Tag Archives: popular vote

Don’t mess with Electoral College

I am a blue voter who lives in a red state. I tilt toward Democratic candidates for president while residing in heavily Republican Texas.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I want to redeclare my view that efforts to circumvent the Electoral College are counterproductive. They shouldn’t go forward.

However, it appears that Democrats in states that lean blue are intent on monkeying around with the Electoral College with legislation that bypasses the system codified in the U.S. Constitution by the nation’s founders.

They want their states to cast their electoral votes for whichever candidate wins the popular vote. It’s part of what is called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

Is the nation’s electoral system in peril of breaking down? I don’t believe that is the case.

We have had 59 presidenti

al elections in this country since its founding. Only five times has the candidate with fewer votes been elected president.

However, what has alarmed those who want to overhaul the electoral system insist that such a trend is in danger of escalating. They point out that it’s happened twice just since 2000! George W. Bush was elected that year despite getting about a half-million fewer votes than Al Gore. Then in 2016 Donald Trump was elected with nearly 3 million fewer votes than Hillary Rodham Clinton.

It fascinates me to know that the move to tinker with the Electoral College is coming from aggrieved Democrats, given that the 2000 and 2016 elections went to the Republican nominee for president.

We are witnessing what I believe is a knee-jerk reaction to an overblown issue. It kind of reminds of me how Republicans in Congress pushed for enactment of the 22nd Amendment limiting presidents to two elected terms; they did so after Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt won election to four consecutive terms as president.

Let me reiterate an essential point. If we’re going to change the electoral system, then eliminate the Electoral College. It is an absurd notion to tweak and tug at the edges of the system.

I happen to still believe in the Electoral College system of choosing our president. I endorse the idea that it helps spread the power among more states, giving less-populated states a stronger voice in choosing our head of state.

If we’re going to mess with the Electoral College, then go all the way.

Or else leave it the hell alone!

‘Overwhelming victory’? Actually, no … not even close

I have given Sarah Huckabee Sanders the benefit of the doubt during her time as White House press secretary.

She’s got a tough job, speaking for a president who lies out of both sides of his mouth. I didn’t actually believe Sanders was a fellow liar, incapable of telling the truth. Until just recently.

She declared at a press briefing that Donald Trump won an “overwhelming victory” in the 2016 presidential election.

Oh, my. Sigh. I want to revisit a matter that I’ve looked at already. It just needs a revisiting.

Donald Trump collected nearly 3 million fewer popular votes than Hillary Rodham Clinton. The totals are: Trump, 62,985,134, or 45.93 percent; Clinton, 65,853,652, or 48.02 percent. Clinton won the popular vote by a significant margin, although she didn’t win an outright majority of popular ballots.

Trump won the Electoral College vote — which is where it matters — by a 304-227 margin. He needed 270 electoral votes to be elected.

Overwhelming margin? Let’s see. If three swing states that Trump won — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — had flipped fewer than 80,000 votes, Clinton would have won the Electoral College by three votes and, thus, would have been elected president.

OK, please let me stipulate — once again — that Trump was elected legitimately. I believe in the Electoral College and I don’t want it repealed. Trump managed to pull off one of the nation’s most historic upsets by campaigning in precisely the right states at precisely the right time in a hard-fought, bitter and nasty campaign.

The president keeps casting his victory in historic terms. He keeps saying he won handily. He didn’t. Sarah Sanders knows he didn’t. I know he didn’t and if he’s honest with himself — even if he cannot be honest with the rest of us — Donald Trump knows it, too.

In a way, Trump’s victory was historic in at least one sense. Damn few so-called “experts” thought he’d win. He did. Despite having no public service experience, let alone any interest in it prior to running for president, Trump was elected to the only public office he’s ever sought.

Overwhelming victory? Not even close. So, Mme. Press Secretary, stop repeating that lie.

POTUS wasn’t elected ‘easily’ … honest!

As long as Donald John Trump continues to re-litigate the 2016 presidential election, allow me a brief moment to set the record straight.

The president said in that frightening, mind-blowing press conference this week with Vladimir Putin that he was elected “easily” over Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Let’s see. How easy was it?.

Trump finished with 304 electoral votes; Clinton ended up with 227. To be elected, a candidate needs 270 electoral votes.

Trump went over the top on the strength of about 80,000 votes in three critical states: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. A 40,000-vote switch in those states and Clinton wins the election.

Clinton finished with nearly 3 million more popular votes than Trump.

Let me state once again for the record: Donald John Trump was elected fairly and squarely, but not “easily.”

Stop telling that ridiculous lie, Mr. President.

