US Presidential Election 2008 with D’Hondt Method

On November 4th, the US Presidential Election was held. Once more, we were remembered of the President of the USA is not chosen directly but indirectly by the Electoral College.

I, like most Europeans, think the Electoral College method is extremely unfair. Take for example California: 55 Electoral Votes (that’s 11% of the total Electoral Votes), 17.3 million registered voters. One candidate might win the Election in that State by a single vote and still get the 55 Electoral Votes, which means 50% of the voters are totally ignored.

So, I took the data the USA Today newspaper published in their website and calculated how the Electoral Votes would be distributed if the 2008 Presidential Election would have used the D’Hondt Method. Here are my findings:

OBAMA MCCAIN
ALABAMA 6 3
ALASKA 1 2
ARIZONA 5 5
ARKANSAS 2 4
CALIFORNIA 34 21
COLORADO 5 4
CONNECTICUT 4 3
DELAWARE 2 1
WASHINGTON DC 3 0
FLORIDA 14 13
GEORGIA 7 8
HAWAII 3 1
IDAHO 1 3
ILLINOIS 13 8
INDIANA 6 5
IOWA 4 3
KANSAS 2 4
KENTUCKY 3 5
LOUSIANA 4 5
MAINE 2 2
MARYLAND 6 4
MASSACHUSETTS 8 4
MICHIGAN 10 7
MINNESOTA 6 4
MISSISSIPPI 3 3
MISSOURI 5 6
MONTANA 1 2
NEBRASKA 2 3
NEVADA 3 2
NEW HAMPSHIRE 2 2
NEW JERSEY 9 6
NEW MEXICO 3 2
NEW YORK 20 11
NORTH CAROLINA 8 7
NORTH DAKOTA 1 2
OHIO 10 10
OKLAHOMA 2 5
OREGON 4 3
PENNSYLVANIA 12 9
RHODE ISLAND 3 1
SOUTH CAROLINA 4 4
SOUTH DAKOTA 1 2
TENNESSEE 5 6
TEXAS 15 19
UTAH 2 3
VERMONT 2 1
VIRGINIA 7 6
WASHINGTON 7 4
WEST VIRGINIA 2 3
WISCONSIN 6 4
WYOMING 1 2
TOTAL D’HONDT 291 247
TOTAL ELECTORAL COLLEGE 364 162

Obama still wins, but instead of a 364 vs 162 advantage (202 votes), he only has a 291 vs 247 votes (44 votes). Given that 270 Electoral Votes are needed to be President, the D’Hondt method would make a fundamental difference.

It is interesting to note that even thought the other candidates (Nader, Barr, Baldwin, McKinney and Paul) do not win any Electoral Vote using the D’Hondt method with the current vote count, one can safely assume this is because voters knew very well with the Electoral College method Nader, Barr, etc had no real chance of winning. If the Election method would be changed to the D’Hondt method, or any other proportional method, Nader, Barr, etc would have the chance to win some votes, and more people would have voted for Nader, Barr, etc.

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