All through the election season, especially when Hillary Clinton secured the nomination for the Democrats after sabotaging Bernie Sanders’ campaign, the media focused on the Electoral College. I don’t recall much about the popular vote except when some political prognosticator would add that one of the two candidates could win the popular vote but lose the electoral vote.
First, throughout the campaign, it was always about the Electoral College.
CNN ran a series of articles on the “Road to 270.” In its October 10th edition of the series, we find the following:
“It is not enough for Trump to simply win the remaining 70 electoral votes in the battleground states — that only gets him to 266. He still needs to chip away at Clinton’s Democratic leaning firewall.”
Nothing in the article says anything about the popular vote.
The reason for all of the attention on the Electoral College and not the popular vote was because the media were sure Hillary was going to win. Two days before the election, a Los Angeles Times article carried this headline: “Our final map has Clinton winning with 352 electoral votes. Compare your picks with ours.”
“Our projection would give Clinton 352 electoral votes, while Trump would end up with 186. That would put Clinton’s electoral majority midway between President Obama’s 2008 win and his 2012 reelection.”
Second, the Electoral College is constitutional. I know this doesn’t mean much to Democrats, but it is what it is — the law. The rule book was in play before the election, and very few if any Democrats objected. Again, the lack of an objection was because the Democrats and pundits were nearly 100 percent sure Hillary was going to win. Why argue about something that wasn’t going to happen.
Third, and this is the most important part, there are 50 popular votes in play because there are 50 states in play. Because of this, Donald Trump did win the popular vote as it relates to the constitutional requirements. It’s the difference between the Super Bowl and the World Series. The Super Bowl is a one-game winner take all event.
The World Series requires that a team win four games out of seven no matter the scores of the individual games. Consider the 1960 World Series. The Pittsburgh Pirates went up against the New York Yankees. The series was won by Pittsburgh with a walk-off home run by Bill Mazeroski in the ninth inning of the seventh game even though the Yankees scored more total runs.
The Yankees won three games with the following scores: 16–3, 10–0, and 12–0. The Pirates won four games with these scores: 6–4, 3–2, 5–2, and 10–9. In addition, the Yankees “outhit them 91–60, outbatted them .338 to .256, hit 10 home runs to Pittsburgh’s four (three of which came in Game 7), got two complete-game shutouts from Whitey Ford — and lost.” (Wikipedia)
The series total was 55 runs for the Yankees and 27 runs for the Pirates. In the final analysis, it didn’t matter that the Yankees scored more total runs. Danny Murtaugh, the Pirate’s manager, got it right when he said: “I looked in the rule book and it said the Series will be decided on games won, not on runs scored.”
In the morning papers before the final game “quoted Yankees stars Mantle and Roger Maris as saying the Yankees were still the better team, even if the Pirates somehow managed to win Game 7.” (ESPN) Sound familiar? even if they lost, they still won.
In his book All My Octobers, Mickey Mantle described the seven-game slugfest as “the worst disappointment of my baseball career. . . . I felt as bad as I had ever felt in my life.”
Hillary must have felt the same way on November 9th.