Why get rid of Electoral College?

The 2016 presidential election produced a doozy of an outcome.

The candidate who won the Electoral College finished nearly 3 million votes short of the candidate who lost the election.

Thus, the result has produced an ongoing debate over whether we should eliminate the Electoral College and elect presidents based solely on the popular vote.

Here’s what I wrote just a few days after the 2016 surprise:

Now … about the Electoral College

I have wrestled with this notion for some time. I have decided that I am unwilling to get rid of the Electoral College.

It’s a difficult system to explain to those abroad who don’t understand how someone who gets fewer votes than the other candidate can “win” a national election. I had the pleasure of trying to explain the 2000 presidential election outcome in Greece while the courts were trying to determine whether George W. Bush or Al Gore would become the next president.

I guess I come down finally on the notion that the Electoral College was created to give rural states with smaller populations a greater voice in determining the election outcome.

As the system is currently constructed, presidential elections usually are fought in those “battleground states” that could tip either way. That has been the case over the past several presidential election cycles. As it has turned out, states such as Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and occasionally Montana have gotten a greater amount of attention than other larger states.

Absent an Electoral College, my hunch is that candidates wouldn’t venture past the huge population centers: New York, Los Angeles and the Bay Area of California, Chicago, the Metroplex.

Indeed, I’ve seen the county-by-county breakdown of several recent elections and I’ve noticed how, for instance, Barack Obama won despite losing the vast bulk of U.S. real estate to John McCain (2008) and Mitt Romney (2012). How did he win? By targeting those “battleground states” and campaigning effectively for those voters’ support. He ended up winning decisive Electoral College and popular vote victories.

I get that progressives are chapped at losing the 2016 election. They want to change the system that generally has worked well.

Is it time to scrap the Electoral College? Sure, but only if smaller states want to surrender their time in the national political spotlight. As that logic applies as well to Texas, which isn’t a battleground now, but it could once again become the political prize that lured presidential candidates from both major parties in search of votes.

How about all those ‘illegal voters’?

While the world is fluttering over a British royal engagement, sexual misconduct among members of Congress, the media and entertainment moguls and that “Russia thing,” let’s turn briefly to one of Donald Trump’s many lies.

It involves his declaration shortly after becoming president of the  United States that but for the “millions of illegal immigrants” who voted for Hillary Clinton he would have won the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election. Hillary collected nearly 3 million more votes than Trump, but the president won where it counted: in the Electoral College.

He defamed local election officials without offering a shred of proof. He just said it. Then he formed a commission to examine voting practices. He sought to obtain previously confidential information about voters to confirm their U.S. citizenship.

What in the world has happened to this made-up “crisis” in our electoral system? Has the president given up the effort to prove something he knew all along didn’t exist?

We’ve already passed the first year of Trump’s election. Coming up is the first year since his inauguration as president, which is really when much of the fun started. He’s been using his high office as a pulpit to spew out lie after lie.

The phony illegal immigrant voting lie ranks up there with the best — or the worst — of them.

Some of us — perhaps many of us — are interested to know how this lie has been resolved.

Still no sign of national unity under Trump

It has been a year since the nation was stunned by the results of its most recent presidential election.

The candidate who won that bitter contest, Donald J. Trump, made a solemn vow to unify the nation, to bring us all together, to bind the wounds that tore us apart … blah, blah, blah.

That’s what is has been: so much blather.

One year after that historic election, we are as divided as ever. Maybe more so.

Has the president delivered on his pledge? Obviously not. What’s worse is to ask: Has the president really tried to deliver? The answer to that is just as obvious. No!

Trump continues to play strictly and exclusively to his base, the shrinking core of voters who stand with him no matter what. You see it in his immigration stance, his views on environmental protection, his hideous tolerance of bigotry (see his response to the Charlottesville riot), his “America first” rhetoric.

A president who took office with zero political capital to spend has acted as if he had it in spades. Trump continues to ignore the numbers, which tell us that he got nearly 3 million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton. Yes, he won the Electoral College — and was duly elected president.

However, the man who pledged to be the president for all Americans has gone out of his way since his election to be anything but what he promised to be.

This division didn’t start with Trump. Barack Obama also presided over a divided nation, as did George W. Bush before him, and Bill Clinton before that.

Still, when a president takes office promising explicitly to do something, one should expect him to follow suit.

Donald Trump has failed.

Robby Mook: campaign loser lands on his feet

I occasionally become amazed at how failed political operatives have this way of continuing to land on their feet.

They lose national elections and yet the TV news networks — cable and broadcast — seek them out for their “expert analysis” on all things political.

