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Electoral College

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After months of competition between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton for the office of President of the United States of America, Donald Trump has emerged victorious. Though he lost the popular vote of the people, he barely won the office by the Electoral College votes.

Results of the popular vote show that  60,839,922, 47.8%, voted for Clinton, while there were 60,265,858, 47.3%, votes for Trump. In the popular vote, Clinton only beat Trump by 574,064 votes, or 0.5%. States where Clinton won the popular vote include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington. Trump however, won the popular vote in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The only state where the results are unclear is Michigan, which was 47.6% Trump and 47.3% Clinton. But if Clinton won the popular vote, why is Trump going to be the next president?

The answer is the Electoral College votes, which ultimately determine which candidate will be going into office. But what is the Electoral College? The Electoral College is actually a process that includes choosing 538 electors who will vote on which candidate they want in office and then count the votes. Each state contributes one elector for each representative it has in the House of Representatives plus two for the Senators. For the purposes of the Electoral College, the District of Columbia also counts as a state and contributes three electors. An interesting fact, when you vote for your particular presidential candidate, you are actually voting for your candidate’s electors, which is why the popular vote isn’t the determining factor. However, the results for the popular vote in a state will often also determine the electoral votes, which will all go to the same candidate in every state except for Maine and Nebraska. In order for one of the candidates to win, they must receive at least 270 electoral votes.

Now, here are the electoral statistics. Trump had a total of 290 electoral votes, 53.9%, and Clinton had 232 electoral votes, 43.1%. It is important to note that Maine contributed 3 of its four electoral votes to clinton and one to Trump while Michigan is still undecided and could still contribute 16 electoral votes to either candidate. However, seeing as how Trump has already won the majority of the electoral votes, it is safe to conclude that Donald Trump will be the President of the United States of America by January 20, 2017.

 

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Electoral College