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3B - The Michigan Daily - Election Guide 2004 - Thursday, October 28
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Despite shifts in electoral votes,
By Andrew Kaplan
Daily News Editor
states still key to victory
Every 10 years, the number of electoral votes allocated to
each state in the presidential election gets switched around.
In the last election, for example, Michigan's electors cast
18 of these votes for then Democratic candidate Al Gore, who
won the popular vote in the state. This year, Michigan will cast
17 electoral votes for whichever candidate takes a majority of
the vote share here.
Nationwide, the most recent shuffling of electoral votes -
which happens according to changes in the population in each
state - has played into Bush's favor, according to some of the
most recent polling data.
Figures released by The Associated Press on Oct. 16
show that Democratic candidate John Kerry has not been
helped by the reordering, because states that currently
favor him have six fewer electoral votes collectively than
they did in 2000.
On the other hand, states in which President Bush has,
topped Kerry in the polls have gained three electoral votes
That slim margin could make the difference in an election
expected to be every bit as close as the last one, when five elec-
toral votes gave Bush a majority in the Electoral College and,
consequently, control of the White House.
Ken Kollman, a political science and researcher for the
Center for Political Studies, said the effect of that shift of
electoral votes will do less to determine the outcome of
the election than how Midwest battleground states vote on
"I doubt the election could swing on three electoral
votes," Kollman said.
"It could swing on some number less than 10. I don't think
it's as big a factor as others, like how Wisconsin, Ohio and
Minnesota are going to vote," he said.
Members of the University College Democrats and Republi-
cans echoed Kollman's statements.
"I don't think (shifts in electoral votes) will change the strat-
egy of this election," said LSA senior Scott Foley, chair of Stu-
dents for Bush, adding that victories in a few key swing states
- Florida and Ohio in particular - will play more of a role in
deciding the presidency.
"Despite the changes, we're still fighting the same
states as we did in 2000," said LSA sophomore Matt
Forgotson, spokesman for the University College Demo-
crats. "We have to swing either Ohio, Florida or Mis-
souri to win."
"We're still fighting for 270 electoral votes to put us over the
top," he added.
GRAPHICS: ASHLEY DINGES SOURCE: ASSOCIATED PRESS
California 54 55
ConnecticUt 8 7
District of Columbia-23
Florida 25 27
IllInois 22 21
Nevada 4 5
North Carolina 14 15
Oklahoma 8 7
pennli Vania 3
Texas 32 34