The Electoral College Explained in U.S.A

The Electoral College Explained. It remains one of the most surprising facts about voting in the United States: While the popular vote elects members of Congress, mayors, governors, state legislators and even more obscure local officials, it does not determine the winner of the presidency, the highest office in the land.

That important decision ultimately falls to the Electoral College. When Americans cast their ballots, they are actually voting for a slate of electors appointed by their state’s political parties who are pledged to support that party’s candidate. (They don’t always do so.)

This leads to an intense focus on key battleground states, as candidates look to boost their electoral advantage by targeting states that can help them reach the needed 270 votes of the total 538 up for grabs. The Electoral College also inspires many what-if scenarios, some of them more likely than others.

Yes, and that is what happened in 2016: Although Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote by almost 3 million votes, Donald Trump garnered almost 57 percent of the electoral votes, enough to win the presidency.

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