Florida’s 29 electoral votes are crucial in winning the presidency. Now a state Democrat is proposing to change the current system from winner-take-all to one based on winning congressional districts.
Boca Raton Democratic state Sen. Kevin Rader has filed legislation that would change how the state’s electoral votes in presidential elections are allocated. In today’s system the candidate who wins the state’s popular vote wins all 29 electoral votes – one of the highest in the nation and a key political prize.
Under Rader’s proposal, Florida’s popular vote wouldn’t be the determining factor. Instead, the candidate who takes the most votes in each of the state’s 27 individual congressional districts would be the winner. Two “at-large” electors would also be designated that would go to whoever wins the popular vote.
Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote in 2016, but lost in the national electoral college to Donald Trump. He was the second Republican to win the electoral college but lose the popular vote in the past five presidential elections.
In Florida, Trump won the popular vote by 1.2 percent over Clinton, taking home all of Florida’s 29 electoral votes. He won 14 of the state’s congressional districts and Clinton won 13. If the Rader proposal were in effect in 2016, Trump would have won the two new at-large delegate votes, but would have racked up just 16 electoral votes, while Clinton would take home 13 electoral votes.
Nebraska and Maine are the only two states that diverge from the traditional winner-take-all method of electoral vote allocation. They also allocate their electoral votes by congressional districts.