Email: Thanks to everyone who wrote in about the maps. I've received so much email that I may not be able to reply to everyone, but I much appreciate all your comments and suggestions. Many of the things people have been asking about are answered in this list of frequently asked questions. I have new cartograms of the 2016 election results. You can find them here. Election results by state Most of us are, by now, familiar with the maps the TV channels and web sites use to show the results of presidential elections. Click on any of the maps for a larger picture The states are colored red or blue to indicate whether a majority of their voters voted for the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, or the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama, respectively. We can correct for this by making use of a cartogram, a map in which the sizes of states are rescaled according to their population. Here are the 2012 presidential election results on a population cartogram of this type: Election results by county
The Tarnish of the Electoral CollegeNow the demographic pendulum is swinging toward the Democrats. Young voters, Hispanics and a more active African-American electorate added states like Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and Virginia to President Obama’s winning coalition in the past two elections, and suddenly Republicans are the ones complaining about a broken system. They’re right, too, just as the Democrats were a generation ago. The Electoral College remains a deeply defective political mechanism no matter whom it benefits, and it needs to be abolished. We say that in full knowledge that the college may be tilting toward the kinds of candidates we tend to support and provided a far more decisive margin for Mr. Obama earlier this month than his showing in the popular vote. There should be no structural bias in the presidential election system, even if population swings might oscillate over a long period of decades. But 76 years later, the system continues to calcify American politics.
Electoral Maps 1972-2008The 2012 US Presidential Election The electoral map shown below depicts the results of the 2012 U.S. presidential election in which Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney. Obama carried 26 states and 51.1% of the popular vote. Democrat: 332 Barack Obama Republican: 206 Mitt RomneyThe Electoral College: Enlightened DemocracyThe mode of appointment of the Chief Magistrate of the United States is almost the only part of the system . . . which has escaped without severe censure. . . . I venture somewhat further, and hesitate not to affirm that if the manner of it be not perfect, it is at least excellent. -- Alexander Hamilton The United States is quickly approaching its first presidential election since the eventful election of 2000. Some academics have criticized the Electoral College for years. The negative views of today's academics are starkly at odds with the universal admiration for the system at the time it was created. The Constitution's Election Process Modern-day American presidential elections are governed by the 12th Amendment to the U.S. It is perhaps easiest to think of the current election procedure in two phases: first, the Electoral College vote, and second, the contingent election procedure, which is used only if no candidate wins a majority of electoral votes. The Electoral College Vote.
Electoral College tie possible in Obama-Romney raceThe likelihood that Obama and Romney each net 269 electoral votes is not so far-fetchedA CNN analysis finds eight scenarios that could yield a Electoral College tieIn the event of a tie, each state's House delegation casts a single vote for presidentIn 1825, the House awarded the presidency to John Quincy Adams Washington (CNN) -- An Electoral College tie. It's the white whale of American elections: elusive, mythical and never realized. The likelihood that President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will each net 269 electoral votes in November, instead of the 270 needed to win, is actually not so farfetched -- and for close observers of the Electoral College system, a tie would set off a wave of constitutional and political mayhem that would make the 2000 Florida recount seem like a tidy affair. Check out the CNN electoral map and calculator Election results in key states would immediately be subject to legal challenges. Swing states could decide U.S. election Alex Castellanos' electoral map
The Republican Party’s uphill path to 270 electoral votes in 2016 electionsOver the past three decades, the political leanings of many states have shifted dramatically. What once was a sizable Republican advantage in the electoral college has become a decided Democratic advantage. One way to look at this is by comparing two overlapping 20-year periods. The first period was the era of Republican dominance — the start of the Reagan era. Republicans won 16 states in each of the six elections during that period and won an additional four states in five of the six. From 1980-2000, 10 states were up for grabs, with each party winning them three times over six elections. From 1992-2012, Democrats built a base that rivals or exceeds that of the Republicans in the earlier period. Meanwhile, Republicans won 13 states in those six elections, but because most of them were smaller states, their electoral votes totaled just 102. What happened? All 16 states that went for the GOP in the past six elections remain solidly in the Republican column.
National Popular Vote: New York State Climbs AboardOn Tuesday, the State of New York took a baby step—or maybe a giant leap!—toward making the United States of America something more closely resembling a modern democracy: Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill joining up the Empire State to the National Popular Vote (N.P.V.) interstate compact. As I’ve explained many times (fifty-one, to be exact), N.P.V. is a way to elect our Presidents the way we elect our governors, our mayors, our senators and representatives, our state legislators, and everybody else: by totting up the voters’ votes—all of them—and awarding the job to whichever candidate gets the largest number. Impossible, you say? Here’s how it works: Suppose you could get a bunch of states to pledge that once there are enough of them to possess at least two hundred and seventy electoral votes—a majority of the Electoral College—they will thenceforth cast all their electoral votes for whatever candidate gets the most popular votes in the entire country. Next stop: Connecticut.
Why a Plan to Circumvent the Electoral College Is Probably DoomedNew York this week became the 10th state (plus D.C.) to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. The compact represents a clever workaround to the Electoral College. By signing on, states agree they will award their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote (for example, New York would have given its electoral votes to George W. There are 538 electoral votes (hence the name of this website), so a majority is 270. More Politics Here’s the problem: All the states to have joined so far are very blue. As the chart below indicates, the relationship between whether a state has joined the compact and how it voted in 2012 is nearly 1-to-1. Perhaps the compact can get Delaware, Connecticut and Maine to join, where Obama also won by 15 percentage points or more. After that, you get into states such as Michigan and Minnesota, which are blue-leaning but that receive plenty of attention from presidential campaigns. Could the red states come around?