Were it not for California, Clinton would be far behind Trump. She is ahead of Trump there by more than 3 million votes. Neither Clinton nor Trump ran a popular-vote campaign but now Democrats say it should determine the winner.
Despite the fact that neither Democrat Hillary Clinton nor Republican Donald Trump ran a popular-vote campaign for president, Democrats and liberals are newly obsessed with the popular vote.
They are even plotting ways to slip Clinton into the White House by Jan. 20, 2017. It’s because, so far, Clinton is winning the popular vote totals.
As of late Wednesday afternoon, Clinton has 62.5 million votes to Trump’s 61.3 million votes. Clinton has 47.8 percent of the vote to Trump’s 46.9 percent.
Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report has been keeping fastidious track of the changing numbers in a publicly available spreadsheet.
But despite what you read, the popular vote is neither binding nor official — yet. As far as the Electoral College goes, states have until Dec. 13 to certify their results and settle any controversies with electors, according to the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration website.
The Electoral College will then meet in their states on Dec. 19 to vote. Congress will meet on Jan. 6, 2017, to count the electoral votes.
Some of those states have already been called for Trump or Clinton because the state deadline to contest the figures has passed. New Hampshire, for example, has called the race for Clinton. But in California, where votes are still floating in via mail, the vote totals are still being adjusted.
Trump’s percentage of the popular vote is now below that of Mitt Romney in 2012. He has absolutely NO mandate. https://t.co/4IWRKGj8Lj
— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) November 16, 2016
And, indeed, were it not for California, Clinton would be far behind Trump. She is ahead of Trump there by more than 3 million votes.
On the other hand, in the 13 swing states where Clinton and Trump battled for all-important electoral votes, Trump is winning by almost 975,000 votes. These 13 states, which are targeted by both parties, are where the presidential race was truly fought.
California was ignored by Trump and even Clinton. It was simply not in play, so Democrats ran up the score there.
As of Wednesday night, Trump had 290 electoral votes wrapped up. Clinton only had 223. Michigan has still not been called, but Trump is winning there.
The bothersome detail of electoral votes has enraged the Democrats and liberals, who are still shell-shocked by the election results. Already, the Democrats are floating a bill in the U.S. Senate to abolish the Electoral College.
The bill is sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Democrat from — where else? — California. Boxer is retiring at the end of the year.
“This is the only office in the land where you can get more votes and still lose the presidency,” Boxer said, apparently meaning “election” and not just the “presidency.” “The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately.”
Boxer has tried this before, but the bill was not even considered in Congress.
To be fair, Trump has been a critic of the Electoral College. He criticized the constitutional system in 2012 when he thought President Obama would eventually lose the popular vote as counts were updated. (Obama won the popular vote.)
But Trump pointed out, via Twitter on Tuesday, that he played by the Electoral College rules and did not campaign in California and New York.
This is a key argument often overlooked by frantic Clinton boosters.
If the election were based on total popular vote I would have campaigned in N.Y. Florida and California and won even bigger and more easily
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2016
Democrats have now lost two electoral contests in the last 16 years where they won the popular vote. They also lost to then-Gov. George W. Bush in 2000, a bitter loss made worse by a drawn-out recount in Florida.
But what can these despondent and outraged Democrats do now?
Not much, but not entirely zilch.
The electors can overthrow their instructions and vote for Hillary Clinton, or anyone they choose to. This would entail being a “faithless elector.”
In some states, there are laws against an elector voting against the candidate their states’ voters have been chosen. In some states, there are steep legal penalties — but in many the punishment is minimal.
On Change.org, a petition website, 4.3 million people have signed on to urge electors to violate their pledge and the democratic votes of their states.
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