Hillary Clinton carried California by 4 million votes. Trump carried the rest of the country by 2 million votes.
What does this mean to a Democratic Party that has promoted the “we won the popular vote” narrative since Trump’s upset in the Electoral College? How would Americans react if they learned that eliminating the Electoral Collage would give Californians control of presidential elections?
Consider the following facts about the 2016 popular vote:
Donald Trump won the Electoral College 306-232. He won a majority or plurality of the vote in 30 states, while Hillary Clinton only won 20 states plus the District of Columbia.
Clinton’s climb to a 2.3 million vote lead in the popular vote was a result of her dominance along the West Coast, specifically in California. As California numbers came in days and weeks after the election, Clinton’s numbers climbed exponentially.
Removing California from the vote total, Hillary Clinton took 56 million votes from the rest of the country. Donald Trump took 58 million. So when the mainstream media runs headlines about Clinton having a 2.3 million vote lead in the national popular vote, understand that her lead doesn’t represent most of the country.
How would Americans react if they learned that eliminating the Electoral Collage would give Californians control of presidential elections?
In fact, what many voters may not know is the national spread between Trump and Clinton can be covered in just two areas of California: Los Angeles County and the Bay Area. In LA County, Clinton took over 2.4 million votes alone (72 percent of the county’s total). She won the county by over 1.7 million votes.
Looking at the Bay Area and surrounding counties (specifically San Francisco, Marin, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, and Sonoma counties), Clinton took between 62 percent to 85.6 percent of the vote. Combined, she took these counties by over 1.3 million votes.
The post-election narrative that we should now eliminate the Electoral College is founded on the notion that Hillary Clinton would have won under a national popular vote system. Except this is impossible to know.
Donald Trump didn’t campaign in California. Both major party candidates campaigned to win an electoral majority and a Republican’s national strategy is not going to include a state where the candidate stands no chance at getting any electoral votes and gains not even a third of the vote.
It cannot be said with certainty how the 2o16 election would have turned out under a national popular vote system. What is clear though is that Donald Trump won the popular vote in 10 more states than Hillary Clinton. Clinton won California, but Trump won the rest of the country.