More Americans voted for Hilary Clinton than Donald Trump. The way the electoral college system works led to Trump winning the presidency.
Reporter: Amie Stone | Sub-editor: Lateefa Farah
In the last 48 hours, the Trump presidency was announced. The world took to social media to talk about they how felt about the results. The world watched as a reality star businessman became the president of the United States of America. How did Trump get this far? His outrageous statements certainly did capture the attention of supporters. But many people don’t realise Hilary Clinton achieved more of the popular vote…
Conversations surrounding the election at the University of Westminster campus struck me. We were all watching and following the election… but students don’t understand how the voting system actually works? How did Hilary get more votes and not win? Voice of London Investigates…
Hilary Clinton won the popular vote of the American people, but lost the election overall due to the electoral college system. She is not the 1st but, the 5th presidential candidate this has happened to. Trump received 163, 641 less votes with a final outcome 59,135,740. The democratic candidate actually achieved 59,299,381 votes.
I asked Students at the University of Westminster- who they thought won the popular vote?
The students at the University of Westminster were selected at random to answer ‘Who do you think won the popular vote?’. It is safe to say some of them need to brush up on their reading. A few people knew that it was Hilary, but only Lorenzo Martini, 21, could explain fully. I think a lot of students were confused by the question and what the ‘popular vote’ meant. It was shocking to see that Media Arts students knew the results of the election, but clearly didn’t understand the system the president is elected through. The atmosphere across campus is shock and many students struggle to understand how Trump won the election. I think they will be even more shocked once they realise Hilary got more votes…
So how have we ended up with a President that received less votes?
The US electoral system is based on the electoral college vote, which makes it possible for a US presidential candidate to win with 30% less of the popular vote. The 50 states each have a certain number of college votes. This system was to create regional balance. It would be difficult for a candidate with large amounts of support to overwhelm the vote of an individual region.
Candidates with a majority of popular votes win all the electoral college votes of that state. If they only win by one singular vote, it allows them to take the electoral college for the state. This is how Trump managed to win entire states…
Still confused? Yes, Trump actually got less votes than Hilary and still won.
This is rare outcome but, is possible when election candidates are close in vote. Presidential candidates have previously experienced the same out come…
Al Gore, who lost to George W Bush in 2000
Grover Cleveland, who lost to Benjamin Harrison in 1888
Samuel Tilden, who lost to Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876
Andrew Jackson, who lost to John Quincy Adams in 1824
Has America tried to improve the system?
In 1960’s the Electoral college system was debated and citizens wanted their vote to directly matter. In 1969, the House of Representatives decided that candidates with more than 40% of the popular cannot be cut off. However, the Senate would not pass this legislation.
It does not matter how a candidate wins the electoral college votes by 1% or 40%- they still take all the votes. The US election focuses on swing states for the important electoral college votes. Swing states are politically divided, therefore the outcome changes between states. The electoral college system has ‘winner takes all approach’ and their divided opinion is not often represented.
If people are unrepresented- Why don’t they change the system?
The democratic voters in the 2016 election have been under represented. This is a huge disappointment for voters. Although, it is important to celebrate democracy surely, there is way to be more democratic? In the UK, the voices of the minority are still represented through opposition party in government. The saddest part of all this is America is put on a peddle stool. We all watch in on their elections and look up to them. For many people this article will show them that it is not such a fair elections after all.
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