15 thoughts on “Election Trivia”

  1. Assuming you hold the House of Representatives at the time, 11. One each from CA, NY, IL, PA, OH, TX, FL, MI, GA, NC, VA.

    If you don't, 12. Pick any other state.

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  2. With all due respect to Tom's well thought out answer; I'll give you the knee jerk leftist c. 2000 answer: 5. Five Supremes carries the day. See G.W. Bush.

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  3. I see people looking at it from several POVs. I went at it as a more straightforward math exercise, given how the Electoral College works. So I looked at it as "What is the minimum popular vote needed to win through the current EC system?"

    We know that we have now had two elections in recent memory where the leader in the popular vote did not win in the EC. So just how lopsided could that get? How small a percentage of the popular vote could still win the EC?

    Also note that I'm going for a ballpark, and in particular am not trying to get the absolute most perfect selection of states won...

    You need 270 EC votes. Starting with the smallest states, where the balance of population to EC is the most out of whack, I ended up with all the states (plus DC) with 10 or fewer electors, and North Carolina to bring it to a round 270.

    (If anyone cares, the list I ended up with is: Alaska, Delaware, District of Columbia, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Nebraska, New Mexico, West Virginia, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Nevada, Utah, Connecticut, Oklahoma, Oregon, Kentucky, Louisiana, Alabama, Colorado, South Carolina, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Arizona, Indiana, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Washington, North Carolina)

    The key math trick here is that, in each of the above states, you technically only need 50% of the votes plus one more vote. And in the remaining larger states, you could get absolutely no votes at all.

    Using Wikipedia numbers, I come up with ~140 million population in those states. So you could win with ~70 million. That's out of a bit over 321 million total population. Turn that into a percentage, and it is theoretically possible to win the EC with a bit under 22% of the popular vote.

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        1. Low turnout and registration were the key things I missed. I was using population numbers. Between the fact that not every person is registered to vote, and not everyone registered actually votes...

          That said, my final percentage (~22%) should hold as long as registration rates and voting rates are assumed consistent across all states. However, PK's real answer threw even that assumption out, with voting rates of 1 in a small number of states and 100% in all other states. 🙂

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      1. SMOD knows if you've been bad or good,
        And he doesn't really care either way ...

        So, you'd better watch out,
        you'd better watch the skies,
        you'd better L5,
        or MARS by & by,

        SM. O. D. will usually make you frown!

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  4. Slightly O/T; I wonder how Bill is going to deal with the real probability that ObamaCare is operating on borrowed time?

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      1. Immaterial; he is dependent on the largess of the 51%. Reform of Obamacare and/or VA and/or SSDI has the potential to limit his discretionary spending, it's red vrroom vroom.

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  5. Actually, I think it's a trick question.

    Nobody wins the election via popular vote ...

    The "real" election is in December via the Electoral College.

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    1. That's true of the national aggregate popular vote, but state by state, the popular vote drives the Electoral College.

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