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Winner Take All States 2022

Apart from Nebraska and Maine, all other 48 states plus the District of Columbia are winner take all states. In the 48 winner-take-all states, all their electoral votes go to the candidate who wins the popular vote in the state.

Effect of Winner Take All States in U.S. Elections

Customarily, the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote in a winner-takes-all state gets all the electoral votes. A candidate needs to gather a majority of the electoral votes to win the presidential election. There’s a total of 538 electoral votes. Therefore, a candidate needs to garner 270 votes to become president. This is to say that the votes of the Electoral College decide who becomes president.

Let's explore the allocation of electoral votes in the 48 winner takes all states, including the District of Columbia.

Number of Electoral Votes

The only two states that don’t follow the winner take it all system, Nebraska and Maine, have five and four electoral votes each. Nebraska - 5 votes. Maine - 4 votes.

In Maine and Nebraska, the electoral votes are proportionally distributed based on a candidate’s performance in each congressional district and the state-wide performance.

Drawbacks of the Winner-take-all System.

1. Under-representation of the Minority

In voting districts with a substantial population of minorities, they are severely under-represented in a winner-take-all system. Even if their preferred candidate wins the popular vote nationally but loses in their state, their votes will not count.

Minorities voting in a state dominated by one political viewpoint in a winner take all state may never have their say unless they subscribe to the prevalent ideology. Being minorities, the popular political view may not accommodate their interests.

2. Even the Majority may Lose in a Winner-Take-All System

In a winner-take-all system, even the majority may not have their way sometimes. A candidate can win the popular vote nationally but lose the electoral vote and fail to clinch the presidency besides getting the most votes. This happened in the 2016 and 2000 elections.

3. It Fosters Under Voting

People living in winner take all states may not be motivated to vote, more so if they don’t share the popular opinion in their state. Since it’s already pre-determined that the electoral votes will go to the candidate who gets the popular vote in the state, those who support a different candidate may be dispirited to vote.

Winner Take All States 2022

State 2022 Pop.
Alabama4,949,697
Alaska720,763
Arizona7,640,796
Arkansas3,042,017
California39,664,128
Colorado5,961,083
Connecticut3,546,588
Delaware998,619
Florida22,177,997
Georgia10,936,299
Hawaii1,401,709
Idaho1,896,652
Illinois12,518,071
Indiana6,842,385
Iowa3,174,426
Kansas2,919,179
Kentucky4,487,233
Louisiana4,616,106
Maryland6,075,314
Massachusetts6,922,107
Michigan9,995,212
Minnesota5,739,781
Mississippi2,961,536
Missouri6,184,843
Montana1,093,117
Nevada3,238,601
New Hampshire1,378,449
New Jersey8,870,685
New Mexico2,109,093
New York19,223,191
North Carolina10,807,491
North Dakota774,008
Ohio11,727,377
Oklahoma4,007,179
Oregon4,325,290
Pennsylvania12,805,190
Rhode Island1,062,583
South Carolina5,342,388
South Dakota902,542
Tennessee7,001,803
Texas30,097,526
Utah3,363,182
Vermont622,882
Virginia8,638,218
Washington7,887,965
West Virginia1,755,715
Wisconsin5,867,518
Wyoming582,233

Winner Take All States 2022