January 12, 2020

Electoral college: how Trump could lose the popular vote and win again
Trump is an unpopular president – but experts say the electoral college system puts him in a good place for a second termDonald Trump has the dubious distinction of being the only US president since Gallup began tracking presidential approval ratings in 1938 to have been permanently “under water” – he has never been viewed favorably by half or more of the American electorate.Trump should, by historical precedent, be looking at a thumping defeat in the 2020 presidential election. But political scientists and strategists have told the Guardian that he could be thrown a re-election lifeline thanks to the country’s quirky approach to democracy in the form of the electoral college.The political analyst Larry Sabato has calculated that the 3 November election could see Trump being outgunned by his Democratic challenger in the popular vote – the total number of votes cast nationwide – by twice the amount that Hillary Clinton surpassed him in 2016, yet still return to the White House for a second term.“It is entirely possible that in 2020 we will once again see Republicans losing the popular vote and winning the electoral college, this time potentially by even greater margins,” he said.The electoral college was the compromise system for choosing US presidents devised by the founding fathers. Its aim was to balance the direct votes of qualified citizens with a vote in Congress.The result is that the occupant of the Oval Office is not elected directly by the American people but indirectly by state-based “electors”. There are 538 electors in total, which means that to win the White House the successful candidate must attract the votes of 270 of them.In most election cycles the electoral college results have been in sync with the popular vote. But in 2016 a dramatic gulf opened up.In the electoral college Trump won handsomely – by 306 electoral votes to Clinton’s 232. But in the popular vote Clinton was the clear winner with 65.9m votes to Trump’s 63.0m votes – a difference of two percentage points (48% to 46%).By Sabato’s reckoning, that rift between the electoral college and the popular vote could be stretched further in November and see Trump win again. “The 2020 Democratic nominee could easily double Clinton’s lead in the popular vote to at least three or four percentage points, and still lose, depending on where those votes came from,” Sabato said.The fear that the electoral college could give Trump four more years to transform America in his image has rippled through the Democrats competing to challenge him in the election. Several of the Democratic candidates have called for overhaul of the current system, including Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg.The solution they propose in common is quite simple – replace the convoluted electoral college with a direct national popular vote that would hand the presidency to whichever candidate garners most votes across the country. That may look straightforward on paper, but the practicalities of switching to a new system are daunting.To change would require an amendment to the US constitution which is much easier said than done. Not only would both the House and Senate in Congress need to approve the change by a two-thirds majority, but three-quarters of the individual state assemblies would have to ratify it (38 out of 50 states) .“A constitutional amendment is out of the question,” said Alan Abramowitz, professor of political science at Emory University. “There’s no way to get two-thirds of the House and the Senate to support an amendment of any kind.”> The Democratic nominee could easily double Clinton’s lead in the popular vote and still lose> > Larry SabatoAdvocates of reform have devised clever ways around this roadblock that would essentially keep the electoral college in place but shift its method of counting to the popular vote without requiring a constitutional amendment. The most prominent of these attempts is the National Vote Interstate Compact, which seeks to persuade individual states to sign up to a collective agreement – the compact – which would guarantee the presidency to the candidate who garners the most popular votes.The compact would kick in only when enough states had joined to collectively pass the 270 electoral college votes needed to secure the presidency. Once that line had been crossed, the participating states would deliver the White House to the winner of the popular vote.The problem with this inventive scheme is that a mountain has yet to be climbed before the magic line of 270 is passed. So far the compact has been enacted into law in 15 states and Washington DC, which between them muster only 196 electoral votes – a deficit of 74.None of those jurisdictions are Republican-controlled, which is unsurprising given the electoral college has tended to be to the advantage of Republican presidential candidates.The last time the winner of a US presidential election lost the popular vote the discrepancy also helped a Republican – George W Bush, who in 2000 received 544,000 fewer votes than his vanquished Democratic rival ,Al Gore. You then have to go back to 1888 to find the phenomenon reoccurring.So rare was the anomaly of 2016, 2000 and 1888 that some experts think that a repeat “misfire”, as the disparity is known, is unlikely in November. Abramowitz has studied all 11 presidential elections since the end of the second world war in which an incumbent was running for re-election – the last being Barack Obama in 2012 – and noted there were no misfires.