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Electoral College Trivia

Electoral College Trivia Quizzes

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6 Electoral College quizzes and 105 Electoral College trivia questions.
1.
  The Electoral College: How it Works   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The people of the United States elect their president and vice-president every four years in November. Right? ... Wrong! The Constitution mandates that this task be performed by a select group of individuals called the Electoral College.
Average, 10 Qns, OH_Lee, Mar 06 12
Average
OH_Lee
461 plays
2.
  The Electoral College   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Here's a quiz on that crazy American contraption we like to call the Electoral College.
Average, 10 Qns, ladymacb29, Oct 08 12
Average
ladymacb29 editor
2716 plays
3.
  The U.S. Electoral College    
Multiple Choice
 20 Qns
After the election of 2000, more people became aware of the electoral college. How much do you know about it? There will be several questions regarding the electoral college in general and some regarding the election of 2000.
Average, 20 Qns, starman71, Aug 09 17
Average
starman71
1865 plays
4.
  Electoral College and Election Results    
Multiple Choice
 15 Qns
What better time to test your knowledge of the electoral college! This quiz covers general information about the electoral college as well as the history of election results in the United States.
Average, 15 Qns, amyliz82, Aug 05 23
Average
amyliz82
Aug 05 23
718 plays
5.
  How Many Electoral Votes (1991-2000)?    
Multiple Choice
 25 Qns
How many electoral votes does each state get for Presidential elections between 1991 and 2000? See if you know!
Average, 25 Qns, ladymacb29, Oct 17 18
Average
ladymacb29 editor
Oct 17 18
1234 plays
6.
  State Electoral Votes (1991-2000)    
Multiple Choice
 25 Qns
How many electoral votes does each state get for Presidential elections between 1991 and 2000? See if you know!
Average, 25 Qns, ladymacb29, Mar 08 09
Average
ladymacb29 editor
941 plays
trivia question Quick Question
In 2000, what were the only two states that did not operate under the "winner-take-all" method of allocating electoral votes?

From Quiz "The U.S. Electoral College"





Electoral College Trivia Questions

1. When the general public casts its votes in the November presidential election, for whom are they voting?

From Quiz
The Electoral College: How it Works

Answer: A slate of presidential/vice presidential electors

Although most states list only the names of the candidates and their political parties on the ballot, the purpose of the November election is actually to choose which slate of electors will cast the state's electoral votes when the Electoral College meets in December. Each political party - as well as independent candidates - chooses a slate of electors and submits the list to the state prior to the November election. The slates generally consist of loyal party members who are expected to vote for their party's candidate. Although there have been numerous instances in which "faithless electors" failed to vote for their party's choice, these cases did not affect the outcome of the elections.

2. In 2000, how many electors were to vote in the electoral college?

From Quiz The U.S. Electoral College

Answer: 538

A candidate must have over half the electors in order to win. Half of 538 is 269. One more than that is 270, which is needed to win.

3. What is the total number of electoral votes?

From Quiz The Electoral College

Answer: 538

4. How many electoral votes is each state entitled to cast?

From Quiz The Electoral College: How it Works

Answer: As many as the state has senators and representatives in Congress

Every state has two senators, regardless of the state's population. The number of representatives each state has in the House of Representatives is based on the state's population, with every state having at least one representative. So every state, no matter how small its population, has at least three votes in the Electoral College. (The 23rd Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1964, gives the District of Columbia three electoral votes.)

5. How many electoral votes must a candidate get in order to be elected?

From Quiz Electoral College and Election Results

Answer: 270

There are 538 total electoral votes and the winner must receive 270 which is just over 50% of the total.

6. Who had the highest popular vote in the 2000 presidential election?

From Quiz The U.S. Electoral College

Answer: Al Gore

Gore barely edged out Bush in the popular, but Bush had a higher electoral vote.

7. How many electoral votes does a candidate need in order to win an election?

From Quiz The Electoral College

Answer: 270

That's half plus one of the total 538 votes.

8. What happened in the election of 1800 that resulted in the Constitution being amended to change the way electoral votes are cast?

From Quiz The Electoral College: How it Works

Answer: There was a tie vote in the Electoral College

The original Constitution mandated that each elector cast two votes for two different candidates, but there was no distinction as to which candidate the elector preferred for president and which they preferred for vice president. The candidate who received the most electoral votes, as long as it was a majority of the total number of electors, would be president. The candidate receiving the second most electoral votes would be vice president. In 1800 the Democratic-Republican Party chose Thomas Jefferson as its presidential candidate and Aaron Burr as its vice presidential candidate. In order to effect this result in the Electoral College, the Democratic-Republican electors were instructed to cast one vote for Jefferson, and all but one elector was to cast his second vote for Burr. Due to a failure in communication (or possibly a conspiracy by Burr's supporters, although historians disagree on this), all the Democratic-Republican electors voted for both Jefferson and Burr, resulting in a 73-73 tie. The election was thrown into the House of Representatives, which chose Jefferson for president, giving the vice presidency to Burr by default. To prevent this scenario from occurring again, the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution was passed in 1804, mandating that electors explicitly indicate which candidate they want for president and which candidate they want for vice president.

