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outline3 - Political Science 140 B Outline#3 Instructor...

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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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