Why Does Nevada Have Six Electoral Votes? The Swing State Matters So Much

PROVO, UT - OCTOBER 25: A man puts a 'I Voted' sticker on after visiting his ballot on the first day of early voting at the Provo Recreation Center, on October 25, 2016 in Provo, Utah. Early voting in the 2016 presidential election begins October 25 for Utah residents and is open until November 4. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
Source: George Frey/Getty Images News/Getty Images

In the United States, the electoral vote matters. Like, really, really matters. The winning candidate needs to have at least 270 electoral votes, and every single state matters. California is the state with the most electoral votes with 55 while a similarly sized state, Nevada, only gets six electoral votes. Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming are tied for the least electoral votes with only three each, according to the LA Times. So why does Nevada get so few seats?

To determine the number of electoral votes per state, each state is given a number of electors that is equal to the number of its U.S. Senators — which, you probably remember from grade school is "two" for every single state. The second half of the determination depends on the number of U.S. Representatives the state has, which changes depending on the size of the state's population based on Census data. 

The reason Nevada matters so much regardless of its scant number of electoral votes, is that it's considered a swing state. It's a political predictor in the general election with the state voting for the winning presidential candidate in 31 out of 38 elections, according to Politico. So ultimately Nevada is more representative of the nation as a whole. And if history repeats itself, Politico predicts Nevada will once again have a Democratic win for the 2016 election. But as the night continues so does the wait too see how the electoral votes will affect the state. 

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