The Electoral College's Strengths and Weaknesses

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  • Created on: 29-05-14 15:49
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Strength Weakness
It requires candidates to concentrate Some states are solidly Democrat- eg
on key groups of voters (eg old and the Northeast- New Hampshire and
young, men and women), meaning Vermont, and similarly some states
that no one's view is it not heard or are solidly Republican- eg the South,
reflected. Georgia and Alabama. This can mean
that voters in these states are taken
for granted and as a result have very
little influence on the outcome of the
It also requires that candidates This means that other states are
concentrate on all regions of the US- "swing states", like Florida and Ohio,
widespread support is needed, as states that are neither one party or
proven by George Wallace- and thus another. This means candidates
means that states have a somewhat often focus campaigning on these
equal balance in the result. states and results in these states
having an undue influence on the
result. For example, both Romney
and Obama spent much of their time
in 2012 in Ohio.
Ensures that the states with the Disproportionate influence may arise,
smallest populations can have a as all states must have at least
significant impact on the outcome of three electoral college votes. This
the election. Thus, it is important to means that smaller states are over
candidates to win both big states represented compared to smaller
like Texas and California, and to win states. If California had votes in
smaller states like Wyoming and precise proportion to Wyoming, it
Rhode Island. would have 180 votes, not 55.
Prevents candidates from minor
parties winning Electoral College
votes unless they have a high levels
of support across all states, highly
unlikely for third party candidates.
For example,George Wallace had high
levels of support in the South but
nowhere else- prevented him from
getting anywhere.
This also creates faithless electors-
electors who do not vote for the
Presidential candidate they pledged
to, leading a whole proportion of the
electorate's vote to be essentially
meaningless. For example, an elector
in the 2000 election for Washington

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DC cast no votes in protest at the
lack of Congressional representation
for Washington DC.…read more


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