This is how it works:
Basically, the ballots have Obama, McCain’s names although elections are also held for the Congress simultaneously sometimes.
But votes cast for Obama or McCain don’t go to them directly but to the Electoral
which consists of 538 popularly elected representatives who formally select the President.
At this point it’s all or nothing.
The size of the Electoral College is equal to the total membership of both Houses of Congress (435 Representatives and 100 Senators plus the three electors allocated to Washington, D.C.), totaling 538 electors.
Each state is allocated as many electors as it has Representatives and Senators in the United States Congress. Since the most populous states have the most seats in the House of Representatives, they also have the most electors.
The six states with the most electors are California (55), Texas (34), New York (31), Florida (27), Illinois (21) and Pennsylvania (21).
- Ballots have Obama, McCain’s names
- But votes cast go to the Electoral College
- Whoever wins most votes in a state, wins all Electoral votes
- Whoever gets 270 Electors (out of 538), wins
Whichever Presidential candidate wins the most votes in a state, wins all the Electoral votes, even if the popular vote was split 51-49 percent.
And whoever gets 270 Electors (out of 538), wins the US Presidential election.