electoral college


Definition of electoral college 

: a body of electors especially : one that elects the president and vice president of the U.S.

Examples of electoral college in a Sentence

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Both times, Stein was unable to secure any electoral votes from the electoral college, the body of electors appointed to cast votes on behalf of states in presidential elections. Sarah Emily Baum, Teen Vogue, "Why Do Candidates Run for Office When There’s Little Chance They Can Win?," 7 Nov. 2018 Researchers estimated that if renter turnout had matched homeowner turnout in 2016, Mrs. Clinton could have won an electoral college victory and the presidency. Keiko Morris, WSJ, "Renters Could Be an Emerging Swing Vote This Election," 5 Nov. 2018 Santorum added that picking Hardiman could help Trump bolster his support in Pennsylvania, a crucial state in his electoral college victory in 2016 and a 2020 battleground. Author: Robert Costa, David Weigel, Robert Barnes, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump weighs top picks for Supreme Court amid last-minute maneuvering," 8 July 2018 The electoral college is one of the very worst features of American democracy, a vestigial mechanism that effectively reduces presidential contests to a few swing states. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Connecticut Joins Effort to Overturn Electoral College," 6 May 2018 In two of the five elections for 21st-century presidents, the minority won the electoral college. The Economist, "American democracy’s built-in bias towards rural Republicans," 12 July 2018 Donald Trump got elected because the electoral college is outdated and worthless. Drew Magary, GQ, "This Is Why Trump Won," 14 June 2018 Trump owes his 2016 electoral college victory to thin margins in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Why President Trump May Well Flip-Flop on Marijuana Legalization," 9 June 2018 The elections following Trump's electoral college victory have been a better — or at least, more recent — gauge of how Americans feel about the direction of the United States now. Eugene Scott, Washington Post, "Trump’s election made Obama wonder if America was ready to move forward from its past," 31 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'electoral college.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of electoral college

1677, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

23 Nov 2018

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The first known use of electoral college was in 1677

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More Definitions for electoral college

electoral college

noun, often capitalized E&C
elec·​tor·​al college

Legal Definition of electoral college 

: a body of electors specifically : the body of electors chosen from each state to elect the president and vice president of the U.S.

Note: Under Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, each state chooses electors in the same number that the state has senators and representatives. The electors have the discretion to choose the candidate they vote for, but in practice the electors vote for the candidate that wins the most votes in their respective states. In all the states except Maine, the candidate that wins a plurality of the popular votes wins all of the state's electoral votes.

More from Merriam-Webster on electoral college

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about electoral college

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