The idea isn’t new, but it’s being argued again over the 2016 presidential election results by some of those who were shell-shocked by Hillary Clinton’s loss to political upstart Donald Trump: The nation should decide its presidents based on a popular vote, not the constitutional Electoral College.
WGN reported, “It’s official, Clinton swamps Trump in popular vote,” and while the “swamps” to describe a 2.9 million difference among some some 130 million voters easily could be challenged, the bare numbers show Clinton got 65,844,954 votes to Trump’s 62,979,879.
But those are not the only numbers Americans need to know about the heated race that left a leftist movement stunned and disoriented.
For example, Clinton won California by 4.2 million votes and New York by 1.6 million, meaning that across 48 of the 50 states, Trump was the victor by about 3 million votes in the popular vote. Including New York, he was the popular vote winner by more than a million votes.
Trump has addressed the issue by tweeting, “Campaigning to win the Electoral College is much more difficult & sophisticated than the popular vote. Hillary focused on the wrong states!”
The constitutional reality is that the nation’s founders set up a system where there would be a popular vote, but the actual decision is made by 538 members of the Electoral College, members appointed largely by political parties in the states, with one designated for each congressional district or U.S. Senate seat in Congress. In many states they are legally obligated to vote the way their state’s voters do.
There, Trump won 306 on election night, and ended up with 304 after two, influenced by what has been described as a “coup” attempt trying to prevent him from taking office, voted against the wishes of their states’ voters.
Hillary Clinton ended up with 227, having lost five faithless electors of the 232 she won on election night.
Trump said campaigning for the different votes is different.
“I would have done even better in the election, if that is possible, if the winner was based on popular vote – but would campaign differently,” he suggested.
The Electoral College was set up to assure that a handful of population centers across the country cannot in perpetuity control the presidency. That’s well illustrated by the 2016 results, where Trump won vast swaths of America, but still came up short in the popular vote because of the results, essentially, in one state, California.
The Electoral College addresses that because the minimum number of states a candidate must win, and these include the large population centers, to win the presidency, is 12 states.
And they are scattered across most of the country, with the exception of the plains states really.
Under a minimalist approach to the Electoral College, a candidate must win at least California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey and any other state with at least 10 votes, (Virginia, for example, has 13) to win.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence put it in another perspective, revealing that Trump won 30 out of 50 states, and 2,623 counties, to Clinton’s 20 states or 489 counties.
The left-leaning Politifact admitted Pence’s statement that that was the biggest part of America won in an election since Ronald Reagan was rated as “mostly true.”
It revealed that Trump, in fact, “receives credit from electoral specialists for expanding the Republican footprint, notably in places that had previously backed Barack Obama,” confirming Trump won 220 counties that had voted for Obama in 2012.
The 2016 results really reveal that America has become two different nations: far left metropolitan and urban areas and much more conservative regions of small cities, towns and rural areas.
The impact is never so strong as in a visual image. The blue here reveals how, by the state, voters went for Donald Trump.
And here’s the same results with the party preference by county.
In the Daily Mail, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich pointed out “liberals who insisted Trump’s victory is illegitimate because more Americans voted for Clinton” are simply wrong.
“This is football season. A team can have more yards and lose the game. What matters is how many points you put on the board. The Electoral College is the points,” he said.
Gingrich pointed out Trump never campaigned in California, which for years has leaned far left and routinely has voted Democratic.
“Trump actually carried – in the 49 states outside of California, he had a 1.2 million vote majority,” he said.
“The Democrats had two people running for the U.S. Senate the way California law works, no Republican running for the U.S. Senate. So we got beaten in the biggest state. It didn’t matter. That’s not how you pick the presidency. Trump’s now going to be president. She’s not going to be president. That’s called winning the game”
In the Truthfeed blog was the comment: “There are rules to the contest, and Trump won fair and square. The rest is just noise and sore loser whining.”
Such as a suggestion from Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, to abolish the Electoral College.
“The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately,” she said, after finding out that middle America states like the Dakotas, Montana, Iowa and others had combined to overrule the 55 votes held by her state.
Gingrich said there are some in the Democrat party who are simply not going to adjust to a President Trump.
“He is, from their standpoint, horrifying … They live in a delusional world. That’s why they lost the election: they decided to stay with the delusion.”
Trump critics observed that Clinton won “every large-sized county economy in the country” while Trump’s victory came through “hundreds and hundreds of tiny low-output locations.”
The bottom line, from WNG? “More Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than any other losing presidential candidate in US history.”