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What is the difference between the popular vote and the electoral vote?

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The Electoral College is in place because we are NOT a democracy, but rather a representative republic. On November 6th, we will hold 50 independent elections for President, not one. We are the United States of America, with the emphasis on the word United, not just a country called America. I'd suggest reading the Federalist papers and learning the Constitution before believing emotional responses. The Electoral College also protects the individuality of states, i.e.; rural versus urban. The population of seven states with large urban centers could in theory, dictate to the other 43 states. That's why it's a popular Democratic (big-D) position to eliminate the Electoral College. By the way, despite popular media suggestions, Gore only won the popular vote of those votes that were counted. It is common practice not to count absentee ballots, due to cost, when the contest is not close. Absentee ballots tend to be heavily Republican, and there were way more non-counted absentee ballots then Gore's supposed margin of victory.

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True that we're a republic rather than a democracy but limitations in communication and vote verification also made the electoral college more feasible in the 18th century. But also there was reasonable concern in trying to "equalize" states in the whole urban vs rural issue. But that is also largely irrelevant today. Except for the northern midwest there is not a huge difference since every state has significant urban centers or at least big towns with the usual commercial strip malls and such. In other words, the rural states today may have more farms proportionally but they have population centers too. "In theory" is right - back then. Now? Not so much.

If you believe in proportional representation then you believe in the popular vote. We do in the House but not in the Senate. The Senate itself is also vestigal body that does more harm than good. I believe it's a fairness issue having nothing to do with big-D agendas. And I don't believe the US is so short sighted that it'd destroy farming states and their needs and our own food supply just because Idaho would have fewer votes. The agro-corporations are consolidating a lot of that anyway. That's a bigger worry, that their motives aren't pure.

Of course he won by the votes counted. What else could we go by? Your assumptions about non-counted votes? (I was not a supporter. He deserved to lose based on his campaign, not based on the SCOTUS missteps.)

As for the Federalist Papers.... like I said. I have to laugh when people suggest that 18th century ideas should dominate the conversation today. Fealty to Hamilton/Madison viewpoint is just as much an "emotional" response as anything. I just prefer the Jeffersonian viewpoint because it IS small-d democratic and he had a pretty agrarian outlook as well. The founders weren't exactly pro-empowerment outside of white, male landowners so they should not be taken THAT seriously - not today. Way past time to grow past that.
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Just checked. Gore won by 500,000 votes. Is that the statistically insignificant figure you were thinking about? Or were you just focusing on the differences in Florida?

Anyway, more to the point of your supposition that the electoral college favors Republicans:

http://www.fairvote.org/election-simulations-from-1960-2008-show-that-electoral-college-rules-don-t-help-either-party-but-do-harm-american-democracy#.UIx4qm_R58E
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We are the PEOPLE of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA

Note that we are not the PEOPLE of AMERICA.

The UNITED STATES interact with the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT of AMERICA. House Representatives are decided by direct popular vote within the STATES, and the same is true for Senators after the mistaken 17th Amendment was Ratified.

The Electoral College is working as intended, Our Founders specifically did not want a direct popular vote to decide who would lead the Executive Brach of the Federal Government. The Executive Branch is not supposed to impact the PEOPLE's lives directly, he or she is supposed to be above that and is not Royalty. The President is to have the support of the Majority of Representation by the STATES.
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The popular vote is what the people vote, the electoral vote is when certain people chosen(I think) vote :)

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ehh sorta you can look at my answer above if u wanna know the entire thing
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Popular vote, our vote, doesn't really count. If just affects the electoral votes. The electoral group votes, and that's what counts. It's totally lame.

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the popular vote is the amount of votes each canidate got but i forget the reason but there was a good one for the electoral vote it is that each state gets a certain amount of people inthe electoral college and that is determined by the population of the state so the bigger states like california with a huge population gets more elecotral votes than a state with less population. when the people vote for somebody you pretty much vote for the people in that electoral college in your state that is either democratic or republican i think or something like that and they are guarenting that they will vote for that person. in most states (all but two) the winner gets all the votes from that state, not just the ones that were voted for. there is a way to win the electoral vote but lose the popular vote which did happen once. in order to become president you have to have 270 electoral votes or more becuz that is the number right in between. this year im fascinated by the fact that romney andobama are so close in the electoral college by polls. there is a way to have a tie at 269-269. a website that may interest you about the election is 270towin.com check it out comment below for questions

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I am pretty sure that the electoral college is not bound to vote the way the popular vote is. They are supposed to, however I do not believe they are obliged by law to do so.
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what do you mean by that?? the popular vote of the state is what decides the electoral vote for that state
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Popular Vote is the overall total of the people's votes. The Electoral Vote is the number of votes per state based on the population where the votes based on the people of that states choice, but voted by the delegates of the state.

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Nailed it! Thanks for giving a great - and entirely CORRECT - answer!
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The detailed answer is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_College_(United_States)

The electoral college was created at a time when instantaneous election results around the country weren't possible, i.e. information traveled via horseback. Whenever you hear some clod talking about what the founders wanted/envisioned also keep in mind things like this and how outdated things would be if we were permanently stuck in the 18th century. In this case we pretty much ARE stuck in the 18th century.

