Ever since President-elect Donald Trump’s resounding triumph in the Electoral College on Nov. 8, the left has been crying foul. After all, they say, didn’t Democrat rival Hillary Clinton win the popular vote? Shouldn’t we scrap the Electoral College?
To my ear, this sounds quite a bit like a chess player, facing checkmate, saying, “Well, yes, but I have more pieces left on the board.” And apparently, I’m not the only one.
In a poll conducted by Gallup, more Americans want to keep the Electoral College than did five years ago. While more voters favor scrapping it, the margin is a small one — 49 percent to 47 percent. The poll, which was conducted on Nov. 28-29, has a margin of error of 4 percent, so it’s essentially a tie.
However, in 2011, that margin was 61 percent in favor of scrapping it to 35 percent in favor of keeping it. In other words, after this election, more people think that it’s something worth keeping.
“In the past, a clear majority favored amending the U.S. Constitution to replace the Electoral College with a popular vote system,” Gallup reported.
“Donald Trump secured enough electors in the Electoral College to win the presidency, despite Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote. With Clinton’s popular lead total continuing to expand, now at more than 2.5 million votes, there have been persistent calls since Election Day to abolish the Electoral College,” Gallup pointed out. “Such sentiment has clearly prevailed when Gallup asked this question twice in 2000 — after George W. Bush won the Electoral College while Al Gore won the popular vote — in 2004 and in 2011. In each instance, support for a constitutional amendment hovered around 60 percent.”
Not this time: “This year, for the first time in the 49 years Gallup has asked about it, less than half of Americans want to replace the Electoral College with a popular vote system.”
It’s also worth pointing out that it might not have made any difference for Hillary Clinton. Most of the United States’ largest metropolitan areas — most notably New York City, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago — are in states where there’s almost no chance of Republicans winning the state (or states) in question. As such, they don’t even try, as it would be a waste of resources.
Also, we’ve heard over and over again that most of Hillary’s vote total came from California. While the fact that the Golden State would go blue was never in question, one thing that was in doubt was the state’s recreational marijuana referendum.
Want to get disengaged young Californian liberals out to the polls when the presidential results are all but decided? Tell them that you’re going to legalize Snoop Dogg’s favorite herbal supplement. (Massachusetts, a similarly pre-determined high-population blue state, also had a marijuana referendum.)
These are but two of the myriad reasons that assuming a popular vote would have ended with Hillary Clinton as president is a false line of reasoning providing the Democrats with another excuse for their poor performance.
From the looks of things, America isn’t buying it.
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