Final Tally Confirms Clinton Won Popular Vote By 2.8 Million But . . .

495px-Donald_Trump_by_Gage_Skidmore225px-Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_cropGiven our previous discussion of the rising popularity of the electoral college, the final vote tallies are interesting. They do confirm that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2.8 million. However, it also shows that Clinton lost to Trump by 3 million outside of New York and California. The results will tend to reinforce fears that the abandonment of the Electoral College would hand the outcome of presidential elections to voters in New York and California. Trump however issued signature tweets about how Clinton focused on the wrong states.

The margin in California and New York would have overwhelmed the other states. Clinton won California by 4.2 million and took New York by more than 1.6 million. Her combined 5.8 million-vote advantage in those two states was more than twice the size of her overall edge nationwide.
I have long been a critic of the Electoral College, though I understand the concerns of those who fear that the loss of the institution would reduce presidential elections to the choice of states like California and New York.  These results will support those who oppose any change.

In the end, I still support the elimination of the electoral college but it would clearly bring about a major political shift in the country.

Do these results change your views on the controversy?

122 thoughts on “Final Tally Confirms Clinton Won Popular Vote By 2.8 Million But . . .

  1. The result demonstrates the high priced consultants, strategists, pollsters and other campaign operatives hired by HRC ran an incompetent campaign. We have the electoral college system. The popular vote system Democrats now pretend matters for presidential elections is irrelevant.

    In the electoral system that we have, the optimally run campaign is the one that spends just enough time and resources to win the popular vote in just enough states to get to 270 EC votes. Doing anything more than that is a waste of time and resources. Trump ran a campaign based on that system and those principles. He won 30 of 50 states. He spent $750+ million. The Democrat oligarchs gave HRC and her SuperPACs $1.4 billion. Trump ran the optimal campaign.

    There are published reports that the HRC campaign believed she would win the EC but lose the popular vote – of course that is the exact opposite of what happened. Based on that mistaken belief her geniuses decided to use her superior money advantage to run up the popular vote in Democrat strongholds like CA, Chicago, and New Orleans. Heck, she was still spending money in Texas after October 21. In the last three weeks Trump was spending money solely in swing states because he was running a campaign to win electoral college votes and she was chasing popular votes in places she knew she was going to win anyway.

    If the popular vote mattered, and if Trump had raised $1.4 billion from oligarchs like HRC did, he could have run up the popular vote in Republican strongholds like Texas, Georgia, and Arizona. If he’d had money equal to hers, Trump surely would have closed the popular vote gap. But with his huge money disadvantage and superior understanding of the rules, he rationally focused on winning the swing states required to get over the 270 EC vote threshold.

    HRC had twice as much money. HRC had all the major newspaper endorsements except the Las Vegas paper and a regional one in Florida. HRC had nearly all CEO endorsements. All the Silicon Valley oligarchs except Thiel gave her money and endorsed her. She got almost all the celebrity endorsements.

    Yet Trump won. He had the superior strategy. He outplayed her. Out hustled her. He won in part because he played the game optimally by the existing rules. The EC is what matters. She lost in part because she played by the imaginary rules that the popular vote matters.

  2. No, my views on the Electoral College are not changed by this… When a President loses the popular vote by enough votes to form another state but still becomes President of all the voters, there is something pathological in the system. The implication put forward by even presenting this data is that there is some important value violated by reducing the representation of “small states” – this falls into the same fallacy as most pro-EC arguments, which is conflating states with people… “Small states” are “small” because fewer people live there, simple as that. A paradigm that values equalizing power between states over equalizing voters will inevitably result (as it has) in a system where voters in small states (whose power is being increased to stay on par with large states) will be given greater power than voters in large states. This places two values at opposition with each other: the concept of balancing power between large and small states and the concept of “one person one vote.” We can’t follow both paradigms at the same time. If we have to choose then, I choose one person, one vote. The state-equalizing paradigm results in wealthy individuals relocating their residences to low-population states where they can receive a disproportionately louder national voice, while dictating policy to the larger population in states where their business interests still lie. Inevitably, this leads to a rural “lordship” caste that in all significant ways has the same relationship to the American population that the British monarchy had to the American colonies.

