Popular Vote- Number of individual votes candidates get from people in the U.S.
Electoral Vote- This is the number of votes that determines winner of the election. Each state is worth a number of “points” or electoral votes
A popular vote is held within each state and whatever candidate has more popular votes in the state wins all of the electoral votes that state is worth
The popular vote total each state is worth is the same as the number of members that state has in congress (Senate and House of Representatives combined)
Electoral votes are not split up…it is “all or nothing”. When a candidate wins the popular vote in a state they get all of that state’s electoral votes whether they win by a lot or a little. The Electoral Vote count a state is worth is the same # that state has in congress. Example: If Iowa has 6 members in congress the state is worth 6 electoral votes.
It can happen that a candidate has more popular votes from the entire country but loses the electoral vote count…thus losing the election. 2000 Al Gore lost to George W. Bush in the electoral vote despite winning the popular vote.
- Swing States- States that tend to be close in elections that can swing the election for one candidate or another. Candidates spend a large majority of their time campaigning in the swing states.
- Census- population of each state figured every 10 years. This could change the number of electoral votes that state is worth.