President Obama and Governor Romney need to claim 270 of the 538 votes in the electoral college to land the next four years as President of the United States.
The electoral college votes that are granted to each state are in relation to the what percent of the population of the nation is in that state. Like the House of Representatives, the more people, the bigger the state’s representation. Georgia has 16 of the 538 electoral college votes. The state with the most electoral college votes is California with 55, while states like Vermont, North and South Dakota, Montana, Delaware and the District of Columbia are all tied with three votes as having the least votes.
The number in the electoral college is not fixed, it fluctuates as the population fluctuates.
The popular vote is based on the individual votes counted for each candidate. A popular vote determines whether or not a candidate wins a state, but not necessarily determines who wins the election. A candidate can win the presidency with the majority of the votes in the electoral college, but they don’t need to have the popular vote as well.
“Battleground states” refer to those torn between the two candidates in the polls. These states are key states that could determine the election because of the number of electoral votes the candidate would gain when winning one of these states. Ohio, Virginia, Florida and Colorado are all battleground states for the 2012 election. These states have been virtually tied between the two candidates and could swing one way or another. But when it comes down to one state, like Florida was in the 2000 election, it becomes a swing state; the one state that will determine the winner. Which means that each vote in that state is crucial.
In 2000, George W. Bush won the electoral college, but Al Gore had the majority of the popular vote. A case like the 2000 election is rare, and can cause debate and conflict on how accurate the numbers are. In 2000 George W. Bush had won the swing state of Florida with only a little over 500 votes. A candidate winning the presidency through the electoral college but not having the majority of the popular vote is a rare occurrence. But an occurrence that is possible with an election as close as the one tonight is projected.
Which could mean days of recounting in order to make the call for who gets the executive position. Or, like in the 2000 election, could have to be taken to the Supreme Court to make a ruling.