Mary Smith | Back to Basics on 2016 Election

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

In the 2016 general election, the popular vote for Clinton was 65.8 million (48.2 percent); and for Trump: 62.9 million (46.1 percent). Clinton won by 2.8 million votes nationally. In California the popular vote for Clinton was: 8.7 million (61.73 percent); and for Trump: 4.5 million (31.5 percent). Clinton won by 4.2 million votes in California.

The effect of the popular vote can be seen by using the California data as an example. Subtracting the popular vote for Clinton in California from her national popular vote (which virtually eliminates the California vote) yields and attributes 57 million votes to her from the other 49 states. Subtracting the popular vote for Trump in California from his national popular vote yields 58.5 million votes attributed to him from the other 49 states. The difference between the subtracted results is 1.4 million, showing Trump winning the popular vote in 49 states by 1.4 million votes. In addition the difference shows the huge effect California voting had in Clinton winning the national popular vote.

The above situation is not unusual. Any state with a huge population might sway the popular vote away from multiple other states. The ingeniousness of the electoral college is that the vote in one state can’t sway election results to or from a candidate that doesn’t have multiple supports in other states. The Constitution designed the electoral college to proportion votes among the 50 states to allow for population differences.

The electoral vote for Clinton: 232; and for Trump: 306; the total states won by Clinton: 20; and by Trump: 30. As a result, the majority of states and the majority of the electoral votes won the election for Trump rather than the national popular vote.

Trump was the fifth president who was elected by the electoral vote rather than the popular vote. Others were: John Quincy Adams in 1824; Rutherford B. Hays in 1876; Benjamin Harrison in 1888; and George W. Bush in 2000.

As important as personal preferences or national investigations are, President Trump won the election constitutionally, historically and legally.

Mary Smith

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