Posted: 7:49 am Monday, November 14th, 2016
By Jamie Dupree
As sure as the change of seasons, the end of the 2016 campaign has brought calls to change the Electoral College system by which we elect a President, as backers of Hillary Clinton fume that she won the popular vote, but will not end up the winner of the race against Donald Trump.
“One vote for one person should determine the one leader who is supposed to answer to all the people of the country,” declared the liberal group MoveOn in an email sent to supporters.
“On November 8, the American people spoke clearly, and chose Hillary Clinton for President,” echoed the group Daily Kos, which also called for change.
Those calls came as Clinton’s lead in the popular vote kept going up this weekend.
On Friday afternoon, Clinton lead by a little less than 400,000 votes:
By Saturday night, Clinton’s lead had grown by 150,000 more.
On Sunday it was over 600,000.
It’s likely that Clinton’s popular vote advantage will be the third largest – for a candidate who lost in the Electoral Vote.
Biggest popular vote winners who lost:
Jackson, '24, 10% margin
Tilden, '76, 3%
Clinton, '16 est 1.5-2%
Cleveland, '88, <1%
Gore, '00, <1%
— Paul Blumenthal (@PaulBlu) November 12, 2016
As you might expect, critics of Clinton are not exactly rushing to embrace the idea of changing the Electoral College format to whoever-gets-the-most-votes-wins.
To say Clinton won the popular vote is as irrelevant as saying you won more overall tennis points despite losing the match three sets to two
— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) November 10, 2016
And let’s not get carried away – the idea that the Congress would change the Electoral College process seems very remote.
Like, it ain’t happening.
But to give you a quick demonstration in how opposition to the Electoral College goes hand in hand with whether your candidate is winning or not – there is this tweet from Election Night in 2012:
The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2012
Yes, that would be the same Donald Trump, the next President.
Back then, he probably didn’t know that he would be making the same argument that Democrats would make after his victory in the Electoral College in 2016.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.