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What did the map in Debate Camp show about how the electoral math worked out for the upcoming Presidential election?
Kasey wrote: "When they showed the electoral votes map and were talking about Ohio's electoral votes, they showed it as having 21. However, we no longer have 21 - after the 2000 census, Ohio lost one electoral vote and thus now has 20. (You can verify this by going to Electoral College Calculator - version 22d Beta http://www.jump.net/~jnhtx/ec22/ec22.html and scrolling down the list of states to Ohio.)"

And then Eric Schall did the following analysis and shared it with us:
Electoral Math
"I was able to determine which states would be carried by which candidate according to the map, although the scene didnít give enough information to determine how Maine or Nebraska would split their votes (it seems they would follow tradition, and one candidate would carry the whole state).

"The total number of Electoral votes is 537, like the 2000 election (Bush 271, Gore 266). This is striking since there should be 538 electors in play Ė the only reason there were 537 in the 2000 election is because one elector decided not to cast a vote. It seems that the team is counting on another elector abstaining.

"The number of electors for each state is based on 1990 census values, rather than updated 2000 values. . . .

"When Joey shows the final values (after New Hampshire) they are Bartlet 178, Ritchie 189, and Undecided 170. I would have had this a few hours ago, but somehow I managed to forget that there is a state named Virginia, which is funny since I was born there. I guess subconsciously I didnít want to cede my home state to Ritchie.

"The course of the breakdown through the scene follows:
178 --- Bartlet


.206 Ritchie


.153 Undecided
Ohio moved from Ritchie to Undecided
.178 Bartlet


.185 Ritchie


.174 Undecided
New Hampshire moved from Undecided to Ritchie
.178 Bartlet


.189 Ritchie


.170 Undecided
There is a pretty handy vote calculator at: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/electoral_college/calculator.html although it isnít helpful to us, since it's updates for 2004, but ABS, still has states at their 2000 values.
Where states fall:
Bartlet (178)

California (54)

Connecticut (8)

Delaware (3)

Hawaii (4)

Illinois (22)

Maryland (10)

Massachusetts (12)

Minnesota (10)

New Jersey (15)

New York (33)

Rhode Island (4)

Vermont (3)


Ritchie (189)

Alabama (9)

Alaska (3)

Arizona (8)

Colorado (8)

Georgia (13)

Idaho (4)

Indiana (12)

Kansas (6)

Kentucky (8)

Louisiana (9)

Mississippi (7)

Missouri (11)

Montana (3)

Nebraska (5)

Nevada (4)

New Hampshire (4)

North Dakota (3)

Oklahoma (8)

South Carolina (8)

South Dakota (3)

Texas (32)

Utah (5)

Virginia (13)

Wyoming (3)


Undecided (170)

Arkansas (6)

District of Columbia (2,
  although it should be 3)

Florida (25)

Iowa (7)

Maine (4)

Michigan (18)

New Mexico (5)

North Carolina (14)

Ohio (21)

Oregon (7)

Pennsylvania (23)

Tennessee (11)

Washington (11)

West Virginia (5)

Wisconsin (11)

Some people in other countries have wondered why Orange County had a new election when the Democrats clearly won with their dead candidate.
In some countries, we believe, the party wins the election and therefore if someone dies, the party that person was representing can appoint someone else to fill that position. In the U.S., the person wins. The party has no direct power to change anything or appoint anyone.

Now, if a dead person wins a Senate seat, the state has rules for how that seat is filled (and again the party has no power at all). In the case of, I think, most states, the governor of the state (who may be of the opposing party or of the party that won or even an Independent) gets to choose the person to fill that seat for either the full term (six years) or the next two years, usually. If that governor is of the opposing party, he/she will most likely choose someone from his/her own party (and not the party which won the election) to fill the seat (because, again, the party has no direct power to "do" anything).

BUT the U.S. Constitution says that a House seat cannot be filled except through an election, Unlike a Senate seat, it cannot be filled through appointment by anyone. Not even temporarily. And since a dead person won, the only way the seat can be filled is by special election which the state wants to have as soon as possible since this district has no representation until the seat is filled.

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