In the end, a drop in turnout led to fall of Clinton
But unofficial tally shows she’s ahead in the popular vote
On Tuesday night, Hillary Clinton appears to have been the choice of a plurality of voters to be the next president of the United States.
But Clinton will not be the next president because those voters didn’t live in the right places. Clinton won big in states that Democrats usually win and closed the gap in big states that Democrats usually lose.
But in smaller states where Democratic victories have been narrower in recent years, Trump got more votes and got the electoral votes needed to win the presidency.
A day after Election Day, Clinton held a narrow lead in the popular vote, according to unofficial results tallied by The Associated Press. With nearly 125 million votes counted, Clinton had 47.7 percent of the vote and Trump had 47.5 percent.
Data show how the electoral map changed between 2012 and now. In a broad swath across the upper Midwest, Trump outperformed Mitt Romney by a wide margin.
But that data obscure Clinton’s problem: She received far fewer votes than Barack Obama in an election that was supposed to see a big increase in turnout. Ballots are still being counted, so these numbers will shift, but the Democratic candidate received fewer votes in 2016 than 2012 in 46 states. Trump received more votes than Romney in 28 states.
In Michigan, Clinton got 13 percent fewer votes than Obama. Trump got 7 percent more than Romney.
In Pennsylvania, Clinton got 5 percent fewer votes than Obama. Trump got 9 percent more than Romney.
In Wisconsin, Clinton got 15 percent fewer votes than Obama. Trump did slightly worse than Romney.
One likely reason is that Clinton’s get-out-the-vote effort faltered, perhaps because she lacked a fervent base of support outside of major metropolitan areas who would volunteer.
Increase Clinton’s vote totals 2 percent and Clinton wins Michigan, New Hampshire and Wisconsin. Boost her support 3 percent and she adds Florida and Pennsylvania — and wins the presidency. Three percentage points is the sort of difference that a get-outthe-vote effort is supposed to make.
Part of that difference could and should have come from big cities in those states, but it didn’t.
This shift in turnout is a part of why pre-election polls missed Trump’s victory.