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Winner Take All States 2021

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 2021

State 2021 Pop.
Alabama4,934,193
Alaska724,357
Arizona7,520,103
Arkansas3,033,946
California39,613,493
Colorado5,893,634
Connecticut3,552,821
Delaware990,334
Florida21,944,577
Georgia10,830,007
Hawaii1,406,430
Idaho1,860,123
Illinois12,569,321
Indiana6,805,663
Iowa3,167,974
Kansas2,917,224
Kentucky4,480,713
Louisiana4,627,002
Maryland6,065,436
Massachusetts6,912,239
Michigan9,992,427
Minnesota5,706,398
Mississippi2,966,407
Missouri6,169,038
Montana1,085,004
Nevada3,185,786
New Hampshire1,372,203
New Jersey8,874,520
New Mexico2,105,005
New York19,299,981
North Carolina10,701,022
North Dakota770,026
Ohio11,714,618
Oklahoma3,990,443
Oregon4,289,439
Pennsylvania12,804,123
Rhode Island1,061,509
South Carolina5,277,830
South Dakota896,581
Tennessee6,944,260
Texas29,730,311
Utah3,310,774
Vermont623,251
Virginia8,603,985
Washington7,796,941
West Virginia1,767,859
Wisconsin5,852,490
Wyoming581,075

Winner Take All States 2021