Changing the scale and changing the result: Evaluating the impact of an electoral reform on the 2000 and 2004 US Presidential elections

Ron Johnston*, David Rossiter, Charles Pattie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The 'perverse' outcome of the 2000 US Presidential election, whereby the candidate with most 'popular votes' was defeated in the Electoral College, has stimulated renewed interest in electoral reform in the United States. One option discussed is the Maine/Nebraska system (sometimes termed the Mundt-Coudert scheme) which changes the geography of the contest somewhat. One-fifth of the Electoral College votes are retained for the winner of the popular vote contest in each of the States, with the remainder being allocated to candidates who win in each of the separate Congressional District contests. This paper evaluates the likely outcome of the 2000 and 2004 Electoral College contests if this scheme had been in place. It shows that the 2000 result would not have been changed, but the 2004 outcome would have been even more favourable to the Republican candidate, because his vote total was much more efficiently distributed than his opponent's.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-569
Number of pages13
JournalPolitical Geography
Volume25
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006

Keywords

  • Electoral College
  • Electoral reform
  • Presidential elections
  • US

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