9. Which U.S. state was the first one to have exceeded a total of fifty electoral votes for any given presidential election?

From Quiz Electoral College and Election Results

Answer: California

California has the most electoral votes, with 55 as of 2004. Following California is Texas with 34 and New York with 31.

10. When do the *Electoral College* voters elect the President?

From Quiz The U.S. Electoral College

Answer: First Monday following the second Wednesday in December

So the electors cast their ballots more than a month after the general population votes.

11. The number of votes a state gets is related to its...?

From Quiz The Electoral College

Answer: population

The census (taken every 10 years) determines how many Representatives the state gets.

12. What is the minimum number of electoral votes a state can have?

From Quiz The Electoral College

Answer: 3

13. In the election of 1824, Andrew Jackson received the most popular votes (votes cast by the general voting public) but lost the election. Why?

From Quiz The Electoral College: How it Works

Answer: No candidate received a majority in the Electoral College

The Constitution mandates that, in order to win the presidency, a candidate must receive not merely more electoral votes than the other candidates (a plurality); he must receive a majority vote in the Electoral College (equal to more than half the total number of electors). Four candidates received electoral votes in the election of 1824. Although Jackson received more popular and electoral votes than the others, he did not gain the required majority in the Electoral College. When this happens, the House of Representatives must choose the president from among the top three electoral vote-getters. They chose John Quincy Adams, who had received the second most electoral votes. (There is speculation that this was the result of collusion between Adams and Speaker of the House Henry Clay. Clay was to influence the House to elect Adams, and Adams was to reward Clay by appointing him secretary of state. Adams did in fact give the appointment to Clay, but historians disagree as to whether there was a pre-existing deal between the two.)

14. How does one figure out how many electoral votes each state has?

From Quiz The Electoral College

Answer: Add the number of Representatives to the number of Senators

And since there is at least 1 Representative for each state and each state has 2 Senators, the minimum number of votes a state can have is 3.

15. Upon what theory of government is the Electoral College system based?

From Quiz The Electoral College: How it Works

Answer: Federalism

Federalism is a system in which the government is based upon a federation of states. Although the people also have a voice in the government, under federalism a significant share of power is allocated to the individual states which have banded together to form the nation. As an example, under the original Constitution, United States senators were elected by state legislatures rather than directly by the people. (This was changed in 1913 by the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment.) Under the Electoral College system, each state appoints representatives who choose the president and vice president, rather than having the people elect them directly.

16. Which groups are most likely to claim that electing a president by means of the electoral college is unfair? (Note: When speaking of small and large states, I am referring to population)

From Quiz The U.S. Electoral College

Answer: Democrats and those living in large states.

Smaller states benefit from the electoral college. A voter in Wyoming has a much greater chance of affecting the election than a voter in California. Even though California has a huge amount of electoral votes, it also has a huge amount of voters. Proportionately, the states with low electoral votes are better off having the electoral college. This favors states in the Rocky Mountains, Midwest, and Deep South, where the Democrats don't do so well. The Democrats are usually for gun control and welfare which turns off many voters in these states.

17. How many electoral votes does Washington D.C. get?

From Quiz The Electoral College

Answer: 3

18. Rutherford Hayes won the presidential election of 1876 even though his opponent received more popular votes. What happened to cause this?

From Quiz The Electoral College: How it Works

Answer: The electoral votes of three states were disputed

Republican Hayes' opponent in the 1876 election was Democrat Samuel Tilden. Tilden won the popular vote, but the electoral votes of Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina were disputed. Republicans had a strong hold on these southern state governments in the era of post-Civil War Reconstruction, and, although these states used popular voting to select presidential electors, the Constitution gives ultimate authority for selecting presidential electors to state legislatures. The Republican-controlled legislatures of Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina ignored the popular vote results and submitted two sets of electoral votes to Congress: one favoring Tilden and the other favoring Hayes. Congress, which was also controlled by Republicans, set up a commission, composed of eight Republicans and seven Democrats, to resolve the issue. The commission voted strictly along party lines, awarding all the disputed electoral votes to Hayes. This gave Hayes enough electoral votes to win the presidency.

19. Which amendment gave Washington, DC the right to vote in Presidential elections?

From Quiz The Electoral College

Answer: 23rd

20. What restriction(s) does the Constitution place on electors' votes for president and vice president?

From Quiz The Electoral College: How it Works

Answer: An elector may not vote for two people both of whom live in the same state as the elector

The Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution states: "The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves". The Constitution places no other restrictions on how electors may vote.

21. Traditionally, Kansas has been known as a Republican state. Prior to the 2004 General Election, when was the last time Kansas voted for a Democratic Candidate?

From Quiz Electoral College and Election Results

Answer: 1964

In 1964, Kansas voted for President Lyndon Johnson. In 1932 and 1936, the state voted for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and in 1912 and 1916 their electoral votes went to President Woodrow Wilson.

