Sunday
May 19, 2013

# Homework Help: Help please! Honors again.

Posted by Misty on Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 7:55pm.

Help!! I'm confused.

How low can you go? It's possible for a canidate to win the poplar vote (the vote of citizens) yet lose the electorial vote (the votes in the electorial college that accually determine the president). That's because every state gets a number of representatives. Of course, each state has two senators, but the number of represenatives varies by population. To understand this a little better, let's pretend that there are just 3 states. The fictatious state of BIG had 900,000 residents, si they get 9 representatives and 9+2 = 11 electorial votes. The state MEDIUM had 600,000 residents, so they get 6 reprisentatives and 6 + 2 = 8 electorial votes. And, the state LITTLE has 300,000 residents, so they get 3 representatives and 3+2=5 electorial votes. The canidate with the most electorial votes wins, regardless of what happens in the popular vote. What is the least percent of votes a canidate could receive in the popular vote? (Assume that there are only 2 candidates, assume all the residents vote, and assume that every electorial vote from a state is given to the candidate who wins the popular vote in that state.)

• Help please! Honors again. - Writeacher, Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 9:59pm

Candidates are A and B. There's a total of 1,800,000 votes out there. Let's say that, in the popular vote, A gets 1,000,000 votes and B gets 800,000 votes. A wins the popular votes, but that really doesn't matter since it's the electoral votes that actually count.

Let say that A's 1,000,000 votes are divided this way:

Which states' electoral votes go to A?
Since 500,000 is a majority in BIG, A gets all those 11 electoral votes. Since 200,000 is not a majority in MEDIUM, A gets 0 electoral votes from there. Since 300,000 is 100% of LITTLE, A gets all 5 of those electoral votes.

So A has a total of 16 electoral votes, and B has a total of 8 electoral votes. Clearly A is the winner. The total popular vote made it seem much closer than this (1,000,000 to 800,000), but it's the electoral votes that decide the winner.

Now YOU need to go back in there and plug in different numbers until you can answer the question at the end of the problem (before the part in parentheses).

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