Thursday, November 10, 2016

Remember There's No Mandate: Clinton got 59,755,284 votes, Trump Only Got 59,535,522*

Popular vote 2000 Bush = 50,456,002  Gore= 50,999,897

*The actual popular vote for 2016 will still change as absentee ballots continue to be counted, but it's important to remember when Trump supporters talk about a mandate, that the majority of the voters picked Clinton.

The world would be a spectacularly different place had Gore won - we'd have been much further along on the most important issue facing the world, climate change for one thing.  The same is true in this election.

Trump warned us that the election was rigged.  The electoral college is one of the ways that the election is rigged.  (But, let's be honest, if Clinton had won the electoral college, but not the popular vote, Democrats wouldn't be complaining.  Though I suspect the Trump supporters would be in the streets much more aggressively than Clinton supporters are.)

But there is something you can do about this.  There's a movement to make the electoral college irrelevant.  From the Daily Kos:

"Eliminating the Electoral College does not even require a constitutional amendment. An effort known as The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is an agreement among several U.S. states and the District of Columbia to award all their respective electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the overall popular vote. Once states totaling 270 electoral votes join the compact--which only requires passing state laws-- then the next presidential election will be determined the the popular vote, not the Electoral College.
As of November 9, 2016, ten states and the District of Columbia have signed the compact, totaling 165 electoral votes. So, we are already over 60% of the way there. If we can make this a national issue now, and if Democrats can do well at the state level in the 2018 midterm elections (which could happen under President Trump), then the winner of 2020 presidential election will be determined by popular vote."

But there are no simple solutions, as Trump and his supporters are soon to find out,  and as  Nate Silver pointed out in a Five Thirtyeight article in 2011.  He argues that the money follows the important votes and with the electoral college as the important vote, political money is focused on swing states.  If the electoral college no longer existed, that money would be spent trying to get the popular vote instead.  So, he suggests, Bush might have spent his money to win the popular vote instead of the swing states.

And let's remember that the states still are relatively autonomous.  According to the LA Times, Californians still believe in collectively making their state a better place to live:
"[California] Voters embraced $94 million per year for parks, $1.2 billion to house the city’s homeless, $3.3 billion for community college facilities and a stunning $120 billion to pay for subways, light rail lines and other transit projects over 40 years. Those measures, backers say, will help Los Angeles tackle two of its most intractable problems — traffic and homelessness — and potentially reshape the region."


  1. >>>And let's remember that the states still are relatively autonomous.<<<

    The unprecedented delay in proceeding with President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, coupled with at least one probable additional Supreme Court vacancy during a Trump first term...which progressive laws and regulations at the state level do you foresee withstanding a Supreme Court challenge?

  2. It amazes me that people go on and on about the electoral college and had no problem with the Democrat's 'Super Delegates'.

    oliver Optic

    1. I'm surprised that you're amazed so easily and suspect this might be crocodile amazement. After all, a lot of people did strongly protest the super delegates. And I'm sure you know that too.

      And I can't imagine that there wouldn't have been some Trump supporters making lots of noise if the situation were reversed and Trump won the popular vote and Clinton won the electoral college.

      Besides, Trump himself was repeatedly talking about the polls and the election being rigged, except for the polls that put him on top, and except for the fact that he won.

      And he denied the legitimacy of Obama's citizenship for years when he knew full well Obama was born in the US.

      Besides, this post was asking for the election to be changed, it was only pointing out that there was no mandate, no landslide as some have claimed.

    2. I am not quite sure what Obama's citizenship or polls has to do with the lack of a mandate in this election. As for the petition to end the electoral college, how are you going to feel when you have three viable candidates one wins with 36% of the vote and becomes president. Mandates indeed. You also lost the Senate, the House and 2/3 of the governorship's. As Obama said '"You don't like a particular policy or a particular president? Then argue for your position. Go out there and win an election. Push to change it. But don't break it. Don't break what our predecessors spent over two centuries building. That's not being faithful to what this country's about."

      oliver optic

    3. I'm glad you're enjoying Trump's victory. I hope it works out better than I expect. But in the meantime I plan to be as vigilant as I can be. The Obama citizenship issue was merely to point out that some Republicans - probably more than the number of Democrats demonstrating in the streets - refused to acknowledge Obama as their president for years and years, led on by the newly elected president. Republicans vowed to block all Obama's legislation. They set the example. So to complain about Democrats being upset and showing that upset seems at the very least hypocritical.
      What exactly does not breaking 'what our predecessors spent over two centuries building' mean? Our predecessors who wrote the constitution knew that things would change and put in a way to amend the constitution to reflect those changes. That has happened 27 times since 1879. It happened 13 times between 1865 and 1965 more than one amendment per decade. It's been 25 years since there's been an amendment, the second longest gap ever. Your "don't fix it approach' would mean we would still have slavery, that women couldn't vote, and that Obama could have run for a third term. I assume that none of those are things you didn't think were broken.

    4. First I am not enjoying a Trump presidency, it is going to be a disaster. I pray that not Supreme Court justices do not pass away because that would be a major disaster. What I do not enjoy is the hysteria, my God someone you did not like won so let’s change the constitution. Do not deal with the fact that if the Democrats showed up and voted we would not be having this discussion. Maybe focusing on why you lost might be more productive. I think Obama’s quote took into consideration all the amendments to the constitution and his point was ‘Go out there and win an election.’ Not trash the electoral process that has worked well for the last couple hundred years just because you lost. You seem to think my don’t fix ‘this’ particular issue means we should have ‘never’ fixed anything very false and misleading. For 200 years people have accepted the results. Why not give everyone a ‘participation trophy’ for this election and move on and try to find a decent candidate to defeat him in four years. You want to comment on this; As for the petition to end the electoral college, how are you going to feel when you have three viable candidates one wins with 36% of the vote and becomes president? As for more Republicans taking to the streets when Obama won you want to cite that for me, and the million dollars in damages they caused?



Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.