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The highly anticipated U.S. Presidential race to 270 Electoral Votes is officially underway. The last day to cast a ballot was November 3, 2020. American citizens voted early in record numbers this election.
Former Vice President Joe Biden leads with 253 Electoral Votes, and President Trump has 213 as of 8 p.m. ET, according to CNN.
As the world learned from the 2016 election, a candidate can win the popular vote and still lose the election. The reason being, the Electoral College, a group of 538 electors, determines the next President of the United States.
All states do not have the same amount of electors. The number of electors depends on the size of the state’s population. Each state has a specified amount of members of the House of Representatives, which is proportionate to their population.
For instance, California has 55 electors, the most of any state. Texas has 38, Florida, and New York has 29. Washington D.C., North Dakota, Alaska, and Wyoming have three electors — the minimum.
The first candidate to obtain a majority of the Electoral Votes (at least 270 out of 538) is ensured a presidential victory.
Since contestants need at least 270 electoral college votes to win, they typically cater to what is referred to as battleground or swing states during their campaigns. In swing states — voters do not always vote along party lines.
According to the news publication History, the three reasons a state that usually votes Democrat or Republican is due to population change, ideological polarization, and moderate politics.
President Trump was able to win 6 of 10 swing states in 2016. In this election, the competitive swing states to pay attention to, according to History, are Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Nebraska, Minnesota, Michigan, Maine, Iowa, Georgia, Florida, and Nevada.
Written by Sheree Bynum
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
BBC: US election 2020: What is the electoral college?
CNN: Election 2020 presidential results
Featured Image by Capt. Cassandra Mullins Courtesy of The National Guard’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Picserver – Creative Commons License