December 14, 2016

Trump Won, Get Over It, redux

You got skunked.
Recently I posted a few thoughts on the fact that Democrats, progressives and other sundry Trump haters are still not over the election and they are trying to derail Trump in the electoral college, or failing that, over the next four years (+) of his presidency. My message, was 'get over it'.  But the anger and the effort to derail him will persist regardless of what I or anyone else will say.

I also mentioned that blame is not a policy position.  Yet the blame persists and it is everyone but themselves of course.  In that regard, here's an asterisk to my comments on who to blame, via Michael Barone via RCP:
The first thing Democrats need to do is to end the alibi game. Yes, it's a shattering experience to lose a presidential election that, until the 9 o'clock hour on election night, you seemed sure to win.

But alibis don't help you win next time. Don't blame "fake news" when your candidate had lots more money to spend delivering her message. Don't blame the FBI director when your candidate violated criminal laws and the attorney general had to disqualify herself after revelation of her secret meeting with the candidate's husband.

Don't blame the "racism" of an electorate that twice elected the first black president. Don't blame the Electoral College when everyone knew beforehand that you need 270 electoral votes, not a popular vote plurality, to win.

Blame instead the Clinton campaign's "ascendant America" strategy -- to reassemble the 2012 Obama coalition of nonwhites and millennials, on the assumption that the attitudes of other voters, notably white non-college graduates who cast critical Obama votes in the Midwest, would remain static.
That about sums up the blame issue. What about the "Well but, electoral college and popular vote, blah, blah, blah..." arguments? The Washington Post provides a great rebuttal actually in three distinct parts.
1) Clinton got more votes than any presidential candidate except President Obama in 2008:

...Clinton will apparently have won the second-most votes of any presidential candidate ever. But that's because there were millions more eligible voters in 2016 than there were in 2012, when there were millions more eligible voters than there were in 2008, when there were millions more eligible voters than in 2004, etc., etc.

...If you compare Clinton's vote total to the voting-eligible population, in fact, she won about 29 percent of people who could have voted for her. Relative to other candidates who won the popular vote over the last century, that actually puts her in the bottom half...
But Stein's voters might have made a difference for Clinton in the swing states;
2) Green Party nominee Jill Stein exceeded Trump's margin in the states that mattered

The argument here is basically that if Stein hadn't run, her left-leaning voters might have put Clinton over the top...

Exit polls showed 60 percent of Stein backers said they would have stayed home if she weren't on the ballot. Among the rest, Clinton led by about a 2-to-1 margin — 27-13, to be specific — but Trump took a fair amount of voters.

Applying those numbers to the totals above means Clinton would have gained about 4,300 votes in Wisconsin and about 6,400 in Pennsylvania — not nearly enough to change the results...
And the newest misdirection? 3) Democrats won the Senate
popular vote...

Basically, the problem is that 16 to 17 states don't vote in any one cycle, which means the popular vote is very reliant on the 33-34 states who do. The biggest blue states (California and New York) both voted in 2016, but the biggest red one (Texas) didn't. And in this election cycle, there was a fluke-y situation in California that made the popular vote look like a landslide for Democrats in a highly deceptive way.

California's top-two primary system advances the top two candidates to the general election regardless of party. This year, that just happened to be two Democrats: Now-Sen.-elect Kamala Harris and Rep. Loretta Sanchez. That means the 12.2 million ballots counted so far in that race have all been for Democrats. In a regular election, Republicans might have won about 5 million or 4.5 million of those votes, reducing Democrats' margin to 2.2 million or 3.2 million voters, respectively — 9 million or 10 million less.

And that basically, by itself, explains why they won the Senate popular vote.
What it still comes down to is "You Lost." You are still losing. If as Michael Barone notes, you don't realize it, you won't recover and correct the course. I'd be perfectly okay with that though.

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