Today the electoral college is anti-democratic (that's small-d, not the party). The year 2000 is a good example because Gore won the popular vote but lost in the electoral college, at least after the Supreme Court decided to politicize it. And 2000 is not the only time that has happened.

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Today there is no excuse to continue to use the electoral college, especially since it has the effect of making swing states more powerful than they ought to be. Ohio, for example is key to this election and it really shouldn't be. That's why neither Obama nor Romney will campaign much in Nevada or Wyoming or New York, for example, because we already know how they'll vote as a state. The votes of Ohioans shouldn't count any more than anyone else yet they effectively do. They should just be added to the overall total and the overall total should be what decides the winner.
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So if the people of California, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico got united they would control the government. Electoral College exists to keep balance. The problem with the USA (and what will lead to its downfall), is it's too different. Way too many different ethnic Whites, too many different social views on life, and just the people in Maine and Kansas could never see eye to eye. So one could argue the USA should justifiable be broken up into small republics (this will happen eventually, either peacefully or with force lol). So until the end, why allow California to control the country? Democracy is local town government; a Republic is electing representatives to simply represent your interests in the thus said government. Lastly the "Ohioans" logic would work if the state of Ohio was its own self-sufficient country, but sadly Ohio is still part of the USA, and it's a crucial state for politics because neither party controls the state (for example: D's own NY, and R's own Wyoming). The people in California and Texas would never unite to form a balance within the present USA or become a united country. History tells us that vastly different groups of people forced to live in one country will never work/last. So if one person hates one place, simply move somewhere else, or do what history also tells us (those with the will to fight for what they want) simply end up controlling it all in the end. Did the Vast majority of Whites from England support revolting against mother England? Nope, not even close to half, but the ones that did and do end up controlling everything in the end. Being pacifist/anti-war is fine, but you’ll never control anything, and if a group of people tells you to move or die (you’ll move lol).
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Let's say that 20 people live in 4 states, okay? 15 out of all 20 people vote for joe. This is the popular vote. Now, lets say that ten people live in state 1 , 2 people live in state 2, 3 people live in state 3, and 5 people live in state 4. The people in states 1 and four are the people that voted for joe. This means that if joe won by the popular vote that the entire outcome would be based on two states. The electoral vote makes it fair between the states. If we use the electoral vote then, each amount of votes would be judged by state. Since we know that in state one all the people voted for joe then this state would be a joe state (Meaning half or more). State four is also a joe state for this reason. But in state 3 2 people voted for bob and one voted for emily. This makes this state a bob state. In state two everyone voted for bob. Now we know there are two bob states and two joe states. Joe does not win now because everyone was given a fair chance.

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"The electoral vote makes it fair between the states." Nah...and I dare you to prove it. One man, one vote is the *fairest* election there is, and is *true* democracy. We use the most ridiculously outdated system in the free world and it's a constant joke. The man that gets the most votes should win, period. End of story, and as fair as it gets.
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Sorry, I have learned more about it since then.
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The popular vote is cast by the people but doesnt determine the president. Its The Electoral College vote that determines the president. The Electoral College vote is by the electors from each state. Each states electors are determined by its combined total of representatives and senators. Each state has only two senators regardless of population but its representatives are determined by population. The people only vote,for the electors who in turn vote for the president. The Electors usually cast their vote to reflect the will of the people. Usually , but not always.
There are a total of 538 Electors in the Electoral College. A presidential candidate must obtain 270 electoral votes to be elected. Its a winner takes all of the electoral votes for winning a state. It is possible to win the popular vote and not win the presidency if 270 electoral votes arent obtained. This has occured five times in history with Johm Gore being the most recent.

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The Electoral College is a reminder that the States are intended to be a barrier between the Federal Government and the Individual Citizen, with the State Governments serving as a buffer. Each State will hold its own individual popular vote for President on November 6th. In those elections, the priorities of the states will be what is most important, not individual whims.

The EC would have more impact if there were 3+ serious candidates running for President (such as was the case when people ran for just President and the runner-up became Vice President) unfortunately the 12th Amendment did away with that practice. Gotta admit though, a Bush/Gore or Palin/Obama Administration would have been entertaining.

But basically, the States chose the President, who is the head of the Executive branch of the Federal Government. The Federal Government is supposed to interact with other Nations and the States, not the people therein. Our Governors and State Legislatures should have more daily impact on our lives than the Federal Government. That is why State politicians are voted in by direct popular votes.

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The answer given by a former person, I forget the name, is absolutely corect. Each state has an electoral college and they are supposed to vote using the results the people they represent in their state voted for. However, they do not neccarily have to. So, bottom line, when you vote for president, your vote actually really doesn't count if your electoral rep doesn't vote the way your district does. In essence, you vote and believe it counts, but if the electoral college decides to vote for someone other than the popular candidate your ward has voted for, you're and the rest of your neighbors are screwed. Also, I cn attest to the fact that voters who show up at the polls to vote and do not understand all the paperwork involved to place their vote, honestlythe people who work the polls truly do not understand the process to explain it to them. It is truly sickening to say the least!

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grim67

The electorial votes count in the election popular votes don't count at all.

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The answer given by a former person, I forget the name, is absolutely corect. Each state has an electoral college and they are supposed to vote using the results the people they represent in their state voted for.

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