If you are like me, trying to understand how someone can win the popular vote but still lose an election, Adam Ruins Everything explains how the Electoral College works and why "80% of votes cast have no impact in an election."
This is where the United States Electoral College comes in. It’s been in place since the Constitution was first drawn up and, ideally, it’s supposed to protect against a lot of perceived problems that would come from a straight-up popular vote. Each state is given a share of the United States’ 538 electoral votes based off its population, with totals ranging from California’s 55 to a number of states with only three.
This might seem like a wide margin, but in the big picture, it supposedly levels the playing field for sparsely-populated states like Wyoming and North Dakota, which could see even less national attention if their less-than-a-million populations were siphoned into the United States’ 300 million-plus electorate. The country is undoubtedly a melting pot of social groups, and by giving a unique say to each state, the Electoral College is supposed to foster individual interests that would be swallowed up in a winner-take-all affair.
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