This is simple unvarnished, unspun truth:
In the 21st century, without the Electoral College, Republicans wouldn’t have gotten a single, solitary person into the White House.
Since 2000, the Republican Party’s presidential candidate has won three contests. In 2000 and 2004 it was George W. Bush, and then again this year Trump took the big prize. This year, as in 2000, the Republican won without the popular vote. Now, I’m a comedian and not a math-doing-guy, but even I can work out that losing the popular vote in two out of three contests you’ve won means that about 66% of the elections they’ve won this century haven’t been with the consent of the voting majority, or plurality if we’re being pedantic.
No amount of verbal chicanery, hemming and hawing, or deflection will obscure that fact. The Republicans have now won one more contest than the Democrats since 2000, but have only won the most votes once. That means, if my math is to be trusted, that they’ve lost the popular vote four out of five times since 2000, which means they have a failure rate of 80%. And yet, they still win the White House.
Gee, I wonder why they are staunch advocates of the Electoral College. It’s almost as if they know flat-out they can’t fucking win without it. WEIRD!
Never before has another candidate gotten as many votes as Hillary Clinton did and not win the election. It would be one thing if Trump’s number had eclipsed her total, but it didn’t, and whether or not the FBI or Russia tried to or succeeded in tipping the scales for him, he cannot and will never escape the truth. Millions more Americans voted against him than for him, and he doesn’t deserve the presidency.
But this shouldn’t feel like new territory for Republicans. The fact is their policies are so toxic to non-rural America — you know, where the majority of Americans actually fucking live? — and to non-white, non-conservatives, that they’ve lost a full two-thirds of the popular vote counts in the three elections they’ve won. That’s embarrassing for them; it has to be.
It means the myth of the silent, moral majority is a crock of Trickle Down Bullshit.
The best part is that in 2004, the one time they won the popular vote, Bush II was their incumbent candidate. So what that means is that if Al Gore were president in 2004, he’d have been the incumbent, and while we can’t ever know for sure, it’s pretty safe to say if Dubya could be re-elected after the Iraq War was a proven sham, then Gore could’ve won. Which means that without the Electoral College (and the Supreme Court), Bush wouldn’t have even been in the position to win the popular vote in 2004.
Peel the onion back a bit more, back to 1992, and you can add two more presidential contests to the growing pile of electoral defeats. That means in the last 24 years, the Republicans have only mustered ONE win that encompassed both popular vote and the Electoral College victories. That means it’s entirely conceivable that without the Electoral College’s help, the Republicans would have been out of the White House for nearly two and a half decades.
It’s so weird how much they love the Electoral College, then, huh?
Over fifteen years in, and they’ve won the popular vote once. Tell me, what do you think the opinions of conservatives would be of a liberal social program if it failed to deliver 80% of the time? If you said, “They’d lose their idiotic minds,” you’re right.
For all their talk over the years of some groundswell of grassroots conservatism that will rise up and take the country back, the numbers really do not bear that out. Trump improved on Romney’s raw vote count, but he still would have lost to Obama in 2012 if the election were based on the popular vote. In fact, Hillary Clinton’s raw vote count from this year’s election is only about 100,000 votes shy of Obama’s 2012 count. So you can’t even argue that she dragged the Democratic Party backwards in terms of popular support.
I get why the Republicans are going to cling to the Electoral College. It’s like when someone is drowning and finds a ledge of a pool to grab onto. It’s the one thing keeping you afloat. But what Republicans are never going to be willing to admit is that their great big lie of the Moral Majority is simple mythology at this point. Without arcane and antidemocratic electoral devices, they’d never have come close to occupying the White House since Bill Clinton was elected. That sticks in their craw, and it should.
Republicans are not as popular as they want to claim to be. They can win all the elections on bullshit technicalities they want to. But it’ll never change the basic, mathematically sound facts that in the past 24 years without the Electoral College, they’d have been dead and buried. Thanks Founding Fathers, for helping to keep the GOP on life support.
Thanks so much for that.
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.