Part 3—How American history changed: BREAKING!
Based on appearances, the Washington Post has stopped updating its account of the Trump/Clinton popular vote.
Its "Live Results" site remains. But round the decay of that colossal wreck, incomplete vote totals seem to be frozen in place.
The New York Times has shown even less interest in reporting the popular vote totals from this year's election. For what it's worth, this seems to be where matters stand as we type:
Popular vote, 2016 election:We've gathered these data from the vote count site at the Cook Report. Even there, few explanations are given, in keeping with the basic impulses of modern press corps culture.
Candidate Clinton: 63.8 million votes (48.0%)
Candidate Trump: 62.0 million votes (46.7%)
As far as we know, votes are still being counted, though the Cook Report site doesn't say. The site seems to say that it was last updated on November 16, a claim which would seem to be wrong.
Regarding the question of "wasted votes," we'll also update the data we posted yesterday. According to the Cook site, these were the largest vote margins recorded by any of the fifty states:
Largest statewide victory margins, 2016 campaign:Are votes still being counted in some of these states? We don't know, and our journalists and liberals don't seem to care.
California: Clinton won by 3.51 million votes
New York: Clinton won by 1.51 million votes
Illinois: Clinton won by 882,000 votes
Massachusetts: Clinton won by 880,000 votes
Texas: Trump won by 815,000 votes
(Our journalists care about nothing at all. Our liberals care about nothing except accusing The Others.)
Those victory margins may change. That said, for the second time in the past five elections, the Democratic candidate won the popular vote but won't be reaching the White House.
To us, that fact seems quite significant. We liberals prefer to revel in the delivery of vote-losing lectures to Pence.
Candidate Clinton won the national popular vote by a fairly substantial margin. Beyond that, she piled up a ton of "wasted votes" in the state of California.
As you can see, Clinton's victory margin in California exceeds the size of her victory margin in the nation as a whole. This means that she lost the popular vote in "the other 49."
For good or for ill, our 18th century system for choosing our president has begun to produce odd results. The candidate who received the most votes from the most people will not end up in the White House.
Our history will change as part of this bargain. Today, we want to focus on the narrow margins in a few states which brought this result to pass.
Below, you see the statewide margins in three well-known states. This states decided this election. If Candidate Clinton had won these states, she'd be on her way to the White House.
Instead, Candidate Trump won these states. But uh-oh! While Clinton won California in a rout, Trump won these states by rather narrow margins:
Statewide victory margins, 2016 campaign:As far as we know, the outcome in Michigan is so close that it hasn't been certified. At any rate, these three states will cast a total of 46 electoral votes next month when a branch of Trump University called the electoral college actually picks our president.
Pennsylvania: Trump won by 68,000 votes
Wisconsin: Trump won by 27,000 votes
Michigan: Trump won by 12,000 votes
If Candidate Clinton had won those states, she'd be on her way to the White House.
Let's get clear on the contrast. Clinton won California's 55 electoral votes with a victory margin of 3.5 million votes. She lost the 46 electoral votes of those decisive states by a total of 107,000 votes.
She lost those states by relatively narrow margins. This creates an important question:
Where do such margins come from?
Where did those narrow margins come from? As a handful of cloistered Irish clerics know, when an election is lost by a narrow margin, that narrow loss can be explained a thousand different ways.
None of Clinton's statewide losses were as narrowly decided as Candidate Gore's loss of Florida in Campaign 2000. (Officially, Gore lost Florida by 537 votes.)
Still, Trump's victory margins in those three states were fairly narrow. He lost the national popular vote by a fairly substantial margin. But he narrowly won those three states.
Quite possibly, American history will change for generations based on those three narrow margins. As such, the following question becomes quite important:
What caused those narrow margins? What explains those narrow losses?
As noted above, a narrow loss can be explained a thousand different ways. Many factors can be said to have caused such narrow losses.
We continue to think that Clinton's win in the national popular vote constitutes an important news event. The liberal world's failure to stress this part of the election constitutes the three millionth time, in the past thirty years, we have, quite predictably, "failed to take our own side."
In our view, the public needs to be told that Clinton won the popular vote. Beyond that, liberals need to consider a possibility:
Is it possible that we did something which produced those narrow margins? Is it possible that many things we did explain those narrow defeats?
Yesterday, Kevin Drum published a post which bore this headline: "The 3 Big Reasons Hillary Clinton Lost."
"There are other things that probably made a difference," Drum wrote. But he offered his idea of the three most important explanations for this history-changing loss.
We don't understand some of what Drum wrote. We're inclined to agree with other things he said.
Tomorrow, we'll probably start by taking a look at his assessment. But we'll leave you today with a basic distinction, and with that important question.
Here's our basic distinction:
You can always blame an election loss on errors by the losing campaign. Presumably, every campaign makes errors in judgment. Presumably, such errors are an unavoidable part of every campaign.
Especially in the case of narrow margins, such errors can be said to have caused defeat. But those are unavoidable errors. Other causes of narrow defeats can be seen as avoidable. Sometimes, defeat can by caused by conduct which is flatly improper.
Here's our question again:
In the face of those narrow margins; in the face of the assault on history those narrow margins will likely produce; did we liberals commit avoidable errors in the course of this campaign? Is it possible that we did things which produced those narrow margins?
We rarely consider such possibilities Over Here within our tents. We're skilled at saying that Donald J. Trump won because The Others are racists and bigots. Tomorrow, we'll ask a question which rarely seems to enter our heads:
Is it possible that those narrow margins derived from conduct by Us? May have derived from conduct by Us which could have been avoided?
Tomorrow: So many ways to explain