14The Electoral College and Federalism The electoral college reflects the federal nature of the Constitution because it ensures that the states have a role in selecting the president.
15State Electoral VotesEach state is entitled to as many electoral votes as the sum of its representation in the U.S. House and SenateOhio: 16 House members plus 2 Senators = 18 Electoral Votes (2012)Total: 435 House members plus 100 Senators (plus 3 electors from the District of Columbia) = 538 electoral votes
16Selection of ElectorsAll but two states use a Winner-Take-All statewide election systemThe candidate that gets the most votes (plurality) in a state, gets the whole slate of electoral votes.Maine and Nebraska award electors based on the statewide vote and the vote in each of the state’s congressional districts.
17In each state, each party selects a slate of electors, hoping that they will be activated by voters in the general election.18 Electors18 Electors
19Voters and ElectorsAn Ohioan who votes for Obama is really voting for a slate of electors pledged to cast the state’s electoral votes for Obama.In 2000, Bush won all of Florida’s 25 electoral votes because the final official vote tally showed him ahead of Gore by 537 votes.
20The 2000 Election The Popular Vote Al Gore 50,996,039 George W. Bush 50,456,141The Electoral VoteGeorge W. Bush 271Al Gore
23Key EventsGeneral Election is held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.On the Monday after the second Wednesday in December, the electors gather in their respective state capitols to cast ballots for president and vice president.On January 6, a joint session of Congress convenes, and the President of the Senate counts the ballots received from each state, and announces the official outcome.January Noon- Inauguration
26What if no one receives a majority? To win, a candidate needs a majority, that is, 270 electoral votes.If no candidate has a majority, the House selects the president. Each state delegation has one vote.This last happened in 1824 when Congress chose John Quincy Adams over Andrew Jackson and William Crawford. It also happened in 1800.The Senate selects the vice president from the top two vice-presidential candidates.
27The Popular Vote versus the Electoral Vote In a close race, the popular vote winner may not win the electoral college. Electoral vote winners who lost the popular voteBush over Gore in 2000Benjamin Harrison over Grover Cleveland in 1888Rutherford B. Hayes over Samuel Tilden in 1876John Quincy Adams over Andrew Jackson in 1824.
28Criticisms of the Electoral College The popular vote winner may lose the presidency. (4x)Winner-Take-All (undemocratic?)Electors may vote for persons other than their party’s presidential and vice presidential candidates. (Faithless Elector)If no candidate receives a majority, Congress will pick the president and vice president.
47Proposals for ReformEliminate electors but still count electoral votes.Select electors based on the proportion of the vote each candidate gets in each state.Choose the president by direct popular election.