[EM] margins of victory with different voting methods

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Sun Apr 3 19:52:40 PDT 2011

On Apr 3, 2011, at 10:10 PM, Dave Ketchum wrote:

> US Electoral College - done with each state done separately, unlike  
> most any other election - meaning that various parts are done in  
> different ways.

but not to a significant degree.  *every* state, except Maine and  
Nebraska, simply award their entire allocation of electoral votes to  
the plurality winner in that state.  Maine is 4 electoral votes,  
Nebraska is currently 5 electoral votes, out of 538.

the interesting thing is, that for the first time i know of, a state  
(Nebraska) has actually split their slate of electors in 2008.   
Nebraska was, essentially, a Red state (GOP, McCain), but the  
congressional district around Omaha went to Obama.  so it was five  
electoral votes split 4 and 1.

is there any historical case in modern American electoral history  
where a state (having similar law as Nebraska or Maine) has, because  
of the outcome, split their electoral vote?  i know of no other case.

for the most part, it's winner take all, which gives big states a big  
swing vote (Ohio is the most reputed to having this quality making it  
the quintessential "battleground state") and the small states (like  
the one i grew up in and the one where i live now) get "compensated"  
for their having less of a swing effect by having more electoral votes  
per capita than the big states.  even so, prez candidates do not spend  
any time during the General Election season in hardly any of the small  
states like North Dakota or Vermont.


r b-j                  rbj at audioimagination.com

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

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