Is Pennsylvania Winner-Take-All On Election Day? Here's The Deal With This Swing State

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 8: Michael Regan, right, votes with his dog named Bean at Old First Reformed Church on November 8, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mr. Regan is voting as a Democrat for the first time since 1971. Americans across the nation are picking their choice for the next president of the United States. (Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)
Source: Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images News/Getty Images

As far as the electoral college goes, things can get pretty darn confusing when it comes to tallying up the votes. So, you might be wondering if states like Pennsylvania are winner takes all, and what that means.

Well, the short answer is yes — the Keystone state is winner takes all. In fact, most states follow this rule except for Nebraska and Maine, according to the National Archives and Records Administration. "In these States, whichever candidate receives a majority of the popular vote, or a plurality of the popular vote (less than 50 percent but more than any other candidate), takes all of the state’s Electoral votes," the website noted.

Pennsylvania has 20 electoral votes, so whoever wins the popular vote in PA gets all those votes — and may even find themselves heading on off to the White House. It's because of the winner take all rule that candidates who have won the popular vote in the past didn't win the whole election. Think Al Gore in the 2000 election. He probably would have won if we went by the popular vote, according to CNN.com. Yes, it's confusing. But the winner takes all ruling plays into this election. And knowing how it works can make this whole process the tiniest bit less maddening. 

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