Extended Controversial Issue Discussion Lesson Plan Should the Electoral College by abolished?

Does every state get the same number of electors?

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Does every state get the same number of electors?

No. Sorry, South Dakota. Each state has as many electors as it has U.S. senators (always two) and U.S. representatives (which depends on census population counts). Each state, therefore, has a minimum of three electors, with California leading the pack with 54. The District of Columbia has three electors, the same as the least populous states.

Can two candidates split one state's electoral votes?

Nope. Except in Maine and Nebraska, the electoral votes operate on a winner-take-all system. That's why the candidates spend so much time and money campaigning in electoral gold mines like California, Texas and New York — and relatively little time in Montana.

Doesn't this system mean a candidate could win the popular vote and still not become president?

It sure does. In fact, that's happened at least twice in American history before now. In 1876 and 1888 Rutherford B. Hayes and Benjamin Harrison, respectively, became president without winning the popular vote. The same thing could manifest itself this year if Al Gore loses the electoral vote but wins the popular vote.

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