    • Excellent comment. Clear and well developed thought on the issue of state size vs. the concept of one person one vote. Unfortunately, some will always remain in low population states that are not also fat cats gaming the system and those ordinary people, in so far as they have needs and issues not present in the more populated states, will indeed suffer lack of representation. It would be fitting if this could somehow be taken into account but as you say, the two goals seem mutually exclusive.

      I agree with your conclusion, but remain uncomfortable.

    • Conveniently, you omit certain very powerful points favoring the College. Major metro areas like LA, NY, Chicago, and San Francisco house the HQ of virtually every major US Bank. This shifts a huge balance of power in their direction the College tends to balance.

      Further, the same argument you post in favor of eliminating the College applies exactly the same if not more so to the US Senate. Are you in favor of closing the Senate? Of course not! So you are two faced on this point.

      There is as much chance of the small states allowing the College to be abolished as there is chance of hell freezing over, which is to say, zero. IMO the only reason Progressives foment this debate is to deligitimize Trump’s election, and to better their chances of future oath breaking electors, especially in cases where the margin of victory is much smaller than Trump’s landslide.

      Lastly, if you think every single argument and debate posted on this subject does not help Trump win the next election, you are naive and/or in denial, the last of which runs rampant among Progressives, starting late 2015 till the present, seven weeks after the popular vote.

      Please, Progressives. I implore you to continue digging your political graves, and jump right in! Dig right through the center of the earth, till at least the next election date.

  3. “In the end, I still support the elimination of the electoral college but it would clearly bring about a major political shift in the country.”

    Professor, I had you on my short list for the SC but this one sentence was all I needed to read from you to oppose such a nomination; at least not until you clearly and unequivocally describe what political shift you desire and what the outcome of that shift would do to the security of unalienable rights.

    Seriously, have we not learned from this last administration how important it is to get clarity on what the “change” vision is BEFORE putting them in the driver’s seat?

  4. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next presidential election. I live in California and I believe many Republicans don’t vote in California because we feel that our vote doesn’t matter. Now that this debate is front and center and bringing attention to the importance of the popular vote in the minds of many, even with the EC still in place, maybe more California Republicans will vote next time because our vote will matter!

    • Who could argue with your point? As my mother used to say, “The more the merrier”, or something to that effect.

      Another thought, if eliminating the Electoral College would actually promote and sustain the addition of more political choices (break the duopoly) as Professor Turley suggests in his linked article of 2012, then you might have a considerably greater chance to vote for someone who isn’t corrupt at all which seems to be virtually impossible with our two party system.

      • It will do little or nothing toward that end and will affect only the presidential contest. Ordinal balloting or variants of proportional representation would juice the maintenance of third parties. However, it’s a reasonable wager their success would be circumscribed. A country like Israel has masses of parties in part because Israeli society has cross cutting cleavages (Jew v. Arab, religious v. secular, zionist v. non-zionist among the religious, left v. right, nationalist v. liberal among the right, non-Marxist v. Marxist among the left). You can form dozens of combinations from the elements of these dichotomies and most had corresponding parties at one time or another (Jewish-Zionist-Religious-Right voters favored the old Mizrahi Party while Jewish-ZIonist-Religious-Left voters favored Hapoel Hammizrahi and Jewish-nonZionist-Religious-Right voters favored Agudah Israel). In this country, the cleavages are there, but so strongly correlated in the political sphere that there’s hardly room for more than two parties. Among occidental countries, you ordinarily see that sort of dichotomy among ministates like the Anglo-Caribbean commonwealths.

        • Well argued to say the least, but is it really so dependent on such variety of fault lines? France also has a large number of parties, but does not have anywhere near the factions you describe in Israel. Mostly, their parties are determined by perceived and real economic interests and beliefs, some of which are barely different from another. Such conditions would also blossom in the states if more parties could make themselves known.

