In this article, we will take a look at the 13 states with the most electoral votes. If you would like to skip our discussion on the electoral process, you can go to the 5 States With The Most Electoral Votes.

The United States uses an electoral system to determine the outcomes of its presidential elections. Each state is assigned a fixed number of electoral votes. In total, there are 538 electoral votes available across the country. Large states with sizeable populations have a substantial impact on the overall election result.  The states with the least electoral votes are those with small populations, like Alaska, the District of Columbia, Montana, North and South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming, each having three electoral votes.  As a result of their smaller populations, these states have a relatively smaller impact on the electoral process. The allocation of electoral votes to all states is based on the number of senators and representatives in Congress, which is determined by population size.

Each state is allocated electoral votes based on the number of members it has in the House of Representatives, determined by the national census conducted every ten years. Additionally, every state receives two electoral votes for its two senators. The majority of states employ a winner-takes-all system for allocating electoral votes, while Maine and Nebraska use a proportional system based on the candidate’s victory in each congressional district. These electors, who form the Electoral College, convene after the general election to cast their votes for the presidential candidate. To win the presidency, a candidate must secure at least 270 electoral votes out of the current total of 538.

In the 2020 elections, President Biden secured 81.28 million votes, which accounted for 51.3% of all cast votes. This marked a historic milestone as Biden became the first presidential candidate to surpass 80 million votes. His contender, Donald Trump, garnered 74.22 million votes, constituting 46.8% of the votes cast. This surge in voter participation is reflected in the record-breaking turnout, with over 159.63 million Americans casting their votes. This turnout is unprecedented in US history, marking the first instance where voter participation surpassed 140 million. In terms of the percentage of the voting-eligible population, the voter turnout reached 66.7%, the highest seen in 120 years. To find a higher percentage turnout, one must trace back to the year 1900, when it stood at 73.7%. The record for the highest turnout belongs to the election of 1876, at 82.6%.

The significant increase in voter turnout in the 2020 elections was greatly facilitated by companies that supported the electoral process by allowing their employees time off to vote. Following the 2016 elections, where 14% of registered voters cited conflicting work or study schedules as a barrier to voting, companies such as Levi Strauss & Co. (NYSE:LEVI), Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT), and PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL) took proactive measures. Levi Strauss & Co. (NYSE:LEVI) offered its workers five hours of paid time off to vote, while Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) provided three hours of paid time off for employees unable to leave for voting during their shifts. Similarly, PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL) offered up to four hours for voting or volunteering. These companies, along with others, are members of the non-partisan Time to Vote coalition, consisting of over 1,850 companies that encouraged their employees to participate in the 2020 elections. Their efforts were notably successful, contributing to the record-breaking voter turnout in US history in the 2020 elections.

Here’s what Wedgewood Partners said about PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL) in its Q4 2023 investor letter:

PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL) also contributed less to portfolio performance than most holdings during the fourth quarter. The total payment volume handled by PayPal during its most recent quarter grew +15%, which helped drive healthy revenue growth and +20% earnings per share growth. Critically, the Company’s new management team has significant opportunity to drive more revenue and earnings growth across the massive, multi-trillion-dollar payments addressable market. PayPal’s rapidly growing payment processing brand, Braintree, represents one of those revenue growth opportunities, either by raising prices, as the Company had previously used a low-price strategy to establish a beachhead in this market, or by adding value-added services. PayPal’s branded checkout remains the largest volume and profit driver for the business, and we expect this to continue to track in-line with e-commerce growth in the near term, and eventually take share as the Company rolls out new features to its over +400 million users and +30 million merchants. We added to our position with the stock trading at just 10X forward earnings estimates during the quarter because there are many more long-term growth opportunities relative to most financial companies that trade for similar multiples and compared to technology companies that trade for much higher multiples.”

13 States With The Most Electoral Votes

13 States With The Most Electoral Votes

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Our Methodology 

We compiled a list of the top 13 states with the most electoral votes using the current allocations for the 2024 and 2028 presidential elections, as provided by The US National Archives and Records Administration. The states have been ranked in ascending order based on their electoral votes.

