Blog 93 – Election figures show Trump with only 27.2% of eligible voters: a Negative Mandate.


Donald Trump aimed his New Year’s Eve tweet at “my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do.” Leaving aside the incredibly childish gloating over “his enemies,” from someone who occasionally talks about “bringing our nation together,” has Trump’s staff succeeded in keeping from him all knowledge of the actual vote counts in the 2016 election, in which his leading opponent, far from “losing badly” to him, in fact got 2,000,000[1] popular votes more than he did?

Or has his staff not let him learn that, out of some 232,000,000[2] persons eligible  to vote in 2016, only 62,000,000[3] actually voted  for him, not only less than for Clinton , but also  only 27.2%[4] of those who were eligible.  79% of those who were theoretically eligible to vote for him did not do so– less a glorious victory for Trump than a rejection of his candidacy by a large majority of Americans, a failure of the Trump campaign, hardly a victory.[5]

Or has his staff not let him learn that the roots of the compromise that resulted in Article Ii of the Constitution  creating  the Electoral College, was the  founders’ distrust of grass-roots democracy and later white leaders concerned to hold down freed black voting impact, coupled with  the gerrymandering of Republican-led legislatures o distort their states’ votes?[6] Or is Trump simply incapable of acknowledging facts that undermine his claims to have a broad popular mandate in this election?

Conclusion:

So on the figures, it was Donald Trump who “lost so badly” in the 2016 national election, who often seems not to know what he will do, whose mandate, if he has one, is a negative mandate, a mandate to follow the wishes of the electorate and serve all of the people of the country, not just his friends, ignoring those who disagree with him as “his many enemies.” Susan Douglas lists multiple cases in which opinion surveys clearly reveal the majority differing from Trump on key police issues, speaking of them as an “anti-mandate” to his claims.[7] His true mandate, from the figures, is one to unite and  to seek compromises and unity for the good of all Americans, inclusively.

—————————————-

[1] The actual figure is “almost 3,000,000”: 65,844,954 – 62,979,879 =2,865,075

(http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/national.php?year=2016).

[2] The actual figure is 231,556,622 (http://www.electproject.org/2016g).

[3] 63,000,000 (62,979,879) with the remaining votes tallied
(http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/national.php?year=2016).

[4]  (62,979,879 / 231,556,622) = 0.2719847891026844

[5] Why for whom they would have voted had they voted must necessarily remain speculation, logic suggests categories:

  1. prevented from voting by deliberately restrictive provisions;
  2. dissatisfied with all the alternatives , or
  3. happy to let the then predicted if mistaken expectations of majorities for Hillary Clinton become effective without needing heir vote .

If a, they would hardly be likely to vote  for the Republicans who by and large were behind the increasing voting restrictions ;

if b. believing their inaction would result in the victory of the predicted for Clinton, were satisfied with that second-best non-Trump result ; or

if c. supporting a Trump defeat, believed their votes not necessary to ensure that result.

In any of those cases, non-voting voters were logically more likely Trump critics than supporters

But ignore these speculations, the broad parameters of the argument that Trump has only minority support in the electorate, still stands.

[6] A good summary of the history is at http://www.freep.com/story/opinion/columnists/stephen-henderson/2016/11/19/electoral-college-race-problem/94079504/. For a more extended discussion see: . Perhaps it is now time to rid ourselves of the last constitutional vestige of the peculiar institution: the electoral college.” P. 1155, 1156. Finkelman, Paul, “The Proslavery Origins of the Electoral College” (2002). Cardozo Law Review, Vol. 23, 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1447478.  The author concludes: “Over one hundred and thirty-five years ago the United States rid itself of slavery. Perhaps it is now time to rid ourselves of the last constitutional vestige of the peculiar institution: the electoral college.”

[7] “Trump’s Antii-Mandate,” I These Times, January 2017, p. 8.

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