Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Near Thing

As I look at the voting reports from the various states, I'm reminded why we have the electoral college.  A president is selected by the states, not by the popular vote.  Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.  There are still states who haven't tabulated their totals, but it appears that she won the popular vote by some 303,000 individual votes, nationwide.

What matters is the Electoral College, which turns a national race into 50 individual state races, and in those battleground states, it was a near thing.  In Wisconsin, the difference was about 107,000 votes.  In Florida, the difference was about 120,000 votes.In Pennsylvania, about 68,000 votes, if my stubby-pencil math holds true.  Point being, less than 1% of the vote in those three states mattered.  Donald Trump is our president-elect because he did a better job at getting his message out than Hillary Clinton in those crucial states.

The flip side of the coin is that Trump lost Virginia by some 185,000 votes.  If he had made his case just a little better, he might have flipped Virginia. It was a near thing in several states.  As it turned out, Trump won the states that he needed to win, and Hillary lost the states she needed to win.

There is a powerful lesson here in electoral politics.  Don't assume that you have a state in the bag.  It's not yours until you earn it.  You've actually got to show up and make your pitch.

Another lesson to learn from this cycle is that we're all living in an era of instant communications.  Every one of us carries a video camera and a digital recorder.  If you insult someone, it's going viral and everyone that you have insulted will hear about it in minutes.  Lots of "deplorabbles" voted against Hillary.  If you or your supporters call me a racist, or a homophone, or a misogynist, I'm probably not going to vote for you.  Insults don't sway people.  Insults cause people to double-down on their dogma, whether they are right or wrong.

I'm glad Trump won, but I admit that it was a near thing, and that Hillary Clinton did convince a lot of people to vote for her.  She won the popular vote.  Here in blood-red Louisiana, it wasn't nearly so close, but I know and work with people who voted for Clinton.  I don't want to insult those people, I want to persuade them that there is a better way.  I want what is best for them, too, and while we might disagree on our politics, it's important that we all thrive.

Let Freedom Ring.

1 comment:

John Watts said...

I'm not happy Trump won, but I'm ecstatic that Hillary lost.