Category Archives: What-if?

Proportional Method Applied to 2000

The last two entries discussed the Colorado initiative to change the manner in which the state chooses electoral votes from the winner-take-all system to a proportional one. Below is a summary of a hypothetical result of the 2000 election if the method was used in all states.

The Method Applied to 2000
If the proposed Colorado method of allocating Presidential Electors is applied to all states in the 2000 Election, the Electoral Vote count is much closer to the popular vote and yields no electoral majority:

Candidate Popular Vote %Pop Vote Elec Vote %Elec Vote
Gore 51,003,926 48.38% 269 50.0%
Bush 50,460,110 47.87% 263 48.9%
Nader 2,883,105 2.73% 6 1.1%

Rounding Error bonus electors (as described below) are granted to Gore in California, Illinois, Michigan, Hawaii, Wisconsin, Oregon, New Mexico, Iowa, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Bonus electors are awarded to Bush in Florida, Kansas, Utah, and Colorado. Nader loses one elector in Minnesota.

The result listed above does not account for the abstention in the District of Columbia.

Since the Republicans controlled the majority of state delegations in the House of Representatives (109th congress), its a good bet that the parties would have fought over Florida for the one elector in an attempt to give Gore a majority in the Electoral College. Gore wins the bonus electors in most of the close states (NM, IA, OR, WI) and Bush has only four bonus electors (in KS, UT, CO, and FL). The next closest chance for Gore to gain a vote is Colorado where Gore requires an increase of 1.36 percentage points (about 23,000 votes). The election likely would have been decided by the House of Representatives in January of 2001.

Detailed tables of the result for each state are included in a summarized article in the Information section.