Election News

2016 Alternate Electoral Methods: A Preliminary Look

December 22, 2016

One of the more popular questions we get asked is how the election would have turned out using some other allocation methodology. We analyzed this for the 2012 election, and plan to update that for 2016 once all the data is finalized. Look for that over the next month or so.

Enough information is now available to make a pretty good estimate how things would have turned out with each alternative approach*. The bottom line is that in most cases, Donald Trump would still have surpassed 270 electoral votes, but his winning margin would be less than the 74 (306-232, ignoring faithless) electoral votes by which he actually won. However, the impact of these alternate methods is insignificant compared to 2012.

All electoral votes discussed below (and in the table above) are based on Election Day results. Faithless electors are assumed to have voted as pledged. 

Winner Take All: Only Maine and Nebraska use a method other than winner take all. This year, Trump won an electoral vote in Maine, which he would not have won if Maine used winner take all.

Congressional District (CD): This is the method currently used by Maine & Nebraska, where two electoral votes go to the popular vote winner of the state, with one awarded to the popular vote winner in each congressional district. In 2012, Romney would have gained 68 electoral votes from the 206 he won, putting him in the White House with 274. This year, Trump would have lost 16, giving him 290. Trump won a number of states that Romney lost, such as Pennsylvania and Ohio, with a large portion of conservative districts. As a result, in these states, the congressional district method would be less beneficial to Trump than winner take all.

CD Majority: This method awards two electoral votes to the winner of the majority of CD in the state, with one awarded to the popular vote winner in each CD. This method will only yield different results than the other CD method when the state popular vote winner doesn't also win the majority of districts. That was infrequent in the 2016 election. Clinton won two states (Minnesota, Virginia), where Trump won a majority of the districts. She also won three states, where the two split the districts. As a result, Trump did 7 better (297 to 290) with this variant of the CD method.

Popular Vote 1 & 2: These two methods allocate electoral votes based on state-by-state popular vote. With Popular Vote 1, two electoral votes go to the winner of the state, with the remainder allocated based on the percentage of popular vote. Popular Vote 2 allocates all the electoral votes based on popular vote percentage. Since Clinton won the popular vote nationally, we would expect these results to be close, and indeed they are. Trump still wins with Popular Vote 1 because he won many more states (30) than Clinton (20+DC). That fact still benefits him - although less so - in Popular Vote 2 because the allocation is done state-by-state. Due to the relative success of third party candidates in 2016, neither Trump nor Clinton would have achieved 270 electoral votes with Popular Vote 2 methodology, throwing the election to the House of Representatives.

*Keep in mind that campaigns make strategic and resource decisions based on the rules in place. If the rules were different, the strategy would be different. That in mind, there's no way to know for sure how the 2016 election would have turned out if another methodology had been in place.



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Donald Trump Confirmed President-Elect by Electoral College; Winning 304 Votes

December 19, 2016

Donald J. Trump was confirmed as president-elect today by members of the Electoral College, winning at least 304 electoral votes. Texas put Trump over the top as it cast its vote after 5PM ET today. 304 is likely to be Trump's final number, as the three states yet to vote - California, Nevada and Hawaii - were won by Hillary Clinton on Election Day. Should those electors all vote as pledged, Clinton will end up with 228 votes.

 

In the end, there wasn't a lot of drama in the vote. There were 6 faithless electors, however, including 4 in Washington and two in Texas. While a small number, this is the highest number of faithless electors for president since the 19th century. There were attempts by electors in Colorado, Maine and Minnesota to cast faithless votes, but these were disallowed.

Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president at noon on January 20, 2017.


Four Faithless Electors Recorded in Washington

December 19, 2016

The Washington Secretary of State is reporting 4 faithless electors in today's ballot, with 8 votes going to Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote there. 

  Three of the faithless electors voted for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, with one voting for Faith Spotted Eagle.

There have been other attempts today at electors voting other than pledged; these are apparently the first ones to be allowed.


Trump Reaches 240 Electoral Votes; Texas Expected to Put Him Across 270 Next Hour

December 19, 2016

Donald Trump has reached 240 electoral votes this hour. Texas, with its 38 votes, is expected to push the president-elect across 270, making this all official, in the next hour.

Florida's 29 electors have voted for Donald Trump

Idaho's 4 electors have voted for Donald Trump

Michigan's 16 electors have voted for Donald Trump

Minnesota's 10 electors have voted for Hillary Clinton

North Dakota's 3 electors have voted for Donald Trump

Oregon's 7 electors have voted for Hillary Clinton

Utah's 6 electors have voted for Donald Trump

Wyoming's 3 electors have voted for Donald Trump

 

  

 


Electors Continue to Vote as Trump Moves within 100 of 270

December 19, 2016

Electoral votes continue to come in during the 1PM (ET) hour. Donald Trump is within 100 of the required 270, as no faithless electors have yet materialized.

Alabama's 9 electors have voted for Donald Trump

Kansas' 6 electors have voted for Donald Trump 

Louisiana's 8 electors have voted for Donald Trump

Maryland's 10 electors have voted for Hillary Clinton

Wisconsin's 10 electors have voted for Donald Trump

South Dakota's 3 electors have voted for Donald Trump

 

 

 


Electoral Votes Taken Since Noon Continue with No Surprises

December 19, 2016

Arizona's 11 electors have voted for Donald Trump

Connecticut's 7 electors have voted for Hillary Clinton

Delaware's 3 electors have voted for Hillary Clinton

Georgia's 16 electors have voted for Donald Trump

Kentucky's 8 electors have voted for Donald Trump 

New York's 29 electors have voted for Hillary Clinton

North Carolina's 15 electors have voted for Donald Trump

Pennsylvania's 20 electors have voted for Donald Trump

Ohio's 18 electors have voted for Donald Trump (not yet shown on image)

Rhode Island's 4 electors have voted for Hillary Clinton

Also shown on image: Louisiana and South Dakota for Trump

 

 

 

 

 


Trump Leads 55-27, As Expected, After First 10 States Vote

December 19, 2016

Arkansas' 6 electors have voted for Donald Trump.

Mississippi's 6 electors have voted for Donald Trump 

Oklahoma's 7 electors have voted for Donald Trump.

Illinois' 20 electors have voted for Hillary Clinton

South Carolina's 9 electors have voted for Donald Trump

Thus far, all electors have voted as pledged. Noon hour sees about a dozen more states, including GA, PA, OH and NC. 

 


Tennessee, New Hampshire, Vermont Vote as Expected; Trump Leads 27-7 After Five States

December 19, 2016

Tennessee's 11 electors have voted for Donald Trump.

New Hampshire's 4 electors have voted for Hillary Clinton.

Vermont's 3 electors have voted for Hillary Clinton.

That completes the 10AM states

 


Indiana and West Virginia Electors Vote for Trump

December 19, 2016

From WISH-TV's Nick Natario, Indiana's 11 electors have voted for Donald Trump.

Likewise, West Virginia's 5 electors have voted for Trump.

See the updated map.


Electors Meet Monday: Updated Schedule, Results Map

December 16, 2016

Here's the updated schedule of what time (EST) the Electors of each state will convene on Monday, December 19th. During these meetings, in accordance with individual state rules, the Electors will cast their votes for president and vice-president. The meetings are usually held in a state's capital city. 

 

The table now include the electoral votes for each state, colored red (Trump) or blue (Clinton) to reflect the popular vote winner. Italicized are those states that have laws that attempt to bind electors to vote as pledged. Interestingly, the total electoral votes in states with those laws is 151 for both Trump and Clinton. 

Results Map

 

 

 

 

 

Our plan is to update this map as results become available. 

 

 



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