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The US Election explained

By Simon Farnsworth

Here’s the US Election system explained:

  • Voters don’t vote directly for the President, they pick electors in an Electoral College.
  • There is a total of 538 Electoral College votes amongst the 50 states. To be elected, a Presidential candidate must win 270 or more of the Electoral College votes.
  • A tie favours Mitt Romney as in the event of one, the House of Representatives, where the Republicans are in the majority, choose the President.
  • Each state has a minimum of three Electoral College votes. However, the amount of electoral votes a state has is determined by population. For example, the states with the most Electoral College votes, California (55), Texas (38), New York (29) and Florida (29), have the biggest populations.
  • Around 40 states are seen as safe bets for either the Democrats or the Republicans. This means there are around 10 states that are called swing states that determine the election.
  • There are four main swing states in terms of Electoral College votes. They are Florida (29), Ohio (18), North Carolina (15) and Virginia (13).
  • The other swing states are:  Colorado (9), Iowa (6), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4), New Mexico (5), and Wisconsin (10).
  • The candidate who wins the majority of the vote in each state wins all its Electoral College votes, except in Maine and Nebraska, where a tiered system is used.


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