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The US Electoral College Explained: Why We Don't Vote Directly for a President

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 By Harry J. Enten, The Guardian | Video Report
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Guardian US polling expert Harry J. Enten breaks down the workings of the Electoral College – a mysterious institution that uses the people's votes to select the US president. With 538 electors up for grabs across 50 states and the District of Columbia, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are vying for the 270 votes that will grant them the White House. It's a curious system where things can and have gone awry – one possible outcome in 2012 is for Romney to end up in the Oval Office with Joe Biden as his vice-president. How could that happen? Let Harry explain.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Harry J. Enten

Harry J Enten blogs about political and electoral statistics at Margin of Error. A graduate in government from Dartmouth College, he has interned at the NBC political unit in Washington, DC and Pollster.com, as well as contributed to Taegan Goddard's Political Wire. Follow Harry on Twitter @ForecasterEnten

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The US Electoral College Explained: Why We Don't Vote Directly for a President

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 By Harry J. Enten, The Guardian | Video Report
  • font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size
  • Print

Media

Guardian US polling expert Harry J. Enten breaks down the workings of the Electoral College – a mysterious institution that uses the people's votes to select the US president. With 538 electors up for grabs across 50 states and the District of Columbia, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are vying for the 270 votes that will grant them the White House. It's a curious system where things can and have gone awry – one possible outcome in 2012 is for Romney to end up in the Oval Office with Joe Biden as his vice-president. How could that happen? Let Harry explain.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Harry J. Enten

Harry J Enten blogs about political and electoral statistics at Margin of Error. A graduate in government from Dartmouth College, he has interned at the NBC political unit in Washington, DC and Pollster.com, as well as contributed to Taegan Goddard's Political Wire. Follow Harry on Twitter @ForecasterEnten