Reviewing the presidential election results, many commentators note that Donald Trump — like several previous Republican presidential candidates — prevailed in the electoral college without winning the popular vote. This is true, but it’s also irrelevant. It’s irrelevant legally, of course, because the Constitution provides for the election of a president through the electoral college. But it’s also irrelevant in terms of the democratic legitimacy of the result.
In the election concluded Tuesday, Hillary Clinton received more popular votes than Trump. This does not mean, however, that Clinton would necessarily have prevailed in an election that was determined solely by the popular vote. This is because the popular vote total is itself a product of the electoral college system. As a consequence, we do not know what the result would have been under a popular vote system, let alone whether Clinton would have prevailed.
The reason for this is because the electoral college system encourages the campaigns (and their surrogates and allies) to concentrate their efforts on swing states — those states in which the electoral votes are up for grabs — at the expense of those states in which one party or the other has no meaningful chance to prevail. The presidential campaigns make no meaningful effort to turn out votes in populous, but non-competitive states such as California, New York and Texas. There is no advantage to running up the score in a state that is solidly in one camp, nor is there much benefit in trying to drive up turnout in pursuit of a hopeless cause.
Dear little special snowflakes GO SULK IN THE CORNER YOU SPOILED LITTLE BRATS
As of 10 minutes ago, Trump trails Hillary in the popular vote by 233,404 votes.
But the fact is CA and NY are where Hillary’s excess votes were found.
So, she got her highest numbers of EC votes from those places.
Here’s an early Election Results BY County map:
EVERY time a Dem loses an election the EC comes into question.
It exists to PROTECT the value of people in small towns, villages, farms, sparsely populated deserts and forests.
The potential for tyranny if only big city dwellers dictated the governance of the country is too great.
We’re seeing it on the streets of their big cities right now!
Mrs clinton got votes where she was expected to get votes. Where it mattered in states like Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ohio she failed.
We are not a democracy where a popular vote total determines the winner. We are a Constitutional Representative Republic.
It’s relevant to whatever extent you care about the opinion of a majority of voters. If you don’t care what the majority think at all, that will catch up with you in the next election.
@Greg: The whole purpose of the electoral college was ensuring states rights as the smaller states would not be dominated by larger states giving them a more equitable share of influence
Popular vote tally is the socialist cry as then they more easily get to institute the tyranny of the majority which is paramount in any Marxist philosophy
Sounds like you are sour on the electoral college. Was it not good enough for your president? Do you think it necessary to have a majority of votes to be elected and not a majority of states?
In all four cases where an American president has been elected with a majority of voters voting against him, the beneficiary of that system has been a republican candidate. That being the case, I would expect those on the right to start talking about socialism the moment anyone observes that the system sometimes elects a person that a majority of voters don’t want. It does, in fact, do that. It just did.
So it goes. I’m not suggesting it should be changed. I’m just making an observation. The majority has spoken, but the minority prevailed.
A majority of states elected Trump, that is the system we have contrary to what you would prefer.
A majority of states? That isn’t how it works, either. The number of electoral votes a state gets is equal to the total number of its Senators (2) added to the total number of its House representatives (varies greatly); 3 is the minimum total. California has the highest number, that being 55. There are a total of 538 electoral votes. To win, you need to have only 270, which puts you just over one-half. It doesn’t matter how many states you carry. You could win the election by carrying as few as 9 of the 50 states, provided they were the 9 having the highest number of electoral votes.
@July 4th American: For the record it’s possible to win a majority of states and lose the election. This happened to Nixon in 1960
I didn’t realize that had actually happened.
@Greg: The number of representatives are based upon population, so the majority of people were represented.
@Randy: Not exactly Every state starts with 3 regardless of population. “Electors” rather than “representatives”.
They aren’t represented proportionally. Even the states with the smallest populations get 3 electoral votes. The opinion of each individual voter in such a state carries more electoral weight than that of an individual voter in a state with a very high population, like California.
Electoral College rules and procedures are not as simple as people think. A couple of interesting points:
The Electoral College election doesn’t actually take place until December 19, 2016; until then, no one has been legally elected.
In 21 states there’s no law that requires individual members of the Electoral College to vote as instructed by the people they represent. They’re expected to, but they are only bound to do so by a pledge. They could vote in accordance with individual conscience, should some compelling reason arise. Someone who does this is known as “a faithless elector.” Their votes still count, so they could legally alter the outcome of a presidential election. If 42 members of the Electoral College decided to vote for Clinton instead of Trump, for example, Clinton would become president. Or 270 could decide to vote for Pence. Pence would then become president.
This isn’t going to happen, but Trump won’t legally be elected until January 6, 2017 when Congress meets in a joint session to perform the official Electoral College count. He probably shouldn’t publicly thank Vladimir Putin for his assistance before then. There is a first time for everything, and nothing about this election has been normal.
Rest in peace, Leonard.
In the 2016 election, a majority of states elected Trump. I fully understand the analytics of proportionality. This is one instance…
Well here is some food for thought on this.
@July 4th American: As I pointed out in #10 this is not about winning a majority of states—rather it’s about winning a majority –270 —of electors..
This is assistive to the small states–in population– be they red or blue.
We continue to have a divided country and electorate.. The “loyal opposition” and the Administration have a responsibility to work together peacefully for the good of the American people.
Happy Veterans Day to our true heroes–our Vets
You too Donald lol
You also missed the point. Greg was ardently arguing for mrs clinton having won a majority of the popular vote. Attempting to wake Greg up by using his argument knowing the electoral college elects the president, I posited the Trump was legitimately won the election having won a majority of states and thereby electoral votes.
I am not arguing your point rather pointing out in this election Trump won a majority of states, period.
Have a nice day
@July 4th AmericanUnderstood. My point was simply. Winning a majority of states does not make you Prez.—1960 an example.
