Winning the popular vote doesn’t snag the presidency


Many people may be surprised to read that Hillary Clinton received more than a million votes more than Donald Trump in the US election, but still lost the presidency to him.

This is because of the strange US electoral system, whereby the president is elected by the electoral college in each state and not the popular vote.

Whoever wins the electoral college vote in each state gets all the electoral college votes for that state. Clinton in fact won the popular vote by a much larger number of ballots than anyone in history who did not go on to be inaugurated as president.

Clinton’spopular vote margin over Trump was greater than that of Richard Nixon over Hubert Humphrey in 1968 and that of John Kennedy over Nixon in 1960.

Retiring Democratic senator Barbara Boxer, of California, filed legislation on November 15 to abolish the electoral college in light of the election results.

“The electoral college is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society and it needs to change immediately. Every American should be guaranteed that their vote counts,” she said.

Trump himself in 2012 described the electoral college “a disaster for democracy”. He still agrees with this, but is not prepared to defer to the will of the people in this instance.

In 1824 John Quincy Adams lost both the famous vote and appointive school to Andrew Jackson, but since Jackson neglected to win the required number of discretionary school votes (131) a vote was put to the House of Representatives. Adams won and was introduced as president. 

In 1888 Republican Benjamin Harrison lost the famous vote to Democrat Grover Cleveland by more than 90 000 votes, however won 233 discretionary school votes to Cleveland's 168 and got to be president. 

In the 1948 South African race the Nats (really the Reunited National Party) won 70 seats with 401 834 votes contrasted with the United Party's 65 seats from 524 230 votes. This was a direct result of the delimitation of seats. 

There were significantly a greater number of voters in urban electorates than in provincial ranges, which supported the Nats. It has been ascertained that if the urban and rustic votes had been of equivalent esteem, the UP would have won 80 seats and the Nats and their partner, the Afrikaner Party, just 60. 

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