          Where I would focus, is in questioning just how much difference a large number of parties would make toward the availability of honesty and integrity in the choices. It seems to have no effect in France. No matter what you call yourself, you are by definition 1) corrupt and 2)100% for the .01%, if you run for President of France (and then double that if you succeed). This has not been helped by the numbing effect of the EU and rule by dictate of nameless faceless bureaucrats in Brussels, but it has been largely true since Mitterrand took office in the early 80’s.

          • The evolution of the French party system since the War is an interesting story (and has been influenced greatly by changes in the electoral system in 1946 and again in 1958). The long and the short of it is that France has fewer cross-cutting cleavages than does Israel, but better established local loyalties and politicians who build relationships with their hometown (so one part of the story has been melding local grandees into an effective common front). Also, the French electoral system (single-member constituencies, first-past-the-post, and runoffs) promotes consolidation of political parties in three forms: straightforward mergers, incorporations wherein members of a given party are granted derivative memberships in the devouring party but remain organized factions within it, and patron-protege relationships between larger parties and smaller ones (wherein the larger party agrees to stand-down in certain constituencies in the 1st or 2d round in favor of the smaller, in return for reciprocal promises from the smaller party. What you have now is the Socialist Party (with two or three satellite parties, one of which has been appended to the Socialists for 45 years), an omnibus center-right party which has a half-dozen strands of opinion in its pedigree (Gaullism, business conservatism, Christian Democracy, Gambetta Radicalism, watered down social democracy, and technocracy) and a clutch of satellite parties; the Le Pen movement, and a failing attempt to construct an independent centre from elements of the old Giscard allies.

            • These parties are becoming historical artifacts. At the Presidential level, France is more and more acting merely as a clearing house for the dictates of the EU (for example, recent attack on decades of workers rights by Hollande acting in accordance with EU dictates by going over the heads of the legislature entirely) and the austerity imposed by the Troika.

      • We have systems in place that make it far too easy for the political class to focus on their preferred tribes. In theory we are all equal under the law; in practice some are less equal than others and that plays itself out depending on the party in power. If this were not so then elections should not scare the bejesus out of the “loser” constituency.

        We should eliminate all the massive data collection that is the decennial census and use it only to count heads. If the political class wants to know what their constituents expect from their representative then get off your butt and go find out. Next, weight the vote of the Independent 1:1, all others count as 3/5 of a vote. Perhaps that will lead to the abolition of political parties. 😉

          • Because it exceeds the original intent:

            “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers . . . The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.”

            With the increase in data collection has come an increase in power centralized in Washington D.C.. The census as it is currently exploited allows the political class to further divide the people into marketable demographics and legislate/set policy based on data that may or may not reflect the real world problems facing their constituents. That bubble around our central government isn’t just keeping the rain out.

            • Because it exceeds the original intent:

              This has to be the most twee complaint of that type I’ve encountered in a while. You and Wm. Voegli can have a sit-down and debate that while you’re also chewing over whether the federal government has the authority to build post roads or merely designate them.

              • If they want to build post roads with my tax dollars then they have the authority to do so. If they want my opinion on whether they need to build one then they can get off their lazy ass in Washington D.C. and come ask me themselves. And should they choose to ignore their duty to me as their constituent then I will take the opportunity and vote for someone that will.

            • Olly,

              I fight the census every time the come to my house. I tell them that two people live here and that is all I’m required to tell them. They threaten me and call every day or come to the house every day for weeks. I read the constitution to them and that usually makes them leave.

              • Jim, I did the same thing when the census came knocking. After multiple attempts, their last offer was $40 cash to participate which I also declined. But, cash bribes? Since when?

