In another stunning example of pollsters being wrong, prediction models not being accurate and the establishment being unable to connect with the people they supposedly represent, Donald Trump was elected to be the 45th president of the United States. It’s about 6 hours after the results had been called for him and already the spinning from the Democrats and the democratic news media has begun. However I think this sums up the nature of why HRC lost.
But there are numbers to look at and numbers are incredibly important for understanding how and why things like this happen. Here are the numbers compiled by Statistic Brain which pulled the numbers from the Census Bureau. 69% of people said they would be definitely voting in the election this year. There are approximately 219 million people who are eligible to vote, however only 146 million are registered. Each candidate got approximately 59 million (numbers pulled 6:38am November 9th) votes each which comes out to 118 million voters for the presidential election. So it looks like about 80% of registered voters cast a ballot. However that still leaves about 100 million people who were eligible to vote who didn’t. So only 53% of the people who could vote did vote, this is not a case of voter suppression. This is a case of complete and utter apathy within the voting public of the United States.
This election was labeled historic by just about every news agency, outreach group and by the candidates themselves but that still wasn’t enough to push people out of their homes to vote. To be perfectly clear 27% of the population elected Donald Trump to be president of the United States. 1/4 of the population was enough to elect this man to office because basically half of the country didn’t bother to vote. This is not a new circumstance, we have unacceptably low voter turnout, however in this year when important things were at stake we still had a huge number of people who didn’t vote.
This was not the result that I personally expected, I predicted that Clinton would win by 5% points, both the electoral college and the popular vote. I was obviously wrong. However there are some important take aways from this that are worth noting. Winner take all electoral college votes are bad. If we are going to keep this archaic system then the votes need to be divided based upon the percentage of votes that each candidate receives. It is time to explore ranked voting systems, essentially you rank the candidates in preferential order, instead of just picking one. Vote third-party. Vote against incumbents.
Lets explore the third-party candidates. I expect a lot of hate to be coming Gary Johnson’s way very soon. The Democratic party and the talking heads will blame him for pulling votes from Clinton and thus “allowing” Trump to win. The numbers that I have seen show Gary pulling 3-5% of the votes nationally, which I personally feel is an incredible victory for the Libertarian party. However a vote is something that you earn, you can’t just expect people to vote for a historically unpopular candidate because you don’t want another candidate to win. The DNC decided that it was now Hillary’s “turn” to run for President, the DNC knew she was incredibly unpopular, they knew she had baggage which would cause incredible consternation, but they choose to push her to the forefront. On the other hand the Republicans are incredibly out of touch with the general electorate and there is such disunity within the party that they keep fielding double-digit candidates in the primary. On the other hand we have third party candidates who looked at the field and declared “there is another way”. The duopoly within our political system feels that we should only pick between the two bad choices they give us, and they will continue to give us consistently bad choices until the electorate picks something new. You could say that the results of this election are the result of that. People wanted something new, the type of people who Trump appealed to or that Clinton repelled were the ones who voted in key states for Trump.
With the fallout from the election we have a completely Republican controlled government at the Federal level. Which means that hopefully we can pass a balanced budget and actually get some damn work done at a Federal level. I think the single biggest take away from this election is that we still have a staggering amount of people who simply did not/do not vote. If you don’t like what happened and you didn’t vote then you are part of the problem.