As previously mentioned, California has 55 electoral votes. That’s a huge number, and while California certainly doesn’t want to give up the massive power that such a voting bloc represents, there are a huge number of people in that state who are effectively without a voice, because the state has decided to award all of their Electoral College votes to a single candidate.
Maine and Nebraska have systems for apportioning their votes between candidates, if the need should arise. It apparently didn’t last night, but that’s irrelevant. The states have become flexible enough that they are able to do so it that’s what the residents want. Colorado also considered such an initiative last night, but it failed. No matter – at least they considered it. I suspect that, as with most ballot initiatives, it wasn’t particularly well explained to those who were voting on it.
In any case, let’s look at an example if Calfornia should decide to apportion their votes based on the will of the people. The only problem that I have in this first example is that I’m not aware of any map that shows voting results by congressional districts. CNN, however, does offer reults showing voting by county, so I’ll use those here. However, California appears to have 58 counties and only 53 congressional districts, so I will throw out two counties from each candidate, as well as one county for the candidate with the most counties.
Using this method, George W. Bush would receive 34 electoral votes (with victories in 37 counties), and John Kerry would receive 19 (21), based on congressional districts alone. Kerry would then receive the two senatorial electoral votes because he was the winner of the popular vote, for a total of 21. So instead of Kerry receiving all 55 votes, he would receive 21 votes and Bush would receive 34.
After thinking on it some more, I think that the division of electoral votes based on the popular vote results is a better method, as it more closely resembles the will of the people as a whole. Theoretically, you could end up with congressional districts of just a couple of people that is otherwise equal to a congressional district of millions.
So using that method, if you allocated those votes based on the popular vote (Bush 44%, Kerry 55%), Bush would receive 24 votes and Kerry 31, which would appear to more accurately reflect the will of the voters in California.