The Electoral College is the system by which the President of the United States is chosen. Keeping it basic, each state is assigned a point value. The point value is equal to the number of Congressmen that each state has. As you remember from class, Congress is made up of both the House of Representatives and the Sentate. Each state has two Senators. However, the Representatives are determined by state population. Thus, the bigger states have more overall points. In order to win the Presidency a candidate must receive a majority (51%) of the electoral votes. Because there are 538 total electoral votes, the minimum number of electoral votes required to win is 270. So to really make things simple, think of the Presidential election as a race to 270!

  1. You are going to be filling out your own Electoral College Map by doing a bit of research and predicting (making an educated guess).

  1. You have been provided with a blank Electoral College Map. You will be using this to keep track of your predictions. This will be turned in at the end of the assignment. It is what will be used to keep track of your predictions. Be sure to designate each candidate as a particular color. If you want to keep things traditional, Romney is typically listed as RED, and President Obama as BLUE. If you don't happen to have those two colors handy, two others will work just fine.
  2. The starting point for this activity will be the following website: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/2012_elections_electoral_college_map.html . This site is particularly helpful because it categorizes each state. Each state is either labeled as LIKELY, LEANS, or TOSS UP. If a state is labeled LIKELY, it means that one of the two candidates is clearly favored in that state to win. It a state is labeled LEANS it means that one candidate is favored to win, but the margin is pretty narrow. If the state is labeled TOSS UP either candidate could win that state. For the sake of time, I think its relatively safe to assume that the LIKELY states will be awarded as this site predicts. Color them accordingly on your map.
  3. Examine the following websites to decide whether or not you will be changing any of the LEAN states and to make predictions for the TOSS UP states...
  4. Past Electoral College Results:http://campaign2012.c-span.org/electoral-college-map
  5. Past Election Results and Demographic Info:http://www.pbs.org/newshour/vote2012/map/calc.html#states=lrGSpRqGBlvGnqBlKp
  6. Current Polling Data For Each State:http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/2012_elections_electoral_college_map.html
  7. Fill out your map accordingly. Calculate the number of electoral votes for each candidate.
  8. Turn in your finished map.