Date: Oct 30, 2000 5:57 AM
Author: Peter L. Montgomery
Subject: Electoral college probablities

In the US presidential election, the winner is determined

by electoral vote rather than by popular vote.

What is the chance that the two will give different outcomes

in an otherwise close race?

Make simplifying assumptions, such as an odd number

of equi-populous states.

In a two-candidate race, voters everywhere vote randomly

for one of the two candidates.

Every state has the same (odd) number of voters,

and the same number of electors --

the winning candidate within each state gets all of that state's electors.

What is the probability that the candidate winning

a majority of the overall vote will lose in a majority of the states?

--

E = m c^2. Einstein = Man of the Century. Why the squaring?

Peter-Lawrence.Montgomery@cwi.nl Home: San Rafael, California

Microsoft Research and CWI