2016 Election and the Electoral College

election2016

One of the interesting things this in this election is although Hillary Clinton lost the election, she won the popular vote. Hillary had 60,467,601 votes to Trump’s 60,027,551 votes, a difference of 440,050 votes. Yet Donald Trump won the electoral votes with 290 (currently) to Hillary’s 228. This is very odd. The last time this happened, with the 2000 election, George W. Bush won with 271 electoral votes. Trump won this election with 306. Essentially, he won it with enough of a margin to lose Florida, the fourth largest state in the union. So why was there such a difference?

One-eighth of Hillary’s votes were centered in 2 states, New York and California where she got 4,143,874 votes and 5,590,292 votes respectively. Votes from those two states alone total 9,734,166 and represent a whopping 16 percent of her total votes. For comparison, let’s remove the 4 largest states from Hillary and Trump’s votes to see how the election would turn out.

Hillary Trump
Total Votes 60,467,601 60,027,551
California 5,637,955 3,034,901
Florida 4,485,745 4,605,515
New York 4,143,874 2,640,570
Texas 3,867,816 4,681,590
Votes without 4 largest states 42,332,211 45,064,975

In the end, if we remove the 4 largest states, Trump wins by 2,732,764 votes. What this shows is that Hillary’s popular vote win was due entirely to New York and California. Donald Trump’s lead in Florida and Texas was less than Hillary’s lead in New York. This is how Trump won the electoral college by a decent margin (about 30 or so when all’s said and done) yet still lost the popular vote.

And this is why the electoral college exists. A lot of people look at it from the perspective of smaller states and then claim “But look at Florida. It has a lot of electoral votes.” Yes, but it has fewer than it would have had had the vote been a pure popular vote. Let’s take California. It has a population of 38.8 million people, and the US has a population of 318.9 million people. So California makes up 12.16 percent of the US. But with 55 electoral votes, it only makes up 10.22 percent of the electoral college votes. So what the electoral college does is it depresses the oversized states and increases the small states. This is because everyone gets a minimum of 3 electoral votes. It flattens the election maps and balances the states.

And this is the problem with the popular vote. Trump did better in the remaining 46 states yet would lose a pure popular vote just because Hillary was supported by California and New York. Essentially, those states would get their preferred president while everyone else wouldn’t. This might also be why people are so upset by the results. A lot of the Hillary voters live in a few areas. They live in a bubble. For comparison, I never saw a Hillary sign in Florida, but I saw a lot of Trump signs.

There are a few reason Trump may also lost the popular vote. For one, the media assaulted Trump at every turn and wouldn’t report fairly about Hillary. Did you hear about Spirit Cooking in the news? Did you hear Wikileaks or Project Veritas in the news? The media made Trump out to be Hitler. I expect this may be why people saw both candidates as awful. People never liked Hillary but the media made everyone hate Trump too. So the election was closer. You can also see this as Gary Johnson got 3 percent of the vote. I wouldn’t be surprised if some Republicans were shocked into voting for the Libertarian (both being right-side parties).

There is also the possibility that Hillary cheated. She did it then Primaries and Project Veritas proved that Democrats were planning to cheat. I suspect this may have shaved some votes from Trump in key states like Virginia and Florida. In Florida, the Democrats were filling out absentee ballots for Hillary. In Virginia, the governor pardoned 60,000 felons which could have swung the election. Since Trump won, the right will likely never look into this, so it would only bother analytical types like myself.

Lastly, Mike Cernovich made the point that there was no “Get out the vote” drive in states Trump would lose anyway (such as California). Donald Trump only got 33 percent of the votes in California while Romney got 37 percent. Romney got 1.8 million more votes than Trump. Since Trump knew the point was to win the electoral college, not the popular vote, he didn’t waste time in those states. He won within the rules of the system.

One thing I think this election signifies is a shift in the political landscape. The Democrats won the popular vote because they dominated the large cities, but lost overall as the Republicans claimed the rust belt. If Donald Trump can actually bring jobs back, then the Republicans will lock the Rust Belt states down. It will make it very hard for the Democrats to win if they can’t win the rustbelt states. Moreover, you’ll likely start to see more candidates win the electoral college and lose the popular vote.

That said, Trump is also an odd ball candidate. He’s not a politician and has only been doing this for a year and a half. Likewise, his presidency could be very different as he spent his entire life outside of the government. 2020 could be a very interesting election, especially as we’ll actually have Trump’s record as a president. Who knows how it will turn out. But if you are looking at this in 2020, I hope you enjoyed some facts.

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