                • dim27,

                  Wow, that’s weird. I haven’t had that one yet. One thing I have noticed is that once you don’t fill out the small survey, they send you the large survey that wants to know where you work etc… I did have a lady once come to my backyard where I was and try to grill me. I told her that I file my taxes and the town records know who is here and that all the info they want, they already have. I then told her that her job is just busy work to spend our tax money on. She tried to tell me that they don’t have access to any of that. That’s when I tried to sell her a bridge down in NYC.

      • It wouldn’t. All it would do is give New York and California entirely too much sway in charting the course of the entire country. To imagine that all states have the same unified concerns and needs is just flat-out naive, and eliminating the EC would destroy any possibility of equilibrium. We are a union of *independent states*. It would be beyond dangerous to shift that paradigm, humanity just isn’t that enlightened yet. I have to wonder if the anti-state’s rights crowd ever bother to actually leave theirs on anything other than vacation and talk to people in real life as opposed to online, and if they actually know why the EC exists in the first place!

  5. If the popular vote was the objective, naturally, Trump would have changed his campaign strategy. At that point, you’re looking at major cities, where populations are bigger than individual states. NYC has over 8 million residents, which exceeds all but about a dozen states.

    • Hugh Beaumont – Hillary has been through a Presidential election twice with her husband, she knows how the game is played. This is too late is the game to be complaining.

  6. Elimination of the Electoral College would give large-population states like California and New York the ability to unduly influence the outcome of the election. As a centrist living in deep-blue California, that would make my vote actually count since I end up on the losing side of so many elections here. Then again, is handing the election to large states any worse than having very small states like New Hampshire and Iowa (and other early primary/caucus states) dictate the available nominees?

    • It would be agreeable to select all delegates over two Saturdays in June. That having been said, It’s doubtful that they dictate nominees. They can put someone into contention who might not have been (Jimmy Carter (1976), Gary Hart (1984), Santorum (2012), Kasich (2016) ) and take someone out who elects not to compete there (Giuliani, 2008). Consider this year that the top performers on both sides were also doing satisfactorily in national polls antecedent to these contests (bar John Kasich). Same deal in 2012: the effect of Iowa was to put Santorum in the mix. Same deal in 2008, where the notable effect was limited to excluding Giuliani. In 2004, the Iowa caucuses were part of a preference cascade you could detect in national polls, wherein Messrs. Kerry and Edwards were rapidly rising (just less rapidly than they were in Iowa) and Messrs. Gephardt and Dean falling (especially Gephardt).

  7. The electoral college serves the two party system well. Should a third party candidate ever garner enough votes to be truly competitive he or she would not reach the 270 amount required and the election would then be decided by the House. Hard to imagine that they would then choose a third party candidate as the House is made up of r’s and d’s.

  8. To paraphrase Orwell, all states are equal, but some states are more equal than others, according to the proponents of the EC. So if you live in a big state, your vote is worth less than that of those in smaller states. The fact that Clinton got less votes in states other than CA and NY is meaningless unless you subscribe to the idea that voters in those two states are worth less than others. That goes along with the entire concept of the EC to give slave states more votes than they would have voters thanks to the 3/5th rules of counting slaves as citizens for purposes of Congressional representation. SO our conservatives once again, show themselves to be against majority rule in elections. Only the right kind of voters should vote or have power if they win office.

    • That goes along with the entire concept of the EC to give slave states more votes than they would have voters thanks to the 3/5th rules of counting slaves as citizens for purposes of Congressional representation.”

      Where do you guys come up with this rubbish? The EC is only tangentially related to the 3/5th’s compromise due to the number of representatives in the House. Beyond that, the EC was going to happen regardless of the the 3/5th’s clause.

      oh and by the way you’re welcome! I am against majority rule; that’s why I am 100% in favor of our constitutional republic.

      • That assertion is bizarre which means that it is OK to disenfranchise black Americans as was done in much of the USA when I was growing up. They sure as hell should not vote, right? Then you have to disagree with the SCOTUS ruling of one man one vote when they disallowed state rep and senate districts that were based not on population, but partisan and racial needs. So once again,you show yourself to be against a freely elected democratically established representative government. THAT places you outside the bounds of American political traditions and law. You are many things maybe, but an American would not be one of them.

