I don’t normally write about politics anymore, because it’s just too polarized a subject in this day and age. However, the overall lack of factual arguments in the current, heated online and media discussions about the United States Electoral College’s future, prompted me to research what exactly is going on.
No time to read ALL the Details? Check out the Infographic
We’ve all seen the county-by-county electoral results map for 2016 and we all know it was mostly red. Yet Hillary Clinton won the “national popular vote“. How is this possible?
Here is a National Map of the 2016 Presidential Election Results
This map is accurate. It was created by M. E. J. Newman from the University of Michigan and has been cited by many news outlets, including the Washington Post. Looking at the map’s color distribution, you’d say that Donald Trump is the obvious winner. However, that doesn’t reflect the “Popular Vote” facts. So if we want to get an accurate picture of the 2016 presidential election, we must examine statistics.
United States of America – Vital Statistics
According to Wikipedia, the United States of America covers an area of roughly 3,800,000 square miles and is home to a population of approximately 327,000,000 residents. Wikipedia also states that the United States of America currently consists of 3,242 counties (and county equivalents).
Note that the data given by this post encompasses the entire United States, whereas the Electoral Map above shows only the 48 contiguous states.
The Electoral Map breaks down as follows:
In the 2016 election, Donald Trump won 2,649 American counties, as reported by Time Magazine back in May 2017. Hillary Clinton won 503 counties, as stated in the same Time Magazine article.
There is a discrepancy of 90 counties between Wikipedia and Time Magazine. This exists due to the two sources treating counties and “county equivalents” differently. Nevertheless, the numbers clarify why the above map is mostly red.
Despite this, there’s a lot of Contention about the 2016 Election
It’s a fact that, “nationally“, Hillary Clinton received 2,868,686 more votes than Donald Trump. This has prompted a great deal of criticism to be leveled at the United States electoral system in general, and at the Electoral College specifically. Common complaints include “But Hillary Clinton Won the National Popular Vote!” and various permutations of “The Electoral College MUST be Abolished for its Inherent Unfairness.”
Yet it is also an indisputable fact that the number of counties won by Donald Trump far outweighs those won by Hillary Clinton… which immediately presents the question:
Where did Clinton’s Extra Votes come from?
To answer how Hillary Clinton ended up with 2,868,686 more votes than Donald Trump , we need to focus on three major US centers of Population: New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco
Election Results in these Three Locations:
Let’s start with New York City… The five boroughs of NYC cover an area of roughly 302.6 square miles and are home to approximately 8,398,748 residents, once again, according to Wikipedia.
Here’s the NYC 2016 Election Breakdown:
Staten Island Total Votes: 167,209
Trump Win Margin: 28,051
Kings County (Brooklyn) Total Votes: 746,295
Clinton Win Margin: 461,433
Queens County Total Votes: 627,021
Clinton Win Margin: 334,839
New York County (Manhattan Is.) Total Votes: 591,368
Clinton Win Margin: 456,546
Bronx County Total Votes: 358,857
Clinton Win Margin: 283,979
Total Votes Cast in NYC: 2,490,750
Clinton Total Win Margin: 1,508,746
Meanwhile, in California…
On the West Coast, we first look at Los Angeles. LA County covers an area of roughly 4,083 square miles and is home to approximately 10,000,000 residents, once again according to Wikipedia.
Total Votes Cast in Los Angeles County: 2,652,072
Clinton Total Win Margin: 1,273,485
Moving North, we head for San Francisco. San Francisco County covers an area of roughly 46.89 square miles, is home to approximately 883,305 residents, and is the fifth most densely populated county in the United States, behind Queens, Bronx, Kings, and New York Counties in New York State, as stated by Wikipedia.
Total Votes Cast in San Francisco County: 365,295
Clinton Total Win Margin: 277,950
Clinton Win Margin Comparison:
Hillary Clinton Total Win Margin NYC, LA, and SF: 3,060,181 Votes
Hillary Clinton Total Nationwide Win Margin: 2,868,686 Votes
Here’s the Kicker about the Popular Vote:
Out of a total of 3,242 counties in a country of 3,800,000 square miles and 327,000,000 residents, Clinton was pushed over the “Popular Vote Win Line” by just 7 counties, covering an area of about 4,432 square miles, and home to some 19,282,053 inhabitants.
Think about that for a Second, because it’s
5.9% of the Country’s Population, living in
0.22% of the Nation’s Counties, which cover
0.12% of the United States’ total area
The thing about the “Presidential Election” is that “Its Result should Represent the Voice of the Nation”, not that of a tiny, carefully selected segment of its population.
Had Hillary Clinton “ACTUALLY” won the “NATION’S” popular vote, she would be president now.
Calling for the Electoral College’s abolition in favor of a popular vote-based system, is to deliberately focus electoral power into a minuscule segment of the United States’ population. To effectively allow such a small fraction of the country to dictate the presidency to the rest of the nation is not democracy; it’s electoral fraud.
The US Electoral College Exists for a Very Good Reason:
It exists to stop the United States of America from becoming the United States of “New San Angeles“.
In conclusion, the United States Electoral College is a Constitutional Safeguard set down by the Nation’s Founding Fathers to protect the democracy which the United States is built on, and to shield the country from being perpetually ruled by a small number of densely populated metropolitan areas.