POPULAR VOTE Million mark
The 1920 presidential election set a precedent. Republican Warren Harding not only won the election but he also carried New York by more than 1 million votes, the first time the winning margin exceeded 1 million in one state. The feat was not repeated until 1936, when Democrat Franklin Roosevelt beat Alf Landon by more than 1 million in the Empire State.
On Nov. 8, 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton carried California by 4.3 million votes over Donald Trump. The Democratic national popular margin fell just short of 3 million votes. Trump claimed a comfortable edge in the Electoral College.
In 2000, Democrat Al Gore topped George Bush by about 500,000 in the popular count. George Bush won an electoral majority by two votes. Twice in the past 16 years, the winning presidential candidate trailed in the national popular vote. This year Clinton won decisively in California, New York, Illinois and Massachusetts. The four states form a Democratic bloc. Texas is the only mega-state with GOP preferences, and even in the Lone Star State the GOP’s margin is slipping.
Not that long ago experts spoke of a GOP lock in the Electoral College. Democrats found the key. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama won clear electoral majorities. Bush’s narrow 2000 win relied on a ruling by the United States Supreme Court. The Times-Dispatch supports the Electoral College but a third or fourth Democratic lead in the popular vote but loss in the electoral sweepstakes would further undermine confidence in the system. Indeed, if Trump had led the popular vote by 3 million but lost in the Electoral College we suspect the loser and his lickspittles would complain about the results being rigged.