Campaigns: Electoral College

Overall campaign electoral college results for elections 1964 to 2004.
Overall campaign electoral college results for elections 1964 to 2004.  

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The 2008 Election Popular vs. Electoral
Published Friday, November 7th, 2008

The numbers for the 2008 popular vote keeps updating periodically for each candidate. Preliminary numbers for all precincts have not been reported and certified numbers by their respective Secretary of State will not come out till next fall. Therefore, we can only say approximately 65 Million voted for Barack Obama and 57 million voted for John McCain, not a landslide but a clear winner at least. There will be no contest between the popular vote and the electoral college.

This bucks the trend from the previous elections with 2000 results of 50.996 Million for the loser and 50.465 for the winner. 2004 saw some pull away from the 50-50 division with 61.873 million to 58.895 million. This only points to the enormous power of the Electoral College which played the deciding roll in the 2000 election when the Supreme Court decided in Bush’s favor regarding the vote In Florida. That decision gave Florida’s 25 electoral votes to Bush making him the President-elect without winning the overall popular vote. Electoral College critics point out the elections of 1824, 1876, and 1888 in their arguments to prove the system doesn’t work as these elections went the same way as the 2000 election results. But this time the 2008 election worked out the way it was supposed to when Obama gained 364 electoral votes to McCain’s 163.

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U.S. National Archives and Records Administration: Electoral College -
Of all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States Federal government, only 1%-3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept by us forever. This includes historical electoral college results.

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U.S. Electoral College: Teaching Resources -
The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration provides teaching materials, past election results and an electoral calculator.