Harvey Wasserman / The Progressive & Greg Price / International Business Times & Chris Bowers / The Daily Kos – 2016-11-10 00:05:08
Clinton on Track to Win the Most Votes.
Abolish the Electoral College!
Harvey Wasserman / The Progressive
(November 9, 2016) — For the sixth time in our history, a candidate for President of the United States may have won the popular vote and lost the White House.
This must end.
While the nation — and much of the world — shudders at the thought of a Donald Trump presidency, our electoral system has once again failed to deliver a formal victory to the person who got the most votes.
Hillary Clinton appears to have won the nationwide popular vote.
As of about 1 PM Eastern time, the tally was roughly 58,909,774 votes (47.6%) for Clinton, versus 58,864,233 votes (47.5%) for Trump. (The exact numbers will change as the vote count continues.) But Donald Trump’s Electoral College tally has exceeded the 270 Electoral College votes needed to take the White House.
There is much more to tell about this. This year’s vote has once again been stripped and flipped by GOP Jim Crow segregationist tactics that disenfranchised millions of primarily African-American and Hispanic citizens.
But if the current vote tallies continue roughly they way they are, Donald Trump will join Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, and George W. Bush as presidents who lost the popular vote but still took the nation’s highest office, in every case with huge impacts.
The Electoral College was established at the 1787 Constitutional Convention to prevent the public from voting directly on our national leader. Ostensibly, it was meant in part to protect small states from being bullied by bigger ones.
It also installed a “three-fifth bonus” that gave plantation owners a 60 percent headcount for their slaves. The ruse was counted into Congressional districting, giving the south a distinct advantage over the northern free states. That’s why every President from Jefferson to Lincoln either owned slaves or had a vice president who did.
In 1800, Jefferson beat the incumbent John Adams in an Electoral College swung by “bonus votes” that came from slaves who could not actually cast them. In 1824, John Quincy Adams made a deal with Kentucky slaveowner Henry Clay to steal the presidency from Andrew Jackson, who had beaten Adams by about 50,000 popular votes.
In 1876, Republican Rutherford B. Hayes lost to Democrat Samuel Tilden by about 250,000 votes. But the GOP used federal troops in the south to shift enough Electoral College votes to create a deadlock. Hayes then became president by agreeing to remove those troops and end Reconstruction, a catastrophe for southern blacks and a triumph for the Jim Crow segregation that has defined our national politics ever since.
In 1888, Republican Benjamin Harrison lost the popular vote to incumbent Democrat Grover Cleveland but became president anyway. Cleveland won back the White House in 1892.
In 2000, Democrat Al Gore beat Republican George W. Bush by a nationwide tally of about 500,000 votes. Gore was also ultimately shown to have won the popular vote in Florida. But Bush’s brother Jeb, then governor of Florida, used a computerized system to remove voters from the rolls, to steal Florida’s electoral votes and put George in the White House.
Much the same was done in Ohio 2004 to defeat John Kerry. Bush ultimately was credited with a victory in the nationwide popular vote.
This year, Donald Trump’s Electoral College victory will change history in unimaginable ways. But nationwide it appears he did not win the popular vote. Hillary Clinton did.
There is much more to this story. But one thing is clear: There is no useful function for the Electoral College, a vile 230-year-old holdover from the bad old days of the southern slaveocracy. It poisons our electoral process. It will require a Constitutional Amendment to get rid of it. But if we are to have anything that resembles a democracy, the Electoral College must be abolished.
Bob Fitrakis (www.freepress.org) and Harvey Wasserman (www.solartopia.org) are co-authors of The Strip & Flip Selection of 2016: Five Jim Crows & Electronic Election Theft and six other books on election protection.
Who Won The Popular Vote?
Latest Polls Show Hillary Clinton
Ahead Of Donald Trump Despite Loss
Greg Price / International Business Times
(November 9, 2016) — Republican Donald Trump sewed up the 2016 presidential election by claiming 289 electoral votes to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 218, according to the most recent reported tally.