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13 States With The Most Electoral Votes

 13. Washington

Number of Electoral Votes: 12

Washington has 10 US Representatives, and it leans toward Democrats. While its political allegiance has shifted in the past, it has consistently supported Democrats in the last nine elections. In the 2020 election, Joe Biden won over Donald Trump here with a 58% to 39% lead.

12. Virginia

Number of Electoral Votes: 13

Virginia has 13 electoral votes. While it was a battleground in 1990 and leaned towards Republicans until 2004, the state has consistently supported Democrats since 2008. In the 2020 election, Biden secured a 10-point victory in Virginia, further solidifying its Democratic allegiance. It is likely to continue favoring Democrats in the 2024 elections.

11. New Jersey

Number of Electoral Votes: 14

New Jersey, with a population of 9.32 million, leans towards the Democratic Party. Over time, the state has lost electoral votes due to a population decline. New Jersey has consistently favored Democrats in the past eight elections, with Biden defeating Trump by a significant 16% margin in 2020. It is expected to maintain its pro-Democrat stance in the 2024 elections as well.

10. Michigan

Number of Electoral Votes: 15

Michigan, with a population of 10.04 million, is a swing state. The state has experienced a decline in electoral votes, dropping from 16 in 2020 to 15 in 2024. Historically, Michigan leaned Republican from 1972 to 1988 before shifting Democratic from 1992 to 2012. However, it flipped towards Republicans in 2016 and back to Democrats in 2020, with Joe Biden securing victory by a narrow margin of 2.8%. The 2024 election remains a toss-up in Michigan, highlighting its unpredictable political landscape. Michigan is among the top 10 states with the most electoral votes as of 2024.

9. North Carolina

Number of Electoral Votes: 16

North Carolina, with a population of 10.96 million, gained an additional electoral vote following the 2020 Census. It now shares the 8th largest electoral vote count with Georgia, totaling 16 electoral votes. Historically, North Carolina has been predominantly Republican, but it experienced a shift in 2008 when Barack Obama narrowly secured a victory. The state has a reputation for closely contested races, often swinging between parties. Donald Trump emerged victorious in both 2016 and 2020, defeating Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden by margins of 3.6% and 1.3%, respectively. As of 2024, North Carolina is leaning towards the Republican Party.

8. Georgia

Number of Electoral Votes: 16

Georgia is at the eighth position on our list of the states with the most electoral votes. Historically, the state leaned towards the Republican Party from 1972 to 2016. However, it has become increasingly competitive since then. In the 2020 election, Joe Biden secured a slim victory over Donald Trump by a margin of just 0.2%, marking the narrowest margin of victory in that election. The 2024 elections are anticipated to be another toss-up between the Democrats and Republicans in Georgia.

7. Ohio

Number of Electoral Votes: 17

Ohio, with a population of 11.81 million, has experienced a steady decline in the number of electoral votes since the 1960s. The state will lose another electoral vote in 2024, bringing its total to 17 votes. In recent elections, Ohio has been a battleground state. The 2004 election saw a particularly close race, with George W. Bush edging out John Kerry by a narrow 2% margin. In 2016, Donald Trump secured a significant victory, winning by approximately 8 points over Hillary Clinton, marking the widest margin in Ohio since 1988. Trump also emerged victorious over Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

6. Pennsylvania

Number of Electoral Votes: 19

Currently, Pennsylvania has 19 electoral votes. Traditionally, Pennsylvania has been a battleground state, favoring the Democratic Party until 2016, when Donald Trump narrowly won by a margin of just 0.7%. In 2020, Trump secured victory again, albeit by a slightly larger margin of 1.2%. Pennsylvania is often considered a bellwether state, as its outcome is indicative of the successful presidential candidate.

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Disclosure: None. 13 States With The Most Electoral Votes is published on Insider Monkey.

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