Trump’s WH2016 victory could be the last time the national popular vote loser becomes President

Trump’s WH2016 victory could be the last time the national popular vote loser becomes President


State moves are afoot to by-pass the electoral college

We all know that in November 2016 Donald Trump won the White House Race even though in terms of the national popular vote he had 3.1% fewer votes overall than Hillary Clinton. This was not the first time this has happened.

The actual decision on who should be President is determined by members of the electoral College which features in the map above. The numbers in each box are the number of electoral College members that each is allocated. The map also shows the latest WH2020 projection from

In almost all state in the US the electoral College votes are allocated on a first past the post system to the candidate who actually picks up most votes in that state.

Trump managed to win in 2016 even though he trailed Clinton secures because his vote was very efficiently distributed in several key swing states which he picked up with very small margins.

Now there is a move afoot that’s designed to prevent a further national vote loser getting the job. This is coming from decisions in some states to change their state law on how their electoral votes should be allocated. Instead of the state’s own presidential election result being the determining factor several are now deciding that they should go to whichever contender wins the national popular vote.

Colorado has just enacted such a provision conditional on sufficient other states doing the same to represent a majority in the electoral college.

If enough states follow suit before November next year then it would completely change the dynamic of the presidential election. For if you live in a strong blue state (Democrat) or a red one (Republican) then the outcome where you vote at the moment is a foregone conclusion. This inevitably depresses turn out.

The campaigns which in the past have tended not to focus on banker states would see a lot more activity.

Is this going to happen in time for next year’s election? That’s hard to say but it’s interesting that in recent weeks this has started to get traction in many parts of the US media.

Maybe the long-term consequences of Donald Trump’s election in 2016 would be to change how America chooses its president.

Mike Smithson

Comments are closed.