The Electoral College and the Popular Vote

A popular misconception in the American public is the idea that the popular vote is always the deciding factor in a general election, but with the Electoral College, this is not the case. The Electoral College is made up of electors who represent the people and vote for candidates, and while the institution most often sides with the popular vote, there have been a few instances when they chose a different candidate, as in the case of John Quincy Adams and Rutherford B. HayesFor this reason, candidates need to focus their attention on what states they visit and why they are going there, spending less time in states that they are sure they will or definitely will not win and more in states that they believe they can mobilize in their favor (Crowder-Mayer, October 3, 2016). By mobilizing states instead of the entire United States at once, they are more likely to sway the electors in each state by targeting a small, secondary audience with a national campaign. With the typical state partisanship, the candidates focus on a very small number of specific states and these become battle ground states, like Ohio, Iowa and Florida.


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