However, Clinton, despite the devastating loss that very well could mean the end of her political career, did reportedly take the lead in the popular vote Wednesday morning as Minnesota, Michigan, New Hampshire and others continue to count votes.
As of early Wednesday morning, Clinton had 58,909,774 total votes compared to Trump’s 58,864,233, according to CBS News and CNN. The tallies will continue to change but Clinton holds a 47.6 percent lead compared to Trump’s 47.5 percent.
Unlike the last two presidential elections, which saw current commander-in-chief Barack Obama win both the electoral college and the popular vote over Republicans John McCain and Mitt Romney, there is a chance Trump could be the first to take the country’s highest political office without the popular vote since George W. Bush’s victory over Democrat Al Gore in 2000.
Clinton, who was reportedly too upset to address her supporters at New York’s Jacob Javits Center after she conceded to Trump early Wednesday morning, did manage to take key battleground states like Nevada, Colorado and Virginia and most of her electoral support came from cities.
Trump, however, secured his incredible upset victory by taking Florida, Iowa, Arizona, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. In terms of the popular vote, Trump’s widest margin in a swing state was Iowa, where he claimed 51.7 percent compared to Clinton’s 42.2 percent with 99 percent of polls reporting, according to CBS News.
Minnesota, Michigan, and Maine represent a combined 30 electoral votes, meaning even if Clinton does pull away with those states she still can’t reach the required 270.
Trump was holding a slim 47.6 percent lead to Clinton’s 47.3 percent in Michigan Wednesday morning, with a difference of roughly 215,000 votes. In New Hampshire it was just as close with a little more than 300 votes separating Trump and Clinton, according to CNN. In Minnesota, the two were divided by about 42,000 votes, with Clinton ahead 46.8 percent to Trump’s 45.4 percent.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.
Petition: Abolish the Electoral College and Elect Presidents by National Popular Vote
Chris Bowers / The Daily Kos
(November 9, 2016) — On November 8, the American people spoke clearly, and chose Hillary Clinton for President.
As of this writing, Clinton leads the popular vote by roughly 20,000 votes, with 92% counted. Further, her lead will likely to grow, with most of the remaining votes coming from blue states California, Oregon and Washington.
However, because Clinton’s support was geographically concentrated, Donald Trump will win the Electoral College and become President of the United States.
This comes only 16 years after Al Gore won the popular vote but did not become President of the United States, in a similar affront to democracy.
It is long past time that we stopped using the Electoral College to choose our Presidents, and started using the national popular vote instead. Every vote should count equally. Every state should be a swing state.
Sign the petition: End the Electoral College. Elect Presidents by national popular vote.
There is a realistic path to making an end-run around the Electoral College in time for the 2020 election. This is because we don’t need a constitutional amendment to stop using the Electoral College. We only need the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact:
The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) is an agreement among several US states and the District of Columbia to award all their respective electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the overall popular vote in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The compact is designed to ensure that the candidate who wins the most popular votes is elected president, and it will come into effect only when it will guarantee that outcome. As of 2016, it has been joined by ten states and the District of Columbia; their 165 combined electoral votes amount to 30.7% of the total Electoral College vote, and 61.1% of the 270 votes needed for it to have legal force.
If states and territories totaling at least 270 electoral votes pass laws joining the National Popular Vote Compact, then the next presidential election will be determined by the winner of the national popular vote. We are already up to 165.
If we can make eliminating the Electoral College a national issue broadly adopted by elected Democrats, and if Democrats can do well at the state level in the 2018 midterm elections — which is realistic in the event of an unpopular President Trump — then in 2019 we can pass laws that would make the 2020 presidential election determined by the popular vote.
(Since you might be wondering, according to the compact, states do not change the way they determine their electoral votes until enough states join that the 270 electoral vote threshold is reached. So, for example, California will only start awarding its electoral votes to the national popular vote winner instead of the state popular vote winner once states equaling 270 electoral votes have decided to do the same.)
So this is something we can actually pull off. It starts by telling all elected Democrats that you have had enough of the Electoral College, and that whenever possible they must pass laws to have their states join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
Chris Bowers is the Executive Campaign Director for the Daily Kos