Electoral votes, out of 538, allocated to each state and the District of Columbia for presidential elections to be held in 2024 and 2028, based on representation, which depends on population data from the 2020 census. Every jurisdiction is entitled to at least 3.
Popular votes to political parties during presidential elections.
In the 2020 presidential election (held using 2010 census data) Joe Biden received 306 and Donald Trump 232 of the total 538 electoral votes.
In Maine (upper-right) and Nebraska (center), the small circled numbers indicate congressional districts. These are the only two states to use a district method for some of their allocated electors, instead of a complete winner-takes-all.
Political parties derivation. Dotted line means unofficially.
Cases of certificates of the electoral college votes confirming the results of the 2020 US election, after they had been removed from the House Chambers by congressional staff during the 2021 U.S. Capitol attack.
After the popular election in November, a state's Certificate of Ascertainment officially announces the state's electors for the Electoral College. The appointed Electoral College members later meet in the state capital in December to cast their votes.
Population per electoral vote for each state and Washington, D.C. (2010 census). By 2020 estimates, a single elector could represent more than 700,000 people or under 200,000.
When the state's electors meet in December, they cast their ballots and record their vote on a Certificate of Vote, which is then sent to the U.S. Congress. (From the election of 1876)
This cartogram shows the number of electors from each state for the 2012, 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. Following the 2010 Census, New York and Ohio lost two electoral votes, 8 states lost one, 6 states gained one, Florida gained two, and Texas gained four.
This graphic demonstrates how the winner of the popular vote can still lose in an electoral college system similar to the U.S. Electoral College.
Bar graph of popular votes in presidential elections (through 2020). Black stars mark the five cases where the winner did not have the plurality of the popular vote. Black squares mark the two cases where the electoral vote resulted in a tie, or the winner did not have the majority of electoral votes. An H marks each of two cases where the election was decided by the House; an S marks the one case where the election was finalized by the Supreme Court.
These maps show the amount of attention given to each state by the Bush and Kerry campaigns (combined) during the final five weeks of the 2004 election: each waving hand (purple map) represents a visit from a presidential or vice presidential candidate; each dollar sign (green map) represents one million dollars spent on TV advertising.
Half the U.S. population lives in 143 urban / suburban counties out of 3,143 counties or county equivalents (2019 American Community Survey)

In recent U.S. political history, political behavior correlates with the urban–rural political divide; whereby more voters living in urban areas gravitate towards the Democratic Party, voters living in more rural areas gravitate towards the Republican Party, whilst suburban electoral districts are battleground marginal seats which also influence the outcomes of battleground swing states in the Electoral College system of United States presidential elections.

- Political parties in the United States

The custom of allowing recognized political parties to select a slate of prospective electors developed early.

- United States Electoral College
Electoral votes, out of 538, allocated to each state and the District of Columbia for presidential elections to be held in 2024 and 2028, based on representation, which depends on population data from the 2020 census. Every jurisdiction is entitled to at least 3.

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Democratic Party (United States)

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Andrew Jackson was the seventh president of the United States (1829–1837) and the first Democratic president.
Martin Van Buren was the eighth president of the United States (1837–1841) and the second Democratic president.
Senator Stephen A. Douglas
The 1885 inauguration of Grover Cleveland, the only president with non-consecutive terms
Leaders of the Democratic Party during the first half of the 20th century on 14 June 1913: Secretary of State William J. Bryan, Josephus Daniels, President Woodrow Wilson, Breckinridge Long, William Phillips, and Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, 32nd and 33rd presidents of the United States (1933–1945; 1945–1953), featured on a campaign poster for the 1944 presidential election
John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, 35th and 36th presidents of the United States (1961–1963, 1963–1969)
Jimmy Carter, 39th president of the United States (1977–1981), delivering the State of the Union Address in 1979
Bill Clinton, 42nd president of the United States (1993–2001), at The Pentagon in 1998
Barack Obama speaking to College Democrats of America in 2007
President Barack Obama meeting with the Blue Dog Coalition in the State Dining Room of the White House in 2009
Eleanor Roosevelt at the 1956 Democratic National Convention in Chicago
President Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law at the White House on March 23, 2010
Secretary of State John Kerry addressing delegates at the United Nations before signing the Paris Agreement on April 22, 2016
Shirley Chisholm was the first major-party African American candidate to run nationwide primary campaigns.
President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Immigration Act of 1965 as Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Senators Edward M. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy and others look on
Then-Senator Barack Obama shaking hands with an American soldier in Basra, Iraq in 2008
President Jimmy Carter and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1978
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with President Barack Obama at Ben Gurion Airport in 2013
Self-identified Democrats (blue) versus self-identified Republicans (red) (January–June 2010 data)
Higher percentages of Democrats than Republicans are members of union households.
Elected at age 33, Jon Ossoff is currently the youngest member of the U.S. Senate.
Hillary Clinton was the first woman to be nominated for president by a major party.
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg
Vice President Kamala Harris
Julián Castro served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
U.S. opinion on gun control issues is deeply divided along political lines, as shown in this 2021 survey.

