In my second Electoral College-related post today/of all time, I look at how much of the popular vote a candidate needs to become president. This is based off of statistical data from the 2000 US Census and simple data derived from Microsoft Excel, using simple mathematics.
While the preciseness of the percentage I will give is questionable, it is no doubt a very ineresting insight into just how inaccurate the Electoral College may be. And the result will shock you.
For this, I used freely available 2000 census information, available on the US census website. Here’s
a link to it.
From left to right, the columns go as follows:
- Electoral votes
- Population/Electoral Votes ratio (how many people there are in the state, divided by how many electoral votes the state gets)
What I did is I sorted the data by the population-to-votes ratio, with the smallest numbers on top. If the ratio is low, that means there are fewer people for each representative. This would ensure we get the lowest possible number of popular votes (remember, we’re going for the theoretical lowest necessary popular vote here). I managed to get the precise number of votes you need to be president – 270 – out of 39 states.
Then, I added up the entire number of popular votes in all of the states. 121,086,982 people in those states. Then, since I was again aiming for the minimum, I took 51% of the number, which resulted in the just-scraping-by amount of people to win the state’s electoral votes. This left me with 61,754,361 people.
In a country of 281,424,177 people, we get our percentage.
To be President of the United States, you need to get a whopping 22% of the popular vote to win.