The Popular Vote And Why It Doesn’t/Shouldn’t Matter

No one is campaigning to get the maximum vote count. No one cares. A presidential campaign is run to win the Electoral College. Any other read of the results is misleading.

I’m disappointed by the results of the presidential election. As is most often the case I supported the loser!

Since election day many people have pointed out Hillary Clinton received more actual votes than Donald Trump. Don’t be fooled. As much as I wish that number meant something, it does not. If you believe it does you’re fooling yourself.

When I was a kid back in 1960 John Kennedy held a campaign stop up the block from our apartment in Queens. Back then it was very difficult to poll states individually and accurately. Kennedy had no choice but to campaign nearly everywhere. In 2016 (or 2020) no presidential candidate would campaign seriously in New York, California, Connecticut and a bunch of other states already forgone conclusions.

No one is campaigning to get the maximum vote count. No one cares. A presidential campaign is run to win the Electoral College. Any other read of the results is misleading.

Trump won convincingly. He didn’t get the overwhelming victory he claims, but his victory certainly isn’t in doubt.

For the next four years all power will rest with the Republican party. Our future now depends on them. I wish them luck, but I am fearful. The reasons I could never vote for Trump are about to come true.

5 thoughts on “The Popular Vote And Why It Doesn’t/Shouldn’t Matter”

  1. But with the winner takes all way of allocating the Electoral College votes by each state (except for 2), the minority party in each state, the Democrats in California and Republicans in Arizona for example, are effectively disenfranchised.

    Maybe an improvement would be to allocate the Electoral College votes in each state in proportion to that state’s popular vote for each candidate getting more than a minimum threshold of 5% of the vote.

    This would force candidates not to ignore their opponent’s “safe states.”

  2. The constitution needs to be changed on a lot of things. Things gave changed in the hundred of years and we need this too change get. We elected governors, mayors, council people as well as dog catchers, etc by popular vote thus should be the change for President as it is the only way we have an electorial election. I feel my vote was not counted and thus could be the reason a lot of people don’t vote for President

    1. Briefly (and not to you specifically, Ray) without our bicameral form of government (on which the Electoral College is based) there would be no United States. The small states did not want join a union where they’d be too small to count. Connecticut’s Roger Sherman is the father of this concept. Its importance runs deep in our history.

  3. Geoff, I understand what you are saying, but I am upset by this. I’ve taught adult immigrants from many countries to speak English since 2008. Beyond the English language, I try to teach them about American culture, traditions and customs. I stress how important it is for each of them to become a citizen of the U.S. How important it is for them to gain the right, and the responsibility, to participate in the U.S. democracy. I spout the party line that “every vote matters.” But now twice in my voting history I’ve discovered the lie behind this oft quoted appeal. Perhaps my vote was in the 2.8 million votes that Hillary won in the popular vote, and still have her lose to Trump because of the electoral college. Every vote does NOT matter. If it did we would have a direct democracy rather than a representative democracy.
    Now with the information from the U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia maliciously advocated to manipulate the election for Trump, I am even more appalled.
    Four years is a long time to live in a country run by a misogynist, lying con man who disregards rules and only sees his own financial success as a goal. What do you suggest?

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