Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Electoral College

Why do we have the Electoral College?  And why does it mater?  The founders were concerned that one particular state or region with a heavy population might elect a president to the detriment of the rest of the country.  If you look at this article, we find that in the case of our most recent election, they were very wise.
As we noted in this space earlier, while Clinton's overall margin looks large and impressive, it is due to Clinton's huge margin of victory in one state — California — where she got a whopping 4.3 million more votes than Trump.
She got, in California, 4.3 million more votes than Trump.  Impressive.  But, if you recall, she only beat Trump nationwide in the popular vote by some 2.8 million votes.  So, if we peel California out, how did she do nationwide?
If you take California out of the popular vote equation, then Trump wins the rest of the country by 1.4 million votes. And if California voted like every other Democratic state — where Clinton averaged 53.5% wins — Clinton and Trump end up in a virtual popular vote tie. (This was not the case in 2012. Obama beat Romney by 2 million votes that year, not counting California.) 
So, it looks like the Electoral College worked as designed, to prevent huge popular support in one populous region from overwhelming the rest of the country.

Hillary Clinton had the most winnable election in my personal memory.  She lost, based on her own hubris and arrogance.  She thought that she had a few small states in the bag, and didn't do the legwork necessary.  Little states count, and Hillary Clinton demonstrated the vision of the founders almost perfectly.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I guess I look at it the other way, Trump won because the Democrats ran the most vile possible candidate, one who referred to the very people she needed to court to win as a "basket of deplorables", AND decided not to bother about the whole winner-of-the-popular-vote-in-the-primary thing.

I find that last bit amusing in a schaudenfreudy way, the very people complaining about the popular vote in the general election are the people who are supporting a candidate who lost the popular vote in the primary.

I mix Liberal tears with my scotch and enjoy with a nice cigar.

Mark D.