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How can a candidate win the popular vote, but not the elections? (Read 750 times)

Offline marijn1999

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How can a candidate win the popular vote, but not the elections?
« on: November 09, 2016, 08:25:42 PM »
As the title says. I'm from Holland and my whole country followed the elections. I'm not pro-Trump or pro-Clinton, but can anyone explain by means of an example how that is possible? We simple don't get it.

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Offline iansinclair

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Re: How can a candidate win the popular vote, but not the elections?
«Reply #1 on: November 09, 2016, 10:55:05 PM »
It's fairly simple -- provided that you remember that the United States is a federal republic, not a democracy, and certainly not a Parliamentary democracy on the current European model.  The distinction is by no means trivial. 

Each State (there are 50 of them) is actually remarkably independent (something which sometimes drives people slightly crazy), and the Federal government is selected by the individual States.  Each State has two senators, who sit in the Senate -- the upper chamber -- regardless of population; this was and is intended to keep some sort of regional balance among the States (and it works).  Each State also has a certain number of Representatives.  The number of Representatives is determined by the population of the State, with a minimum of 1 (such as places like Vermont or Montana or Alaska).  They sit in the lower chamber, the House.  The President is actually elected by Electors, and each State has a number of Electors which is the sum of the Senators and Representatives.  The vote in each State determines which set of electors is picked; in most states it's winner take all, but in a few the electors are split proportionally with the popular vote.

The end result is a remarkably stable government, in which the interests of the people are pretty well balanced by the interests of the geographic regions.

Does that help?
Ian

Offline debussychopin

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Re: How can a candidate win the popular vote, but not the elections?
«Reply #2 on: November 10, 2016, 01:03:38 AM »
Theoretical simplistic example:

Three groups:
One group has 3 people
Second group has 3 people
Third group has 20 people.

There needs to be an election for A or B candidate to win

Won by electoral majority

First two groups are each valued at 2 electoral votes
Third group is valued at 3 electoral votes, let say.

First two groups: 2 of 3 persons vote for A
Third group: 19 of 20 persons vote for B


Electoral count: 4 vs 3 in favor of A
Popular count: 21 v 5 in favor of B


Sort of crude example but hope it explains OP.
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Offline iansinclair

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Re: How can a candidate win the popular vote, but not the elections?
«Reply #3 on: November 10, 2016, 01:24:24 PM »
Perhaps a bit exaggerated, debussychopin -- the disparity between number of electors (or Representatives) and population is never that great -- but that does get the idea across.
Ian

Offline ahinton

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Re: How can a candidate win the popular vote, but not the elections?
«Reply #4 on: November 11, 2016, 09:04:26 AM »
It's called the electoral college system.

Whatever you want to study, don't go to one of those colleges!

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