Explaining the Electoral College vs. Popular Vote
The President and Vice President of the United States are not elected directly by a nationwide popular vote, but by an Electoral College.
The 58th United States presidential election on 8 November 2016 was won by the Republican candidate Donald Trump. Once more, the United States President and Vice President were elected by an indirect vote system, known as Electoral College.
For the fifth time in history the President of the United States will be elected without winning the popular vote, thanks to the Electoral College system. How is this possible?
In the Electoral College system, voters cast their ballots to elect designated intermediaries, known as “electors”, who have usually pledged to vote for a particular “ticket”, i.e. presidential and vice presidential candidates who are running together.
There are currently 538 electors, representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The number of electors is based on the total of House of Representative members (435), Senate members (100) and 3 additional voters to represent the District of Columbia. Total 538
In most states (Maine and Nebraska are the only exceptions) the electors are elected on a “winner-take-all” basis, which means that the candidate with more electoral votes in one state wins all the pledged electors of that state.
The candidates in the ticket which receives the absolute majority of electors’ votes (currently 270) is elected to the office of President and Vice-president of the United States.
Donald Trump had one of the best wins in election history. He obtained 306 votes vs. 232 for Hillary Clinton swamping her in the Electoral College.
Pros of Electoral College System
The system tends to represent more the diversity of the country rather that the heavily populated urban areas along the east and west coasts.
If the President was elected only on the popular vote, the focus would be on big populated cities, therefore virtually ignoring the rest of the country.
The Electoral College is also the reflection of the federal character of the United States. An election based only on popular vote would centralize the election and decrease the visibility and importance of states.
How Hillary Clinton Won the Popular Vote But Lost the Election
The non-partisan Cook Political Report has Clinton at 62,825,754 votes compared to Trump’s 61,486,735, or 47.9 percent to 46.9 percent, respectively. Another 6.9 million votes were cast for third-party candidates, including Libertarian Gary Johnson, Green Jill Stein and independent Evan McMullin.
Each state is given a share of the United States’ 538 electoral votes based upon its population, with totals ranging from California’s 55 to a number of states with only three.
This might seem like a wide margin, but in the big picture, it supposedly levels the playing field for sparsely-populated states like Wyoming and North Dakota, which could see even less national attention if their less-than-a-million populations were siphoned into the United States’ 300 million-plus electorate. The country is undoubtedly a melting pot of social groups, and by giving a unique say to each state, the Electoral College is supposed to foster individual interests that would be swallowed up in a winner-take-all affair.
Back to Clinton and Trump — Hillary won more popular votes overall, but a multitude of them came from the same few states, like California and New York. Regardless of how decisively you win them, you can only win them one time, and there’s a set amount of electoral votes credited.
Trump’s grand total of votes was spread more evenly throughout the country and he won many more states, albeit often by a slim margin.
But let’s analyze further the who the voters were in California and New York, as the primary sources of the Hillary popular vote edge.
According to Culture Cheat Sheet statistics easily found on the Internet:
California has a population of 38,802,500 with 4,349.634 receiving the benefit of food stamps which cost the taxpayers in food distribution $538,527,363 !
The State is given 55 votes.
The State of New York has a population of 19,748,727 with 3,122,879 on food stamps with the cost to the taxpayer in food distribution $385,207,125! The State is allotted 29 Electoral votes.
One other tell tale statistic — The amount of welfare program spending in these 2 most populated states:
California total of State and Local Welfare Spending = $45,500 Billion dollars!
State of New York total State and Local Welfare Spending = $18.8 Billion dollars.
So, going back to the Hillary Clinton’s Popular vote win.
For whom do you think this huge number of people on Welfare Programs and Food Stamps voted? Of course they voted the Party that is virtually guaranteed to continue all their freebies — The Democratic Party.
That gave the Democrats an immediate lock on 55 California electoral votes and 29 New York State Electoral votes for a total o 84 votes of 538 votes available =
16% of the total electoral vote in two states! Not a bad leg up.
It also gave Hillary a huge leg up on the popular vote. Between the two states a total of 7,472,513 are on food stamps and most likely to vote Democrat.
And, how many US people are receiving welfare? There were 109,631,000 living in households taking federal welfare benefits as of the end of 2012, according to the Census Bureau, equaled 35.4 percent of all 309,467,000 people living in the United States at that time.
(And, is there any doubt, thanks to Obama economic programs, there are far more today?)
How do you think all these people voted ? Did they vote to give up their benefits, go back to work and vote the Republican Party of did they vote for the Democrats and Hillary Clinton? Is this calculation rocket science?
Why do you think Obama and the Dems are trying to get in so many so-called refugees and illegals, asking for no identification papers or family means of support, to enter this country and be damned to any security concerns. How do you think these beneficiaries will vote? How many more unholy alliances do the Dems need to fatten their dependency roles? Not many and their political minds are working in that direction with their every action.
So, yes, Hillary won the Popular vote but only by about a 1% margin over Trump despite all these leg-ups. But, do you really want this country run by those in the population dependent upon government hand-outs?
Do you suppose these Democratic Party dependents are going to run this nation upward or downward? Ask the European Union how it worked out or the Brits, who courageously decided they had had enough.
By Jerome S. Kaufman, Publisher/Editor