Why don’t the Electoral College and popular vote always match up?

Four times the winner of the national popular vote lost the presidency – most recently in 2016 when Hillary Clinton won the popular vote – and it could happen in 2020 due to the Electoral College.
8:40 | 10/29/20

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Transcript for Why don’t the Electoral College and popular vote always match up?
You know winning the Electoral College is very very hard thing to do. In 26 teen Donald Trump on the election with 304. Electoral votes. Despite the fact that his opponent Hillary Clinton let him fight nearly three million votes nationally. This isn't the first time the electoral college and popular vote she didn't snatched this. Light the fact that Joseph Lieberman and I won the popular vote under our constitution it is the winner of the Electoral College. Who will be the next president. In the twenty Tony election concerns about mail in voting voter suppression. And the corona virus pandemic have some worried that we may see that it's match again. The Electoral College. And whether it accurately represents the popular vote has been a topic of debate to the constitution was first drafted him. The most widely. Discussed option was to have congress shoots the president. They look the other people were saying that they're really better here we want separation hours. Framers decided against a national popular vote he's campaigning was virtually unheard of at this time and they worried that people would just vote for their local candidates. Meaning that states with large populations can easily out boats smaller states. Eventually settled line the system we have now which was a compromise between the government. And people electing a president who we elect members of congress it's my assistant director fox. And boutiques that's where that person and exude power represented news. I think it's funny and indirect system for the accident ice extent that's fighting that Iraq. The modern electoral system works like X. States are appointed a certain number of electors based on population count and the most recent tests. Each state also gets an additional two votes for their senatorial CX. Oh your vote doesn't actually go toward a particular candidate but instead helps decide which party's electors will represent yours. Mr. President the certificate of the electoral vote of the commonwealth of Kentucky seems to be regular in form and authentic. Those people who are selected in the oaks C capital. After Election Day after the boots into the bank and the cast here Alice on behalf are the the nominee from. State 48 states. He's a winner take all met him to decide which party gets her actors have candidate a has 400 votes and candidate B has 350. All of that speech electoral votes a candidate K. Nebraska and Maine are only two states to split their electoral that. They allocate two votes to the state popular winner and one go to the popular winner with each congressional district. Of 538. Saleable electoral votes candidate mustard seed over half. 207. In order to clinch the nomination. Historically the winner of the electoral vote is also usually do winner of the national popular vote. But there have been four times that the winner of the national popular vote blocks the Electoral College. Also known as it like oral version. Q have occurred in just the last twenty years. You know one percentage point raise 410 elections will be an urgent. It's always been the case that it no elections close it's very high chance that it ends but this popular vote. And local culture shock. Here's an example of Howell an electoral inversion can happen. 25 people vote. In Canada eight went fifteen of those votes in bringing the national popular meaning they received the majority of votes national. But the weight yeah eight votes are divided among state in the Electoral College. It's that they might receive fewer votes in some states and have the majority of their goats concentrated in others. Because electors are awarded prize winner take all in each state they end up with fewer electoral votes. Anything that causes the citizens' votes cast enough heat or turns the car caught her presentation can cause urgent. These are some of the factors actually contribute to its. The way that electoral votes are divided among ski speaks on population keeps you Carter. For example. Vote in little partly ski like Miami holds more week though high state California. Sea tac differ number of voters that turnout relative to their population best use of representation be easy but for College Lacrosse case. Collar workers and patients based on how many people were looting or state media to ten years prior year. And that includes people who don't know includes children includes non citizen. Other factors like voter suppression can also. There's so many ways that it can he not representative of the national popular vote the national popular are repressive. Highly disputed election in 2000 between Al Gore and George Bush was the first electoral inversion in over a century with gore receiving around 500000 more votes. Advice and it's clear that Al Gore won the popular road whether or not he won the electoral vote depended on who was declared the winner in slower. That governor bush was declared the winner early on and he contends that the outcome. The margin between candidates and Florida was divided by only about 500 votes and confusing ballots in some counties triggered a recount. After five weeks quarter was eventually decided in fever bush. After two recounts halted by the Supreme Court putting him at 271. Electoral violence even though we had a lower amount of the popular. And thankful for America. In thankful that we are able to resolve our electoral differences. In a peaceful way. If we had a national popular road map election once they get certainly would have been true in EE OI can't come see Whitney had. It would have been a leisurely. Because scorer won that election the national popular wrote I have dairy period or mark. Her concerns that some of these factors may come in McLean and funny. If it cannot in his state were to be slow and it's you. In need them murder. Betty state legislature. And might decide to step in and say look this election isn't producing clarity we've gotten too many spoiled ballots and thus we are going to choose. A slate of electors by ourselves. It's within the realm of constitutional possibility and it could happen in the room. Versions can also happen and more normal collection that don't involve legal battles re. Place it seems very clear cut case where the popular vote Dina next electoral. It's winner take all system because the distribution Democrats Republicans cross country who signed sweet sixteen Hillary. Weeding three million more votes. Popular. But he or eat seats clear answer one time he's been hurt or injured really matter anymore. A majority of Americans would prefer moving to a national popular. But there's a split in political party support. And loan nauert I'm rethinking what this actually works. You're right he can actually look at latency and get over to second team which the next. Aaron. The leading alternative to the Electoral College is the national popular vote compact. This would require states to work their electors to the winner of the national popular vote rather than the popular scapegoat. So all of this feature patrol boats would go toward the national popular candidate. But changing the electoral system nationwide is really challenging him. At least 700 constitutional amendments have been introduced to congress to abolish or reform the Electoral College but none have been successful. We still have it comes down to a number of different factors Millen is. That the constitution is very difficult lament. But versions are nearly impossible to protect and can't be prevented in the current electoral system. He's there's nothing you can do short of removing the national popular vote a somber it's. The future of the Electoral College is not clear but mismatches between the electoral and popular votes will likely continue and. If race is he duty close as they have been in the last couple of decades and we should expect conversions to continue happening. It happened in the last couple decades.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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