Robby Mook is the latest such example of that.

It puzzles me a bit.

Mook managed Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Clinton was the prohibitive favorite to win that election. Every pundit from coast to coast to coast said she’d clobber Donald J. Trump. Some of them predicted a landslide … for Hillary!

Well, it didn’t happen. She lost, albeit narrowly. Sure, she won the popular vote and finished ahead of Trump by about 2 percentage points, which is about where the polls had pegged it.

However, the campaign missed a number of key strategic opportunities in critical Rust Belt states. Trump captured those traditional Democratic strongholds.

Who’s to blame for all of that? You’ve got to lay it squarely in the lap of the campaign manager. Mook called the shots. He ran the show. He was supposed to ensure his candidate won. It was his job to make sure Hillary spent her time where it counted the most.

He blew it, bigly.

How does this guy hold up as an expert?

Oh, wait! He’s “telegenic.” That’s got to be it.

Trump offers his set of ‘alternative facts’ about election

Here we go … again.

The president of the United States invited congressional leaders to the White House today and then offered a patently absurd assertion about why he lost the popular vote to his Democratic opponent.

It was those “illegals,” Donald Trump said, who voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Proof? He didn’t need no stinkin’ proof. He just said it. Therefore it must be true. I mean, the president said it. His press flack, Sean Spicer, said today the administration would never lie to us.


I want to examine this ridiculousness briefly on a couple of levels.

First, Trump and his Trumpkins keep telling us the popular vote doesn’t matter. Hillary pulled down 2.8 million more of them than Trump. But she lost the Electoral College by a vote of 304-227. It’s a comfortable margin, but it’s not nearly the “landslide” Trump keeps describing it.

If the president and his allies don’t think the popular vote matters, why bring it up today in the White House, where he’s now residing?

Give it up, Mr. President.

Second, the president once again threw out something without offering a shred of proof, documentation or authentication. He said 3 million to 5 million “illegals” voted for Clinton. Had they not voted, he said, he’d have won the popular vote.

Here he is yet again questioning the integrity of the voting process. He is asserting, according to those in attendance, that local elections officials somehow were too lax to check the legality of the ballots being cast.

Is it me, or does anyone else see the irony that the president would make such a damning accusation about U.S. election officials but would remain virtually silent about alleged Russian interference in the very same electoral process?

Or is this the president’s version of “alternative facts”?

Give the smaller states a louder voice

This graphic showed up on my Facebook news feed as a statement against the Electoral College.

I looked at it and then thought: Wait a minute! What’s so terribly wrong with giving smaller states, such as Wyoming, a greater voice in the election of the president of the United States?

California has those 55 electoral votes; Texas has 38 of them; Florida has 29.

I remain officially undecided about whether to toss the Electoral College aside. It would require an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

But the more I think about it, the less inclined I am to support such a drastic measure.

The 2016 election ended with the “loser” winning nearly 3 million more popular votes than the “winner.” But the guy who won carried the Electoral College, which is what the founders intended.

I happen to be one who doesn’t begrudge little ol’ Wyoming the extra stroke it gets from the Electoral College.

When did power sharing become a bad thing?

Here’s a final shot at the popular vote issue

This likely will be the final entry on my blog about the popular vote result of the 2016 presidential election. I believe I need to make this point.

Some of my social media acquaintances have been yapping about a peculiar aspect of the popular vote, which Hillary Rodham Clinton captured over Donald J. Trump, who won enough electoral votes to be elected president of the United States.

They’ve been saying that “if you take away California,” Trump would have won the popular vote by 1.4 million ballots.

My reaction: huh? You can’t do that.

Clinton won California’s 55 electoral votes by winning more than 4 million votes in that state. It helped pad her national vote, which ended up around 2.8 million ballots cast for her than for Trump.

I get that Trump has been elected president. He won it fair and square. His team cobbled together a stunning electoral strategy that hardly anyone saw developing. He scored upsets in many of those “swing states” that had voted twice for President Obama in 2008 and 2012. Thus, the outcome was determined.

But you can’t manipulate the popular vote margin by removing certain states from the equation. All 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, are calculated in the final vote total.

Period. End of argument.

The debate over whether to throw out the Electoral College will proceed. I’m still undecided on that issue. I like the idea of giving additional clout to smaller states. However, the margin of the loser’s popular vote total in 2016 does diminish whatever “mandate” the winner will seek to claim.

The argument over Clinton’s popular vote victory, though, need not get muddled and conflated with nonsensical scenarios, such as deleting one or two states’ votes from the total count.

We are, after all, the United States of America.

I’m done now with this issue.