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Here’s Why Trump Needs More Than the Popular Vote to Win This Election

ElectionOracle / US Presidential Election 2016 Sep 26, 2016 - 05:52 PM GMT

By: John_Mauldin

ElectionOracle

By David Galland, Garret/Galland Research : While driving around Burlington, Vermont, I noticed something. Actually, I noticed something missing. There were zero bumper stickers in support of Hillary.

I didn’t see a single lawn sign either.

It’s quite a contrast. In the last two elections, the displays for Obama were everywhere.


To be fair, there are no bumper stickers or signs for Trump either. But Vermont is the most liberal of states, so it’s understandable.

Now, I know Vermont is Bernie’s domain. And his subjugation by the Clinton Clan has been a big disappointment. But it seems to me there’s more to it than that.

I used to think Trump had no chance, but the level of apathy for Hillary in Vermont leads me to believe he has a chance after all. This is something the polls are starting to show.

On Election Day, the pro-Trump crowd is going to show up en force to pull the levers. But I don’t see that same level of enthusiasm from those resigned to vote for Mrs. Clinton. Their support stems from their fervent dislike of The Donald.

Tipping the scales for the popular vote even further toward Trump are Mrs. Clinton’s health issues—and her willingness to lie about them.

But, that doesn’t mean Trump will be the next US president.

Here’s why the popular vote doesn’t decide the president

I just came across an article by Jason Brennan. It explains how the Founding Fathers created the Electoral College because they didn’t trust “we the people.”

Based on the words of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, Brennan is right.

“It was equally desirable that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to so complicated an investigation.”

Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist, No. 68

 

The “small number of persons” Hamilton refers to is, of course, the Electoral College.

In fact, the US election process is set up so that when you pull the lever for president, you are actually voting for electors chosen by either the Democratic or Republican party.

For the most part, the electors are chosen from among influential state party officials.

 

And in 21 states, those electors have the legal right to vote for whomever they want. Popular vote be damned.

This is why in three US presidential elections (the latest being Bush/Gore in 2000), the candidate who won the popular vote was not made president. In two other elections, a tie led to the president being selected in the House of Representatives.

In other words, in 5 out of 43 US Presidential Elections, the victor arrived in office in some way other than winning the popular vote.

Electors may override the voters’ decision

Given the fact that the Democratic Party electors are set against Trump, and that they’re joined in their distaste for him by a sizable percentage of Republican officials, this election could be decided by electors.

Supporting that idea, Brennan doesn’t hide his view that if Trump does win the popular vote, the Electoral College should override that vote.

“[Trump’s] not the first candidate without policy experience or to use inflammatory rhetoric and lob classless insults at his opponents. Nevertheless, we should be glad the Electoral College is in place. Given how much power the U.S. president has, it’s comforting to know that if voters make a truly horrific choice come November, our elected representatives have the power to rescue us from their mistakes.”

 

As the Electoral College is likely to become a topic of conversation over the next few months, you might want to read up on it. Here are some useful resources:

How members of the Electoral College are selected

FAQs on the Electoral College

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A rousing weekly romp on economics and markets with a dose of politics and other follies, The Passing Parade is published every Friday by Garret/Galland Research. Click here to get your free copy sent straight to your inbox.

 

John Mauldin Archive

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