Politics

Clinton Popular Vote Lead Surpasses 2.3 Million

| by Robert Fowler

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's lead in the popular vote has exceeded 2.5 million, meaning that 1.9 percent more Americans cast their ballot for her than President-elect Donald Trump.

On Nov. 30, analyst David Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report announced that the latest tally of the 2016 presidential results placed Clinton with 65,145,375 votes while Trump has 62,623,869. The former Secretary of State captured 48.2 percent of the popular vote while the business mogul clocks in with 46.3 percent.

Of course, U.S. presidents are not elected based on the popular vote but by the electoral college, wherein Trump has triumphed with 306 electoral votes over Clinton's 232 electoral votes.

Despite losing the Electoral College, Clinton has received more raw votes than any other presidential candidate in history other than President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. This outcome indicates that while the Democratic party may have more support in the population, they could have a disadvantage in translating that into electoral victories.

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On Nov. 27, President-elect Trump dismissed Clinton's edge in the popular vote by asserting that her raw support was bolstered by undocumented immigrants.

"In addition to winning the Electoral College by a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally," Trump tweeted out.

The president-elect offered no evidence to support this claim. There were only four documented cases of voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election, with one culprit being an Iowa woman who voted for Trump twice, according to The Washington Post.

A news story heavily circulated on Facebook by the Alex Jones website InfoWars asserted evidence that 3 millions undocumented immigrants voted in the election. The report was based on a series of tweets by Gregg Phillips of VoteStand.

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Phillips, the former finance director of the Alabama Republican Party, has declined to release any evidence of his claims, resulting in the nonpartisan fact-checking website PolitiFact to rate the story as false. Politifact also noted that a News21 national study from 2000 through 2011 only turned up 56 verified cases of non-citizens casting a ballot.

Given all actual evidence, Clinton has won the popular vote by a considerable margin. This contradiction has frustrated many Democrats, including former Vice President Al Gore, who suggested that the Electoral College should be abolished.

On Nov. 29, Gore stated that his opinion on the Electoral College had shifted since 2000, when he had defended his loss in the presidential race despite winning the popular vote.

"I have changed my view on that," Gore said, according to NBC News. "I do think that it should be eliminated. I think moving to a popular vote system is not without peril… But I think the balance has shifted, in my mind at least, and I think that we should go to a popular vote."

The former vice president added that the change could "stimulate public participation in the democratic process like nothing else we could possibly do."

Sources: Donald J. Trump/Twitter, NBC NewsPolitiFactWashington Examiner, The Washington Post / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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