biden vs trump

What is the Electoral College?

Spread the love
electoral college
2020 US elections iteration as of 5 Nov.- 4:00 pm IST


So, what is Electoral College?

Every 4 years the US chooses its President.

This time the race is between former Vice President Joe Biden and Current President Donald Trump.

To understand that we have to get a little premise.

What is the Electoral College?

‘Electoral College’ is the term given to the body of individuals who are selected or elected to be “electors”

The US doesn’t pick their president on the basis of the total no. of votes by people.

It’s a rather complicated process followed only by the US.

So, let’s understand what it is- without any technical jargon.

The system of the Electoral College

You know, when Americans actually vote they do not vote for President directly but vote for who their state will vote for.

States have 538 votes in total divided based on their population.

435 votes + 100 votes of Senators, which are 2 for each state. The US has 50 states that equals to 100. And the remaining 3 of the District of Columbia. 

Every state has a no. of votes depending on their population+ 2 senator votes.

For example- California has the largest no. of votes i.e. 55. 

The candidate who wins 270 of votes from the states, also known as Electoral Votes wins. 

And, this system has a winner take all policy meaning either one of candidates will get all the Electoral Votes of a particular state. 


I know that became complicated. Let’s understand with an example. 

Suppose, there are 2 states in a nation A and B, each with a population of 100 and 200 respectively. 

As no. of Delegates or Representatives are based on population, A may have 4 votes and B, let’ say have 8 votes, specifying 1 representative per 25 people. 

According to the one more rule. Each state will get 2 additional votes of what , popularly known as Senator votes. These senators are irrespective of population. Each state gets 2.

Finally, A has  6 votes and B has 10 votes. 

As we have a winner takes all policy. 

Anyone candidate who manages to win at least 51 votes in state A gets all its 6 electoral votes. 

For B, the number would be at least 101 votes for getting all B’s 10 electoral votes. 

Simply meaning whoever gets the majority of public votes gets all that states’ Electoral Votes. 

If a candidate manages to win 270 of such electoral votes from all states is considered as the President of the USA- The POTUS

Flip side

Now does this mean that the candidates would focus more on states with high electoral votes? 

Yes, as told earlier California has the highest number of electoral votes, followed by Texas, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania and Illinois.

Candidates focus more on these as if they get a majority of public votes in these states, they would win all its electoral votes making their total of 270 easy. As we have, the winner takes all policy. 

Swing states

You probably would have heard of it before. 

These are the states which probably tend to shift their political party every election. 

So, candidates have to focus more on these too. 

For Example- In 2016, Donald trump visited Florida , which is a swing state , 36 times and Hillary Clinton went there 35 times to win their vote. 

Whereas, Trump only visited Texas once as he knew it was the stronghold of him. 

So basically he won all 38 votes of Texas making 306 votes a reality.

Note- In the 2016 US election, Trump got around 3 million fewer votes than Hilary Clinton but managed to get 306 electoral votes which made Trump a winner. Because he got electoral votes from big states like Pennsylvania among others. 

Bottom Line

The matter of worry is often the big states with large no. of votes for every candidate. 

No matter how many votes they get in total, as long as they have 270 votes. 

As we might perceive, small states are irrelevant. 

Those are the ones who flip powers. 


We don’t know if it should be continued or not. It has been condemned for many decades. Mostly by Democrats.

Electoral college has been able to shift powers 2 times in the last 4 presidential terms.

This time, Candidates which are – Joe Biden and Donald Trump may currently focus on surpassing the magic no. of 270. Irrespective of the total no. of votes. 

Because that’s what matters. 

PS- Biden is leading with 264 votes whereas Trump is trailing with 213 of these. Let’s see what happens!

Until next Thursday…….

Read more from us here

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *