First, a disclaimer: I don't do this sort of thing professionally. Everything I list below might be entirely wrong. I take no responsibility if you use this information as gospel, without researching it on your own. Got that? Good.
This is what I've learned after researching the whole election/electoral college thing, using data from a few government sites.
Under the electoral college:
- There are 538 electoral votes up for grabs.
- Of these, 270 are needed to win.
- The top 11 states will bring in the needed 270 votes. These include CA, NY, TX, FL, PA, IL, OH, MI, NJ and NC, plus either VA or GA.
- There were 116,536,000 (57,777,007) voters in these 11 states.
- Under the "winner claims all" policy, 58,384,536 (28,946,281) votes would give a candidate all 270 votes.
- This is a mere 28.4% (14.1%) of the voter population.
Under the popular vote:
- There were 205,815,000 (105,586,274) votes up for grabs.
- A simple majority (50.1%) of the votes needed: 103,113,315 (52,898,723).
- A mere 25.7% of the eligible voters could elect the president.
Just to make some sense, the big numbers in bold represent the eligible voters, while the number next to them, (in parantheses), represent the actual turnout in the 2000 election.
Basically, under the electoral college, 28.9 million people could elect the president. Which is kinda frightening. Voter apathy, of course, could cause this to happen in a popular election. I realize this, and hence some of my concerns in my previous entry.
Download my data as an Excel spreadsheet, and figure out whether or not I'm smoking crack while looking at this stuff. (Yes, I know, Excel is evil. But easy to use.)