A Proportional Electoral College Superimposed on the Fifty States

Apropos of tomorrow’s official vote by the Electoral College, I put together a map showing how the influence of states would have changed in 2016 in a proportional EC system. (Admittedly, it was really just an excuse to turn the U.S. into a giant heat map.)

pixelbay_us_heatmap_2016

Colors in the map on the right represent changes relative to the current number of electors awarded in each state. Deeper colors in the proportional map represent states that would gain electors; paler states likewise lose electors. To give you sense of what the colors signify numerically, take a look at the two states  on each side that increase/decrease the most when weighted proportionally:

pixelbay_us_heatmap_2016_callouts

It is interesting to consider the complexity of the resulting electoral map, which does not clearly favor either party. In reliable Republican/Democratic states, both parties make vote gains (D-CA, D-NY, R-TX), but lose many votes as well (D-parts of New England, R-much of the Midwest). Some swing states would lose influence, while others—Ohio and Florida, for example—would become even more important must-wins in a presidential election.

What’s clear is that proportional weighting of the Electoral College would have fairly subtle and unpredictable effects on future election cycles, and on the political machinations of both parties.

(note: want some more context? Check out my last post on the subject.)


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