The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States.

They support reforming the electoral system to eliminate gerrymandering, abolishing the electoral college, as well as passing comprehensive campaign finance reform.

Democratic-Republican Party

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Thomas Jefferson defeated John Adams in the 1800 presidential election, thereby becoming the first Democratic-Republican president.
The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 totaled 827,987 sqmi, doubling the size of the United States.
Albert Gallatin served as Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Jefferson and Madison.
James Monroe, the third Democratic-Republican president
Four Democratic-Republicans sought the presidency in 1824: Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, William H. Crawford, and Henry Clay.
John Quincy Adams won the 1824 presidential election as a Democratic-Republican after leaving the Federalist Party earlier in his career.
Presidential election results from 1796 to 1824. Darker shades of green indicate that the state generally supported the Democratic-Republicans, and darker shades of brown indicate that the state generally supported the Federalists.
John Randolph of Roanoke was a prominent member of a group of Southern plantation owners known as the Old Republicans.
Andrew Jackson led a faction of Democratic-Republicans that ultimately coalesced into the Democratic Party.

The Democratic-Republican Party, also referred to as the Jeffersonian Republican Party and known at the time as the Republican Party and occasional other names, was an American political party founded by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in the early 1790s that championed republicanism, agrarianism, political equality, and expansionism.

In the 1788–89 presidential election, the first such election following the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1788, George Washington won the votes of every member of the Electoral College.

John Quincy Adams, the 6th president, became a Whig congressman later in his career.

Whig Party (United States)

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Political party that espoused traditionalist conservatism in the United States during the middle of the 19th century.

Political party that espoused traditionalist conservatism in the United States during the middle of the 19th century.

John Quincy Adams, the 6th president, became a Whig congressman later in his career.
Henry Clay, a founder of the Whig Party in the 1830s and its 1844 presidential nominee
Daniel Webster, a leading Whig from New England
William Henry Harrison, a two-time presidential candidate who became the first Whig president in 1841 but died just one month into office
William Henry Harrison defeated Martin Van Buren in the 1840 presidential election, thereby becoming the first Whig president
President John Tyler clashed with congressional Whigs and was expelled from the party.
Zachary Taylor served in the Mexican-American War and later won the 1848 presidential election as the Whig nominee.
The United States settled the Texas-Mexico border and acquired portions of seven current states in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Portions of present-day Arizona and New Mexico were later acquired in the 1853 Gadsden Purchase.
A political cartoon satirizing the candidacy of either Zachary Taylor or Winfield Scott in the 1848 presidential election
Millard Fillmore, the last Whig president
Gen. Winfield Scott, the unsuccessful Whig candidate in the 1852 presidential election
Whig journalist Horace Greeley
John J. Crittenden, an influential Whig leader who later established the short-lived Constitutional Union Party to contest the election of 1860
U.S. presidential election results from 1828 to 1852. Darker shades of blue indicate states that generally voted for the Democratic Party, while darker shades of yellow/brown indicate states that generally voted for the Whig or National Republican Party.
Charles Sumner, an anti-slavery "Conscience Whig" who later joined the Republican Party
Edward Everett, a pro-South "Cotton Whig"
Abraham Lincoln, a former Whig congressman, won the 1860 presidential election on the Republican ticket.
John Marshall Harlan, who began his career as a Whig officeholder, served on the Supreme Court from 1877 to 1911.

Alongside the slightly larger Democratic Party, it was one of the two major parties in the United States between the late 1830s and the early 1850s as part of the Second Party System.