“If the Trump campaign is counting on the electoral college gifting them the election again, that’s a very high-risk strategy,” he said.On the other hand, as the demography of America changes, the distorting influence of the electoral college appears to be growing. The US population is becoming more diverse, and more heavily concentrated in major cities that lean strongly Democratic.That in turn is creating a tendency for Democratic votes to be “wasted” – with vastly more being cast in states like California, New York and Illinois than are needed to win the electoral votes.By contrast, Republican voters – who tend to be less diverse – are spread out more sparsely in low-density rural states in a way that is more efficient under the electoral college.David Frum, George W Bush’s former speechwriter, said the electoral college is just one of several factors that he calls “anti-majoritarian influences” in play in the US today. “It is a pervasive fact up and down, from local elections to the presidency, that electoral outcomes track voter intent poorly,” he said.Other factors include low levels of voter registration, hurdles to voting and the skewed voting system for the US Senate that apportions Wyoming’s population of 579,000 the same number of senators (two) as California’s 40 million.“The anti-majoritarian features favor rural America over urban America, light-populated over heavily-populated states,” Frum said. “That’s an issue that goes back deep into American history, but Trump is its latest benefactor.”He added: “Trump is an unpopular president. In a purely majoritarian system the election would probably not even be that close. But run his support through the American electoral system and yes, sure, it’s possible he could win.”
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Julia Fox defends viral ‘Uncut Gems’ interview moment: ‘I was stoned’ | Page Six Celebrity News
February 17, 2022
4m-p0_-ePd8
Alexia Echevarria pushed ‘RHOM’ producers to show more of son Frankie’s recovery | Page Six
February 17, 2022
E-wTaN9NfkI
Pete Davidson rejoins Instagram amid Kanye West drama | Page Six Celebrity News
February 17, 2022
SsC3dmsI6t4
Aaron Rodgers And Shailene Woodley Reportedly Break Up | TMZ LIVE
February 17, 2022
FoErdRE8Qe4
Chet Hanks Done Talking About Famous Parents, Becoming Personal Trainer | TMZ
February 16, 2022
5_UrULOkQ6o
Woman Stabbed at Foot Locker During Nike Shoe Release
February 16, 2022
TfuXMs1JdVg
Steph's Freaky Side, "Summer House" & "Love During Lockup"
February 17, 2022
9W_raO0zlA8
Tay or Nay, Offset's Sushi Anxiety & Nick on Monogamy
February 17, 2022
PauYHpJRA6o
Kim Kardashian & North West TWINNING in Matching Pajamas | E! News
February 17, 2022
b-_Oib6R108
Adam McKay - Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony
February 17, 2022
tYtzsHoOZzo
Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, and the Cast of 'Uncharted' Talk Most Challenging Stunts
February 15, 2022
d3ksX-SKi8c
Ryan Reynolds and Walker Scobell on ‘The Adam Project’, ‘Deadpool’, and Possible ‘Star Wars’ Role
February 16, 2022
5TxJsbJr9Dk
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
04
May
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Playoffs
Seattle Sounders - Pumas
04
May
USA: Major League Soccer
FC Cincinnati - Toronto FC
03
May
ENGLAND: Championship
Bournemouth - Nottingham Forest
02
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Brentford
02
May
ENGLAND: Championship
Fulham - Luton
02
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Real Betis
02
May
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Eintracht Frankfurt
02
May
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Monchengladbach - RB Leipzig
02
May
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Salernitana
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Leicester City
01
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Mallorca
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Bologna
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Arsenal
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Chelsea
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Inter Milan
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Fiorentina
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Venezia
01
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Rayo Vallecano - Real Sociedad
30
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Mainz - Bayern Munich
30
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bochum
30
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Liverpool
30
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Athletic Bilbao - Atletico Madrid
30
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leeds - Manchester City
30
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Madrid - Espanyol
30
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Sassuolo
28
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Chelsea
27
Apr
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Semifinal
Liverpool - Villarreal
27
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Inter Milan
26
Apr
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Semifinal
Manchester City - Real Madrid
25
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Sassuolo - Juventus
24
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Rayo Vallecano
24
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - AC Milan
24
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Everton
24
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - West Ham United
24
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Empoli - Napoli
23
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brentford - Tottenham Hotspur
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.