NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - During the campaign, Donald Trump tweeted: "The Electoral College is a disaster for a democracy." So it is ironic that it is how he won the election. He won the electoral votes. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, beating Trump by at least 200,000 votes. So how does that happen?
Each state gets a certain number of electoral votes based on its population. If the candidate wins the popular vote in a state, they get all of the electoral votes. The magic number to win the presidency is 270 electoral votes.
Trump was able to win more states, some with a large number of electoral votes and some with a small number.
Professor Jeanne Zaino of Iona College says our forefathers created the Electoral College system because they were afraid that candidates would only visit big states with big populations and forget about the smaller ones. So there had to be an incentive to get the candidates to pay attention to the smaller states.
Now in today's world, the focus is on battleground states, including Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Zaino says that in recent elections a candidate has no need to visit a state that is reliably red or blue but instead focuses states that are toss-ups.