Pray Brethren

Pray Brethren

Friday, October 26, 2012

The 2010 Census and the Electoral College

The map above may look familiar. Although it dates from the 2000 election, it could very well mirror the coming electoral map of 2012. A 2012 repeat of 2000, however, would yield drastically different results in electoral votes. As we all recall (pardon the pun) in 2000 George W. Bush won with 271 Electoral College votes – just one vote over the needed 270 needed to win. But if Mitt Romney wins the same states, he will win with a whopping 285 votes.

It’s the 2010 census that makes all the difference. After each census, the Electoral College’s 538 votes are allocated to the states based on population. A simple comparison between the 2000 electoral map and the 2012 electoral map reveals the great effect a census has on the location of electors (click to enlarge):

Distribution of electoral votes in the year 2000

Distribution of electoral votes in the year 2012
If we were to examine the blue states by region, we would find that since the 2000 election, the northeastern bloc has lost a total of ten electoral votes, while the Midwestern bloc has lost six and the western bloc has risen by a mere two votes. Red states like Texas and Florida have gone up by six and four respectively, while others like Georgia and Arizona have gone up by three.

Here's one final map which depicts a hypothetical 2012 electoral map:

Given the current makeup of the Electoral College, Mitt Romney does not need to win all of the states George W. Bush won in order to win the presidency. The map above reveals that Barack Obama could retain Colorado as well as Nevada and Mitt Romney would still win.

What a difference a census makes!

1 comment:

  1. I love your blog :)!

    A Writer's Nakama