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270 to Win!

After learning about the electoral strategy in class, I became very interested and I wanted to learn more about it.  It interested me so so much primarily because I always imagined that candidates traveled the whole country, spreading his ideas and hoped that a state would vote for them on election day.  I was VERY wrong.  In class, as a group we participated in an activity where we divided up the states and predicted their vote in the upcoming election based on past election’s results and even the GDP and unemployment rates of the state.  This exercise made me think about how if a President outsmarted another he could win because he won a crucial swing state.  This idea made me feel like the electoral strategy was an unfair tool because a President should be elected because of his ideals and not how well he can campaign.  However on second review, I feel that this method is available to anyone and whoever strategies the best can most certainly win.


In class we did our own mock election using 270 to Win, which helped to realize that one state can win or lose an election for a candidate.  In class for our group, the swing states that were crucial for the upcoming 2012 election were Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio.  We figured that the candidate to win the majority of these states would have a clear advantage over the other.  After doing extra research I came upon some statistics form the University of Central Arizona that show the swing state from the 2008 election.  These stats prove our groups mock election because the candidate that won 2 out of these 3 states ended up winning the election.

The easiest way to see how the Electoral Strategy is used is to look at past elections and see how the states with the heaviest amount of votes can affect a election so greatly.  In the picture above it is easy to see that states like Texas, California, Florida and New York clearly affect the election the most and explains why the Electoral Strategy is so important.  This specific representation of the Electoral Strategy is taken from the 2008 election.  Obama ultimately won the election outright because of his ability to take over the swing states and keep the already democratic states, which proves the true importance behind the Strategy of winning the Presidential Election.

Overall, after the learning in class and after this reflection, I have learned many things after my reflection of the Electoral strategy.  One of these thing is that Presidential candadites don’t go into election day with hopes to win but they usually have a good idea who is going to win because of the Electoral Strategy.  It is also very nice to know that an idea developed in class represents real life statistics from an actual election.  This is very important to my knowledge of elections and that’s why it is so crucial to learn about.  This will also help me follow along with the current election because if I can pinpoint the states of where I think campaigners might go to then I can match up to see if I was right.  This kind of awareness is vital to people everywhere because all people are affected by the results of each election so greatly.

  1. May 5, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Nicely done, JackM!

    … are you OK with the fact that a candidate could strategically ignore lots of voters in many states while focusing on issues that voters in swing states care about?

    • jackmgov
      May 9, 2012 at 9:30 am

      I am not. That is one of the main ideas of the Electoral Strategy that bothers me. I believe that to win a election and be the President, one must include everybody in the country. However, there is no way to win an election today without using this strategy and ignoring certain states in order to win others.

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