad based, national platform to have a chance to gain the highest office. Rarely are 3rd parties financially and politically able to do this.
21 Tactical VotingVoters often resort to tactical voting in Presidential elections because the person they truly support cannot win the all of the electoral votes. For instance, many people would have preferred Ralph Nader in the 2000 Presidential election but knew that he was not going to win. Instead, they often voted for Al Gore because he was the major candidate with the platform closest to Nader.
22 Tactical CampaignCandidates can use this process as a guide to their campaign. They can choose to focus their campaign on a few states that are called “swing states.” These states are ones in which the preliminary polls show a close race. They would then spend less time on smaller states or ones in which they feel they already won or lost.
25 In-Class ActivityIf you were running for President with limited money and could only focus on a few states, where would you focus your campaign?List the states, in order, that you would need to win the necessary 270 E.C. votes.