22. Through the 2000 election (but not including 2004), who was the last presidential candidate to win a majority of the popular vote?

From Quiz The U.S. Electoral College

Answer: George Bush Sr.

This was a trick question. Al Gore did not win a majority of the popular vote. He didn't win more than 50 percent. In fact since 1844 when accurate records of popular votes were kept, 18 times a president has been elected without winning a majority of the popular vote. They are: James Polk (1844), Zachary Taylor (1848), Franklin Pierce (1852), James Buchanan (1856), Abraham Lincoln (1860), Rutherford Hayes (1876), James Garfield (1880), Grover Cleveland (1884), Benjamin Harrison (1888), Grover Cleveland (1892), Woodrow Wilson (1912), Woodrow Wilson (1916), Harry Truman (1948), John F. Kennedy (1960), Richard Nixon (1968), Bill Clinton (1992), Bill Clinton (1996), and George W. Bush (2000). This puts a serious kink in the plans of those who want to abolish the electoral college because oftentimes nobody even wins a majority of the popular vote.

23. Between the 1988 and 1992 elections, which state gained the most electoral votes?

From Quiz The Electoral College

Answer: California

California gained 7 votes!

24. If no candidate receives a majority in the Electoral College, who selects the president?

From Quiz The Electoral College: How it Works

Answer: The House of Representatives

When the election of the president falls to the House of Representatives, it must choose from among the top three electoral vote-getters. Voting is done by state, with each state delegation casting one vote, and a majority of all the states is necessary to elect the president. If no candidate for vice president receives a majority in the Electoral College, the Senate must choose from among the top two electoral vote-getters, each senator casting one vote, and again a majority of all the states is necessary to make a selection.

25. Entering the 2004 election, California had elected Democratic candidates for several straight elections. When was the last time in the 20th century that California voted for a Republican candidate in a presidential election?

From Quiz Electoral College and Election Results

Answer: 1988

California last voted for a Republican candidate in the 1988 election in which their electoral votes went to President George H.W. Bush. However, in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 elections California has voted for the Democratic candidate.

26. What were the six states that Gore won that had at least 15 electoral votes each?

From Quiz The U.S. Electoral College

Answer: California, New Jersey, New York, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania

Bush only won three states with fifteen or more electoral votes (Texas, Ohio, and Florida).

27. Between the 1988 and 1992 elections, which state lost the most electoral votes?

From Quiz The Electoral College

Answer: New York

New York lost 3 votes.

28. In both the 1888 and 2000 presidential elections, the candidate who received the most popular votes lost the election. Why?

From Quiz The Electoral College: How it Works

Answer: Electoral votes are not allocated in direct proportion to state populations

In the 1888 election, Grover Cleveland won the popular vote over his opponent, Benjamin Harrison. In the election of 2000, Al Gore was the popular vote winner, receiving half a million more popular votes than his opponent, George Bush. But both Harrison and Bush won the electoral vote and the presidency. These anomalies were the result of the way in which the Electoral College system allocates votes to states. If every vote cast by the general public had the same proportional influence in the Electoral College, the winner of the popular vote would always be the winner in the Electoral College. But simple arithmetic shows that this is not the case. Each state casts as many electoral votes as it has members in Congress. Although representation in the House of Representatives is based on population, every state has two senators, regardless of its population. This results in a disproportion between a state's population and its influence in the Electoral College, which is especially apparent when comparing small and large states. For example, in the election of 2000, California voters cast approximately 10,800,000 popular votes for president and cast 54 votes in the Electoral College. Wyoming voters cast about 213,000 popular votes and three electoral votes. So California cast one electoral vote for every 200,000 popular voters, while Wyoming cast one electoral vote for every 71,000 popular voters, giving each Wyoming voter almost 3 times more influence in the Electoral College than each California voter. Although the disproportion rarely affects the outcome of a presidential election, the possibility remains that it may have that effect from time to time, as it did in the elections of 1888 and 2000.

29. In 2000, what were the only two states that did not operate under the "winner-take-all" method of allocating electoral votes?

From Quiz The U.S. Electoral College

Answer: Nebraska and Maine

48 states and D.C. operate under the "winner-take-all" method, which means that whoever wins the plurality of the vote in that state gets all of the electoral votes. Maine has 4 electoral votes, of which they give one to the winner of each congressional district that they have (which is two) and two for whoever wins the state. (Nebraska does the same thing but they have 5 electoral votes.) So in theory, Gore could have won 3 Maine electors, but Bush 1 if he led Gore in a particular district. Gore won all of Maine's 4 votes, though. Opponents of the electoral college like the split system because it seems to be more representative. For example, California's 54 electoral votes went to Gore because he won the state, but in a split system, maybe Gore would get 30 and Bush 24 because that's closer to how the vote turned out proportionately. The thing is though, if one state wants to change the way they do it, the other states are not bound to follow suit. This is why most states leave it the way that it is because they do not want their own electors to cancel each other out.

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Last Updated Jul 06 2024 5:47 AM
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