Some Electoral Math


I am no mathematician and hold no claims to be. This last election results sure raise a lot of questions that real math wizards and analysts of electoral politics everywhere are going to be pouring over for a long time.

So I thought I would join in with a few observations of my own:

The first observation is kind of stating the obvious. Small population states have an enormous power in the electoral college in comparison to their populations. They are way overweighted by comparison.

For example, California with 38,500,000 people and 55 electoral votes means that each electoral vote = 700,000 people.

In Iowa we have 3,000,000 people and 6 EVs or one EV for every 500,000 people. That makes a Californian equal to about 2/3rds of an Iowan.

If we go way down to the low population states we see Wyoming with about 580,000 people and 3EVs or 1 EV for every 193,000 people. That makes Wyoming @3.67 times more powerful in the electoral college than California.

I think you get my drift. The electoral college really makes a mockery of 1 man, 1vote democracy concept.

Given the current electoral vote expectations and the current popular votes this would mean that Trump’s 306 EVs on 62.8M votes shows that each EV for Trump represents about 205,000 votes. Each Clinton vote (236 and 65.5 M votes) equals about 277,500 votes per EV. The ratio of Clinton votes per EV (277,500 to 205,000) is around 1.35. Or reversed Clinton got about .75 EV for every EV Trump got even though she won the popular vote convincingly.

BTW – if that .75 ratio looks familiar, it is what an average woman earns doing the same job as a man. Said anther way, the wages of a woman equals 75% that of a man’s in the US. Looks Like Clinton just had the ratio show up in a new way. Woman does better, gets less.

The second observation is that based on vote tallies as of Thursday, Hillary Clinton is almost 2.6 million ahead of Trump and headed for the second highest total popular vote in history behind Barack Obama in 2008. Clinton will get slightly less than 50% due to third party candidates Jill Stein and Gary Johnson pulling approximately 7 million votes or about 5.2%. My figuring is kind of ballpark, but again, you get the drift.

The most recent numbers I see have Clinton at @ 65.5 million, Trump at about 62.8 million and others @ 7 million. This would give not-Trump just short of 54%. This is hardly a mandate.

This will make Trump a minority candidate in both his party’s primary and his run for president. Considering what the Republican Party has done to the election process to restrict voters, Trump’s minority status is probably actually much worse than this election indicates. We have no idea how many potential Clinton voters were not allowed to vote due to restrictive legislation passed in many states following the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision invalidating parts of the Voting Rights Act. Without that boost from the majority Republican SCOTUS Clinton would most likely be president.

From Dana Milbank in the Washington Post Wednesday:

Both (ed. note – claims of rigging and vote recounting) distract from the real scandal, which is happening in plain sight. Millions of would-be voters didn’t participate because of obstacles designed to discourage them. The hurdles were, thanks to a 2013 Supreme Court ruling invalidating key parts of the Voting Rights Act, largely legal. And they arguably suppressed enough minority voters to cost Clinton the election.

Fourteen states had new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election, and 20 have had such restrictions put in place since 2010, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, a group that opposes such laws. These include strict photo-ID requirements, cutbacks in early voting and new restrictions on registration. Other states are resisting efforts that would make voting easier with same-day, online and motor-voter registration.

At the same time, the Leadership Conference Education Fund, a civil rights group, found that counties previously covered by the Voting Rights Act have closed down at least 868 polling places. The closures (often without adequate notice) disproportionately affect minority voters.

“We have across most states some significant element of voter suppression,” says Zoltan Hajnal, a University of California at San Diego political scientist specializing in voting rights. “Over time these have shrunk the electorate in significant ways and tilted the electorate toward the Republican Party.”

The total number of would-be voters deterred is in the “millions,” he said. “If you were to superimpose the most liberal voting laws on all the states, it’s quite likely we would have had a different winner” on Nov. 8.

A really good analysis of Trump’s historic popular vote loss is done here by

The nearly unprecedented scale of Trump’s popular vote loss to Clinton is compounded by the fact that the current president-elect also won the Republican nomination with only 44.95 percent of the total votes cast in the party’s primary elections.

Stated simply, the electoral college with its basis in the slave owning past is way outdated for today’s society.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
This entry was posted in #Recount2016, 2016 Election Campaign, Trump, voting rights and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Some Electoral Math

  1. otto says:

    A survey of Iowa voters showed 75% overall support for a national popular vote for President.

    The National Popular Vote bill is 61% of the way to guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency in 2020 to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by changing state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), without changing anything in the Constitution, using the built-in method that the Constitution provides for states to make changes.

    All voters would be valued equally in presidential elections, no matter where they live.

    Every vote, everywhere, for every candidate, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election.
    No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps of predictable outcomes.

    The bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes—270 of 538.
    All of the presidential electors from the enacting states will be supporters of the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC)—thereby guaranteeing that candidate with an Electoral College majority.

    The bill was approved this year by a unanimous bipartisan House committee vote in both Georgia (16 electoral votes) and Missouri (10).
    The bill has passed 34 state legislative chambers in 23 rural, small, medium, large, red, blue, and purple states with 261 electoral votes.
    The bill has been enacted by 11 small, medium, and large jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the way to guaranteeing the presidency to the candidate with the most popular votes in the country


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