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# Sal teaches Grover about the electoral college

Grover learns about the U.S. electoral system from Sal Khan. They discuss how citizens vote for electors, not directly for the president. The number of electors, or 'chicken votes' as they call them, equals the number of Congresspeople per state. To win, a candidate needs over half of the total 538 votes.

## Want to join the conversation?

• Wait, do you actually need more than half of the electoral votes? What if there are more than 2 candidates? Of the 538, can't you have A win 200, B win 188, and C win 150, and have A win with fewer than 270 votes?
• What happens if no presidential candidate gets 270 Electoral votes?

If no candidate receives a majority of Electoral votes, the House of Representatives elects the President from the 3 Presidential candidates who received the most Electoral votes. Each state delegation has one vote. The Senate would elect the Vice President from the 2 Vice Presidential candidates with the most Electoral votes. Each Senator would cast one vote for Vice President. If the House of Representatives fails to elect a President by Inauguration Day, the Vice-President Elect serves as acting President until the deadlock is resolved in the House.

source: https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/faq.html#no270
• So... I was pretty sure our founding fathers put together a Republic... where exactly did "indirect democracy" come from?
• This part of the video is somewhat inaccurate. In a direct democracy, citizens vote directly on policy initiatives. In an indirect democracy, or republic, citizens elect representatives to make laws for them. Indirect democracy and republic are more or less the same thing.
• Can a candidate win less than 25 of the 50 states and still become president? Is this possible with the electoral vote system?
• Yes, In the current election you could do it with far fewer: 11. You can try your combinations here: http://www.270towin.com
• The problem with the system we have is that one candidate or another will collect that magic number of 270 electoral votes early on with our modern system of communication that never existed back when the Founding Fathers created the United States so why would people living in states far out West even bother to vote since the election would be "over" before their polls even close?
• The candidates still need those Western electoral votes to win. States like California with lots of votes are very important in the election.
• At Sal says "in most states" the candidate who receives the majority of the popular votes receives all of the electoral votes in that state. What does he mean by "in most states"?
(1 vote)
• Most states do follow the 'winner take all' method for how they give out electoral votes. However, we have 2 states that use a different system -- Maine and Nebraska. They do it based on winning each congressional district.
• What about south and north Dakota do they count as 1 for the college or 2 states
(1 vote)
• North and South Dakota are separate states and have their votes counted separately.
• Does this system of indirect democracy go with the idea of pluralist theory and direct democracy with participatory democracy so the electors being elected would represent direct and later on when the electors vote the president it's indirect?
• what about smaller states like Iowa? Would they only have 6 senators and representatives counting electoral votes? And how many people does the state need to have 6 electoral votes on each party?
• 6 on each party, so 12 total, correct? Well, since each state has 2 U.S. Senators, to get to 12 total electoral votes a state would need to have 10 U.S. representatives.

BUT! A quick search online tells me that Iowa has 6 electoral votes. Thus, Iowa has 2 U.S. Senators and 4 U.S. Representatives. So yes, you're exactly right.
(1 vote)
• If you lose an election then will you be able to run again? If not then why would you not be allowed to run again?
(1 vote)
• There's no restriction on running for president a second time if you lose! Several individuals ran for president unsuccessfully more than once in their lifetimes, such as the nineteenth-century politician Henry Clay (whom Abraham Lincoln greatly admired as a young man). One more recent example is Richard Nixon, who lost to John F. Kennedy in the election of 1960, but won the presidency in the election of 1968.

Although there are no official restrictions, the major political parties may not feel it is a good bet to run a candidate who has lost in a previous election. The Democratic or Republican Party may believe that a candidate who lost a presidential election does not have enough popular support to win the presidency in another contest, and choose another candidate.