Copy and answer questions 1-15 and 21-22 on page 386 to review Chapter 13. Due on Thursday, 04/26/18.
Chapter 13: The Presidency
Section 5: The Election
Origins of the Electoral College
The Constitutional Convention considered several possible methods of selecting a president.
One idea was to have the Congress choose the president.
• But such an arrangement would upset the balance of power between the legislative and executive branches of the federal government.
A second idea was to have the State legislatures select the president.
• This idea could erode federal authority and thus undermine federalism.
A third idea was to have the president elected by a direct popular vote.
• But the Framers feared that without sufficient information about candidates from outside their State, people would naturally vote for a “favorite son” from their own State or region.
• At best, the most populous States would always decide the choice of president with little regard for the smaller ones.
The Presidential Election Process
1. Each political party chooses nominee for presidency during late summer conventions.
2. Voter cast ballot for president every four years on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. In reality, the voters are actually voting to decide how the electors in their state (Electoral College) will vote.
3. The party whose candidate receives the most popular votes in any state wins all electoral votes of that state even if the margin of victory is only one popular vote.
4. The presidential candidate must have at least 270 out of 538 electoral votes (the number of representatives and senators plus 3 for D.C.)
5. In December, the electors from the Electoral College cast their official vote for president and vice president. This occurs on Monday following the second Wednesday in December.
6. On January 6, both houses meet in the House of Representatives to open and count the ballots. Congress will officially declare the winner of the election.
Electoral College Issues
Winner takes all
• It allows a candidate who loses the popular vote to win the electoral vote because a candidate can still get more electoral votes even after getting less popular votes.
• A strong third-party candidate could win enough electoral votes to prevent either major-party candidate from receiving a majority of the votes unless his party bargains to release electoral votes to either major-party candidates.
Election by the House
• Candidate needs 26 out of 50 states votes to win presidential election, all state has same weight. If representatives cannot agree on a candidate, the state loses its vote, if House favors the third-party, it would be hard to win.
The District Plan
• One idea is to choose electors from congressional districts where each state will have two electoral votes and one vote for each congressional district candidate. Whoever won the most district votes would get the two electoral votes.
The Proportional Plan
• Another plan is the presidential candidates would win the same share of a state’s electoral vote as the popular vote. It can cure the winner-take-all problem but it would make the election process more complicated.
Direct Popular Election
• If the people directly elected the president and vice president, it would undermine federalism because the states would lose their role in choice of a president, and candidates would concentrate their efforts in large cities.
National Bonus Plan
• Keep Electoral College System intact, but award 102 electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote.
538 + 102 = 640
321 Electoral Votes is needed to win the election.