Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Hillary Clinton's popular vote margin is now tallied at 2.8 million and rising -- which only counts in horseshoes, of course, but with the prospect of a possible Manchurian Candidate and definite buffoon as President the fact does rather cast an ironic pall. So many conservatives nervously downplay her higher total, with Michael Barone alone first saying it doesn't count because of California, then because it's all just coastal states full of cities and minorities. (This was also the heart of Breitbart's "DONALD TRUMP WON 7.5 MILLION POPULAR VOTE LANDSLIDE IN HEARTLAND" analysis. Apparently proximity to a Kroger or a meth lab makes your vote count extra.)

At PJ Media, Brian Boyer has a novel approach:
Let me make a bold statement: There is a reasonable chance that Hillary Clinton would not have won under a "popular vote" system, even though it seems clear that she currently has about two million more votes than President-elect Donald Trump. That's because the “popular vote” the media keeps talking about is not representative of what the popular vote would actually look like without the Electoral College. In fact, I believe that the Electoral College is actually skewing the “popular vote” in favor of Democrats.
I'll spare you: Republican turnout was low in California because they had no hope of winning ("Under the Electoral College system, if you are a Republican in California, why bother to vote? California’s 55 electoral votes are going blue whether or not you cast a ballot"); if those GOP voters were in a situation where their vote counted, they'd have come out of the woodwork in droves. Boyer doesn't explain why this same syndrome doesn't apply to Democrats in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, etc. Maybe it's because Republicans are sensitive flowers who would rather hide in the cellar than face the prospect of defeat. Another reason why they should get extra credit for voting!

But out of all of them Kevin D. Williamson of National Review has my favorite bit:
Who lost (“lost”) the popular vote (“popular vote”) is irrelevant for all sorts of reasons. For one thing, it doesn’t have anything to do with the outcome of the election. For another, it doesn’t, strictly speaking, exist. We don’t have a popular presidential vote, or a campaign for that vote.
If only he'd had the balls to say that arithmetic itself is merely a concept by which we measure our pain! I have to say Trump's solution is more elegant -- he just says he won in a landslide. But then he has no need to convince people he's an intellectual.

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