Another simple point Trump went into Detroit and tamped down African American support fot HRC Brilliant He received only 8-9% nationwide BUT they did not show up in numbers for Clinton in Detroit-caused close Michigan loss–Milwaukee–caused close Wisconsin loss
Philly and Pitt–caused close PA. loss
Decreased African American turnout in those 3 states gave Trump The Presidency
@July 4th American:
For the record, she DID NOT win a majority of the popular vote. She won 47.7% of the popular vote, that is less than 50%. If majority vote is important, 29 states voted for Trump, that is clearly a majority of the states.
We are supposed to play by the rules. The rules say that Trump won. The Losers should get over it.
@RedTeam: Absolutely agree.
See my addendum in #21–IMO PrImary reason for Trump’s win.
happy Vets day Be Well Tough year for LSU and ND
My bad RT. I should not have inserted majority into my assertion. The assertion made by the democrat typist, Greg was the popular vote totals represented a majority preference. That point maybe entire moot:
@July 4th American: Very good. I agreed with your intent, was just pointing out the technicality of ‘majority’. I think all these protestors are of the ‘participation trophy’ mentality.
My curiosity is, where are obama and mrs clinton. Did they not say Trump will be president and will need our support?
Question is rhetorical. We know why they are silent. They are silent because inside their twisted minds, they support the vile protectors. It is appalling given that they in the past theyhave always accused the right of what in reality they are doing.
So, strictly speaking, it is accurate to say that Donald Trump won neither a majority of the popular vote, nor a plurality of the popular vote. He’s the winner entirely by virtue of a peculiarity built into the Electoral College system.
I stand corrected. *S*
@July 4th American: One could argue E.C disproportionately favors small states like Vermont and Wyoming-At just over 1/2 million voters each should they get 3 while Texas at 27 mill approx. 50 times larger gets only 34–a multiple of 11 rather than 50??
BTW 7 out of 10 LARGEST states by population voted Republican in this election.
@Greg: It is technically correct to say you remain stupid. It is not a technicality of the electoral college, it worked exactly the way it was intended.
@July 4th American: Did you miss where Obama gave full support to DT at yesterday’s WH MEETING? Same meeting where Trump praised Obama–said he was a good man and looked forward to his counsel.
HRC is walking the dogs with Bill. Expect she’ll be MIA FOR A GOOD WHILE.
@Richard Wheeler: RW, when they started with each state getting one electoral vote for each senator, that was to ensure that a STATE was equal to all states. The fact that each state also gets at least one representative, regardless of population, that ensured state equality. I’m sure you were of the generation that had Civics courses in school and therefore understand some of the reasoning behind having the electoral college, instead of using popular vote, to elect the president. Why or how could it ever be in the interest of a small state to belong to the USA if their only purpose was to be taxed to send the money to the large states with huge numbers of non working people to support and to get nothing in return? So for each person to have equality, each state got 3 electoral votes, just for being a state. That means that Delaware and California are equal in that part of representation. Then to ensure that the larger numbers of persons had some control. One additional representative(vote) was given proportionally based on the population. If two wolves and a sheep get to vote on what is for lunch and majority rules, not many sheep will be left after lunch. Your vote counted exactly the same as mine. That wouldn’t be exactly true if I lived in a state with 3 votes, but it is true for all states with more than 3 votes.
I realize that the later generations, which were raised on ‘participation trophies’, do not understand the theory of ‘winning’ and ‘losing’, they think that they should have gotten the trophy ‘no matter who won’. It seems to really bother the people in California that their vote didn’t matter, even if two million more there had voted for Hillary, she still would have lost. But that’s true in NY also, just because the votes came in later in Ca doesn’t make a difference.
The system worked just as our wise forefathers intended. In almost every election, about half the people are happy and about half are unhappy. The happy folks this year are not the same 50% that were happy 4 and 8 years ago. The nation will survive, and hopefully, if Trump can do what he’s promised, we will all be better off in 4 years.
@Richard Wheeler: The number of representatives allocated to each state is based upon the population determined by the census. Each state no matter the population is allocated at least one representative to the House of Representatives.
@RedTeam: Better explanation than mine, but truth rarely matters to liberals.
@RedTeam: Better explanation than mine, but liberals rarely believe the truth
@RedTeam: I am absolutely in favor of the E.C. and the reasoning behind it’s implementation. I was simply playing devil’s advocate in post to july 4
Randy#32 Obvious What’s your point?
@Richard Wheeler: Go back to your high school civics class if you want to discuss real issues.
Just did a few calculations just for the heck of it, results are interesting.
California votes / 52 one vote for every 168,101
Louisiana votes/5 one vote for every 399, 266
Texas /35 one vote for every 252, 340
Delaware no vote for 435,435 votes
very interesting, so every vote in Ca was worth more than twice what a vote in La was. and the folks in Delaware voted for nothing because the state had 3 ec votes even if only one person voted, so the fact that 435K voted didn’t change anything.
just for the record, there is one representative per approx every 700,000 population
@Randy: You still got that nasty Trumpeteer in you Col. Did I say anything that was incorrect? Have a great Veterans Day Thank you for your service
@Richard Wheeler: I do commend you Rich on adhering to the oath you took in your recent posts.
@Randy: Thanks I’m gonna keep my Webb 2016 sticker on next to my Semper Fi sticker. Maybe he’ll step up in 2020—Could also see oldtimers Biden and Sanders in the race.
Can’t stand Warren but Cory Booker is a dark horse.
Trump has my support as long as he maintains a moderate best for the entire country approach–wishful thinking perhaps.
@Richard Wheeler: We’ll probably re-elect Trump in 2020 but Webb should still be young enough for 2024. He might even have a couple more wives by then.