Outline3 - Political Science 140 B Outline#3 Instructor Scott James The Electoral College Political Dynamics of a Peculiarly American Institution I

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Political Science 140 B Instructor: Scott James Outline #3 The Electoral College: Political Dynamics of a Peculiarly American Institution I. Basic mechanics A. To win the presidency a candidate must win an absolute majority of presidential electors 1. 50% + 1 2. In the 2000 presidential election there were 538 presidential electors a. One for each member of the House of Representatives (435), each member of the Senate (100), and 3 for the District of Columbia. 3. Today, therefore, it takes 270 (269 + 1) electoral votes to win the presidency A. Presidential electors are selected on the 1 st Tuesday after the 1 st Monday in November. 1. They meet (in their respective states) to cast their votes for president on the 1 st Monday after the 2 nd Wednesday in December B. If no candidate receives an absolute majority in the Electoral College, presidential selection moves to the House of Representatives 1. Each state delegation receives 1 vote, regardless of size. 2. Each state casts its vote for 1 of top 3 candidates in electoral vote count (not popular vote count) a. No new candidates may be added 3. Candidate with a majority of House votes (26 states) wins II. An elitist institution? A. Yes, in the Framers’ scheme 1. A deliberative institution with independent will
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a. Expected to use discretion and evaluative judgment B. Not today: Popular selection of presidential electors 1. The pledged elector a. Electors selected by party organizations (1) Party loyalists (a) Selection as reward for party service on promise to support party nominee 2. The party candidate’s slate a. Each party candidate in a presidential election has own slate of
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This note was uploaded on 05/02/2010 for the course PS 140B PS 140B taught by Professor Jamesscott during the Spring '10 term at UCLA.

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Outline3 - Political Science 140 B Outline#3 Instructor Scott James The Electoral College Political Dynamics of a Peculiarly American Institution I

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