- Popular Votes: 137 million votes cast; Clinton won by 2.5 million, a 1.8% margin.
- Electoral Votes: 322 to 232 electoral votes, a landslide 58% to 42% margin.
- Counties: Of 3,184 Counties in the U.S; Trump won 3,084, a 98% to 2% margin.
- Land Areas: Trump’s Counties comprise over 3 million square miles to Clinton’s 400, a devasting 99.99% plurality.
The Popular Vote vs. The Electoral College
A Trump-Clinton-Election Epitaph Many ask, “Which is better, election by popular vote or Electoral College?” That is The Question that many debate, in the wake of the Trump-Clinton election of 2016. Although I once received the highest grade in a class of 300 in Constitutional Law, it was eons ago, and I claim no special expertise on the subject, but my memory of history and logic leave me with the following humble thoughts. The core question is, “Is the popular vote more or less important than the vote as cast by the delegates to the Electoral College, as the latter is mandated in the U.S. Constitution? Why the Electoral College? The point of the Electoral College System is to avoid a handful of high density areas from controlling all elections. The United States is a FEDERATION of SOVEREIGN States. The Federal Government was much feared by America’s Founding Fathers. The Fed’s powers were intentionally limited, and all powers not given to it were left to the INDIVIDUAL States. If there were no Electoral College system, presidential campaigns would be waged almost exclusively in NY and California. The Urban Will would be jammed down the throats of the Sub-Urban and Rural. Mass secessions might result. Why? In early empires (Roman, Greek, Egyptian), all important decisions were made by those in the Capital Cities of each empire. This is PRECISELY what the framers of the U.S. Constitution sought to avoid. They even went so far as to make D.C. a very tiny geographic area and to deny it even one Congressman or Senator, although, via the 23rd Amendment, it was given 3 electoral votes. If it weren’t for the Electoral College system, many States would likely never have chosen to join “The Union” of Federal (SOVERIGN) States, as they would have lost effectively all of their sovereignty. It can be no surprise that the EU is breaking apart before our eyes, as its members are increasingly chafing at the decisions being made by bureaucrats in Brussels, a ceding of sovereignty to those who do not understand the problems of each jurisdiction over which they exercise vast power. History repeats itself endlessly, albeit not in precisely the same way. To remove the Electoral College system would require a Constitutional Amendment that was ratified by 75% of the U.S. States. Such overt relinquishment of sovereignty, logic suggests, will not likely ever happen, thank heavens. As Lord Acton said, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” History demonstrates irrefutably that, the more power that is concentrated in the fewest hands (or population clusters), the sooner tyranny erupts over those devoid, de facto, of a vote that matters. So proves 4,000 years of recorded history. In the eyes of our Founders and to a plurality of the States, ceding control to a few urban areas (and the demagogues that control them) would be the beginning of the end. To the sagacity of our Founding Fathers, the undersigned respectfully genuflects and says, “Thank you.” After two centuries of U.S. elections, only five losing candidates won the popular vote. As to the current election, a brief recap is worth noting.