In the 1836 presidential election, four different regional Whig candidates received electoral votes, but the party failed to defeat Jackson's chosen successor, Martin Van Buren.

Federalist Party

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A portrait of Alexander Hamilton by John Trumbull, 1806
The Apotheosis of Washington as seen looking up from the Capitol rotunda in Washington, D.C.
Gilbert Stuart, John Adams, c. 1800-1815
President Thomas Jefferson
President James Madison

The Federalist Party was a traditionalist conservative party that was the first political party in the United States.

Adams was the winner by a margin of three electoral votes and Jefferson, as the runner-up, became vice president under the system set out in the Constitution prior to the ratification of the 12th Amendment.

State races by 2020 United States presidential election margin.

Swing state

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In American politics, the term swing state (or battleground state) refers to any state that could reasonably be won by either the Democratic or Republican candidate in a statewide election, most often referring to presidential elections, by a swing in votes.

In American politics, the term swing state (or battleground state) refers to any state that could reasonably be won by either the Democratic or Republican candidate in a statewide election, most often referring to presidential elections, by a swing in votes.

State races by 2020 United States presidential election margin.

Due to the winner-take-all method most states use to determine their presidential electors, candidates often campaign only in competitive states, which is why a select group of states frequently receives a majority of the advertisements and candidate visits.

However, this projection was not specific to any particular election cycle, and assumed similar levels of support for both parties.

A 2016 general election ballot, listing the presidential and vice presidential candidates

United States presidential election

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A 2016 general election ballot, listing the presidential and vice presidential candidates
Comparison of the popular vote totals since 1900.
The hand-written copy of the natural-born-citizen clause as it appeared in 1787
A 2008 Democratic caucus meeting in Iowa City, Iowa. The Iowa caucuses are traditionally the first major electoral event of presidential primaries and caucuses.
Madison Square Garden in New York City, the site of the 1976, 1980, and 1992 Democratic National Conventions; and the 2004 Republican National Convention.
The floor of the 2008 Republican National Convention at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
A Texas voter about to mark a selection for president on a ballot, 2008 Election Day
2020 Election
John Adams was the first of 26 presidents who have been lawyers.
Popular vote percentage
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The election of the president and the vice president of the United States is an indirect election in which citizens of the United States who are registered to vote in one of the fifty U.S. states or in Washington, D.C., cast ballots not directly for those offices, but instead for members of the Electoral College.

The nomination process, consisting of the primary elections and caucuses and the nominating conventions, was not specified in the Constitution, but was developed over time by the states and political parties.

President of the United States

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Head of state and head of government of the United States of America.

Head of state and head of government of the United States of America.

George Washington, the first president of the United States
President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers a radio address, 1933
President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the 1964 Civil Rights Act as Martin Luther King Jr. and others look on
President Donald Trump delivers his 2018 State of the Union Address, with Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan
President George H. W. Bush and Russian President Gorbachev sign the 1990 Chemical Weapons Accord in the White House.
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, successfully preserved the Union during the American Civil War.
President Barack Obama with his Supreme Court appointee Justice Sotomayor, 2009
President Ronald Reagan reviews honor guards during a state visit to China, 1984
President Woodrow Wilson throws out the ceremonial first ball on Opening Day, 1916
President Jimmy Carter (left) debates Republican nominee Ronald Reagan on October 28, 1980.
Map of the United States showing the number of electoral votes allocated following the 2010 census to each state and the District of Columbia for the 2012, 2016 and 2020 presidential elections; it also notes that Maine and Nebraska distribute electors by way of the congressional district method. 270 electoral votes are required for a majority out of 538 votes possible.
Franklin D. Roosevelt won a record four presidential elections (1932, 1936, 1940 and 1944), leading to the adoption of a two-term limit.
President William McKinley and his successor, Theodore Roosevelt
President Reagan surrounded by Secret Service
From left: George H. W. Bush, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter. Photo taken in the Oval Office on January 7, 2009; Obama formally took office thirteen days later.
Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter at the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, 2013
White House, the official residence
Camp David, the official retreat
Blair House, the official guest house
The presidential limousine, dubbed "The Beast"
The presidential plane, called Air Force One when the president is on board
Marine One helicopter, when the president is aboard

The president is elected indirectly through the Electoral College to a four-year term, along with the vice president.

They typically vote for the candidates of the party that nominated them.