Here, compiled by the Media Research Center, are a series of post-mortem commentaries on how badly Republican candidate Donald Trump was losing the 2016 presidential election to Hillary Clinton.
The problem? Donald Trump did not lose the 2016 presidential election to Hillary Clinton. He won it in an electoral landslide, 306 to 232*.
And today? We are again hearing political “pundits” – including several of the same ones from 2016 – telling us the same thing.
Pete Seeger had the right question for this bunch, in his classic song, Where Have All The Flowers Gone: “When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?”
*And please do NOT tell me that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in 2016.
Hillary Clinton did not “win” the popular vote, she “got” the popular vote.
To “win” something implies there was a contest in which someone prevailed and someone lost.
There was no such contest in 2016. Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump was trying to win the national popular vote then. And neither Joe Biden nor Donald Trump is trying to win it now.
I never make predictions here, but I’d put the odds at just about 100% that, win or lose re-election, President Trump will get less of the popular vote this time, just as he did in 2016.
The reason? Exactly the same for both elections: since there is virtually no chance that Trump can win California, New York, Massachusetts or Illinois, he is not bothering to campaign there.
Hillary Clinton, because she ran virtually uncontested in those states, “won” California by about 3.3 million votes, New York by about 1.5 million, Massachusetts by about 900,000 and Illinois by about 850,000: a total “win” of about 6,500,000.
Donald Trump had no reason to campaign in those states because, even if he dropped each state’s deficit in half (which would have resulted in Trump getting a higher national popular vote total than Clinton) he would still have lost all four by plenty. So, given that we use an electoral system, he didn’t try to do so.
That is why Hillary Clinton “won” the 2016 popular vote and it is why Joe Biden is going to “win” the 2020 popular vote. Because since the national vote total for each candidate is an artifact, and means exactly nothing to who becomes president, Trump is not trying to “win” it. If he were, he would be campaigning very, very differently. So would Biden.
Got it? I hope so.