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Hillary Won Popular Vote By 1.5 Percent and Lost Electoral College by less than 140,000 votes in Florida and Michigan

2016-11-15

According to the New York Times, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2 million votes, or 1.5 percent.  This is more than Kennedy won in 1960 (0.2 per cent) and Nixon in 1968 (0.7 per cent), as well as Gore’s loss to Bush in 2000 (he won the popular vote by 0.5%.)  It was less than Carter’s win in 1976 (1.7% of the popular vote) and Bush’s win in 2004 (2.4% of the popular vote.)

There is a clear trend here.  You can win the popular vote by a substantial margin and still lose the electoral vote, but only if you have the support of voters in large states and not the support of voters in small states.  A margin of 120,000 votes separated Hillary and Donald in Florida, with 29 electoral votes.  A margin of 12,000 votes in Michigan, with 16 electoral votes, separated the two.  If the votes had gone the other way in two states, a total of less than 140,000 votes, Hillary would have won.  Or if Hillary had won Pennsylvania, which she lost by 68,000 votes; or if she had won Wisconsin, which she lost by 27,000 votes.

It is just possible that Republicans could have cheated to win in those two states.  It is also more likely than not that the Republicans didn’t cheat, but voter suppression allowed them to win.  There are many possibilities, all working together to lead to Donald’s win.

Then there are the demographic breakdowns.  Donald won 42% of women, including 47% of married women; what prompted married women to vote for Donald?  What prompted 58% of Protestants and 52% of Catholics to vote for Donald, including 54% of people who attended church at least once a month?  Why did 49% of white college graduates vote for Donald, versus only 45% for Hillary?  We think we know why 67% of whites without a college degree voted for Donald.  52% of (all races of) those under 45 voted for Hillary, although a majority of whites in all age groups voted for Donald.  52% of those with incomes under $50,000 a year, and 49% of those with incomes under $100,000 voted for Hillary.  Small majorities of those who decided for whom to vote since September voted for Donald, whereas those who had already decided where for Hillary by an equally small majority.

We may well ask: why would any woman vote for Donald?  Indeed, why would any woman, any Latino, any religious person, or anyone with a low income vote for Donald?  Clearly all of these people voted against their own self-interest, a trademark of Republican voters in general.

All of these questions point towards the inability of Hillary’s campaign to get its message across to the people who needed to heed it most.  Why?  I suspect that the effectiveness of Republican propaganda is so great that it induces people to vote against their own self-interest because of the delusional state that is created by their messages.  These issues need to be closely studied if Democrats, and progressives in general, are to win future elections.

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