        • You said: “That goes along with the entire concept of the EC to give slave states more votes than they would have voters thanks to the 3/5th rules of counting slaves as citizens for purposes of Congressional representation.”

          Where is that description found? What is your source?

          • It’s randyjet, he believes that’s an argument rather than the reflex of an uninformed position. I never take those comments seriously. I used to do the same thing when I lacked the humility to admit I was wrong. Now if he brought his source and by studying it I discovered I was wrong, then I would admit it and be grateful to him. That IS the American political tradition that founded this nation; not so much the tradition as manifested by our progressive education system today.

    • randyjet – you can never treat California like any other state. They have Gov. Moonbeam who thinks that appellation is a compliment. He wants to send his own rockets into space and probably wants to be the first President of the State of California.

  9. Best thing about Trump’s intention to escalate the nuclear threat is that it will solve the climate change problem once and for all.

    I like to think that a couple of dozen of the most inside insiders are right now figuring out how to make sure he never gets his stubby fingers on the nuclear codes. [He shouldn’t even have his stubby fingers on a twitter feed].

    But I’m more likely to believe that Putin will be the one calling checkmate before he melts down into a radioactive puddle.

    • dharma – the nuclear codes are carried in a briefcase called “the football” and go everywhere with the President. However, the President has a set of his own codes for ‘the football.’ Clinton famously lost his set a couple of times.

  10. Take California out of the picture and not only did Trump win the Electoral vote but he won the popular vote as well.

    patrickchatsamiably and others have long long long explained why the Electoral College exists and should exist.

    • That is truly funny since Trump, YOUR leader, hated the Electoral College and said it should be gone. NOW he likes it. Once again, you make Orwell prophetic, in seeing the idiocy of slavish dolts who will say one thing one day and another the next with NO regards for truth or principle. Saying take CA out of the mix means Trump won is stupid since if you took out other states Clinton won. I guess you think that CA folks have less right to vote than others if they don’t support your boy. Incredible.

  11. We should do away with colleges in America all together. A person with a “degree” is a person who thinks that their itshay dont stink. We need trained plumbers and electricians.

    • Jack Ruby – what we need are more community organizers. However, you do not need a college education to be a community organizer. 🙂

  12. Getting rid of the Electoral College will not give New York or California more power. It will give the voters of New York and California the same power as the voters of other states. As states, New York and California have more power now, because they have more electoral votes.

      • Exactly. They have more power with the Electoral College than they would without it. Without it, no states would have power at all. Only the voters would have power, and they would all have equal power. That’s how democracy works.

        • “Without it, no states would have power at all.”

          Yup, the states established this Union and ratified this constitution. It’s why we have a bicameral Legislative Branch. To protect the Union against the useful idiots that would dismantle it for an iPhone and great bandwidth.

          “That’s how democracy works.”

          True statement. That’s precisely WHY we are republic.

  13. I wholly agree. But that’s no justification for the Electoral College. The states have power in Congress, and therefore choose their own representatives and senators, with each state having two senators regardless of population. But the President should represent all the people, not the states and in differing degrees.

    • “The states have power in Congress, and therefore choose their own representatives and senators, with each state having two senators regardless of population.”

      Once again, the states ARE represented in Congress by the Senate but they do not choose their own Senators. The power that the state legislatures had to elect their OWN representatives in our bicameral legislature was stripped away by the 17th amendment. They are elected by popular vote of the state. So the people have effectively 535 representatives in Congress.

  14. Instead of an amendment like the 17th to establish one adult, one vote for the president, some states have established a requirement that the electors are to vote for the candidate with the majority, plurality?, of the popular vote. This takes effect when enough states adopt the same to account for at least 270 electoral votes.

    That would suffice.

  15. What does it take to get rid of this Electoral College?
    Little discussion here on that question.
    We need a Constitutional Amendment.
    How does one come about?
    Someone give us the details.

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