Election Inversions by the U.S. Electoral College

  • Nicholas R. Miller
Part of the Studies in Choice and Welfare book series (WELFARE)


An election inversion occurs when the candidate (or party) that wins the most votes from an electorate fails to win the most electoral votes (or parliamentary seats) and therefore loses the election. Public commentary commonly uses terms such as “reversal of winners,” “wrong winner,” “divided verdict,” and “misfire” to describe this phenomenon; the academic social choice literature adds such terms as “repre- sentative inconsistency,” “compound majority paradox,” “referendum paradox,” and “majority deficit.” Election inversions can occur under any two-tier electoral system, including the U.S. Electoral College. As is well known, the Electoral College actually produced a “wrong winner” in the 2000 Presidential election, and it has done so twice before.


Presidential Election Distribution Effect Electoral College Electoral Vote Popular Vote 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of Maryland Baltimore CountyBaltimoreUSA

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