2016’s States with the Most and Least Powerful Voters

Style Magazine Newswire | 10/18/2016, 9:43 a.m.
Not all votes are created equal. Some votes carry more weight than others simply because of the somewhat complicated way ...

Not all votes are created equal. Some votes carry more weight than others simply because of the somewhat complicated way our voting system is organized. Members of Congress are elected by direct popular vote. But the president is chosen by the Electoral College, a group selected by voters when they cast a ballot for commander-in-chief.

In a presidential election, voter power varies widely by state. While all votes are theoretically counted equally — one person, one vote — the choices of swing-state citizens are more influential. It’s safe to assume that Alabama will vote Republican and California will vote Democratic in the upcoming election. But the electoral results of swing states are up in the air, giving their voters more impact.

The same principle applies to voter power in the Senate. It’s a sure bet that the Republican senator from Utah and the Democratic senator from New York will both be re-elected. But voters’ choices for senators in swing states hold much more power because they determine which political party controls the Senate.

So which states will decide the outcome of the upcoming election? As American voters head to the polls on Nov. 8 to elect the next leader of the free world as well as new senators in certain states, WalletHub’s analysts compared the relative influence of voters in both the presidential and Senate races. In order to make such a comparison, we calculated a Voter Power Score for each state and for each type of election. Continue reading below for our findings, additional election commentary and a full description of our methodology.

See the rankings on WalletHub