Technically, the presidency is decided not by the popular vote (total votes nationwide) but by the electoral vote. In the Electoral College system established in the Constitution, each state has the same number of electoral votes as it has representatives in the two houses of Congress. The total number of electoral votes is 538 (535 for the states plus 3 for Washington, D.C.). To win the presidency, a candidate must receive at least a majority (270) of those votes. Most of the time, the popular-vote winner is also the electoral vote winner. The most recent exception was 2000, when Democrat Al Gore won the popular vote but Republican George W. Bush won the electoral vote—and the White House.