National Presidential Popular Vote: Clinton Leads Trump by Over 2.8 Million

by on December 12, 2016 · 24 comments

in Civil Rights, Election, History, Politics

As a continuing public service, we publish the latest in the 2016 National Presidential Popular Vote.

As of Monday, Dec. 12th, Hillary Clinton leads Trump by over 2.8 million votes – 2,844,030.

These continuing series of public service announcements would not be necessary except for the fact that Trump continues to proclaim that he won in a “landslide”.

Here’s the site of the 2016 National Presidential Popular Vote tracker.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

jeff December 12, 2016 at 9:11 pm

Darn that pesky electoral college.


Rufus December 12, 2016 at 9:38 pm

Frank, you’re barking at the moon.

But we still love you man.



Geoff Page December 13, 2016 at 10:20 am

Keep barking, Frank, someone has to.


Colin Purdy December 13, 2016 at 11:12 am

It’s worth howling about. Do we want a Republic whose Executive leader is chosen by an antiquated State-based system originally intended to grant popularly small but then relatively rich (ya know, all that “free labor”) Southern states a more equal stake, but whose contemporary reality is that all of these “red” states are now essentially over represented while the “blue” states who have more voting power are underrepresented such that they pay more in taxes (that benefit red states) but have lesser voting power when choosing the Executive? Originally Senators were chosen by each State’s House delegation until Amendment for State popular voting; maybe it’s time to do the same for Presidential voting, put it to a national popular vote, esp when 2 of the last 6 (is it?) Presidential elections have been won by the popular vote loser, never more so than the extravagant ~3mil and counting popular win by Clinton. And while the Democrats are busy Russian gooses (foolishly and without any demonstration of proof or means, instead spouting the same kind of general vice official intelligence assessments like the one of Iraq WMD and the list goes on, I mean, when has the CIA ever lied about anything?!) they should instead be shouting about the very real voter suppression that has occurred in numerous GOP controlled State legislatures, along with the very real evidence of votes not counted in several of those key swing states, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania (see Marjorie Cohn and Jeanne Mirer.


OB John December 13, 2016 at 12:23 pm

I don’t believe a ban on the Electoral College system after an election to overturn results proposed by election losers will play in Peoria.

“Don’t mourn. Organize!” — Joe Hill


Colin Purdy December 13, 2016 at 12:57 pm

I don’t think very many are seriously proposing a “ban” on the 2016 Electoral College in order to overturn its likely result, though it does seems the Democrats are making a play to cast the aspersion of foreign influence and perhaps encourage some play within its imminent vote.

But that that the likely loser of the 2016 Electoral College will likely win the national popular vote by more than 3 million has certainly cast a spotlight on the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact which “would guarantee the presidency to the winner of the national popular vote, and will be enacted when states representing at least 270 electoral college votes adopt the legislation.” (

No “ban” is necessary, or Constitutional Amendment, since the compact is already Constitutionally permissible as “Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution gives states the authority to determine how their electoral votes will be awarded: “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors….” This compact does not abolish the electoral college system; it merely awards all of the electoral votes from the members states to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the entire nation.” (

Eight states, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, and Washington – and the District of Columbia, have already adopted it.

So we know it plays in Peoria, which is unsurprising, as Illinois, and most or all of the other eight, are reliably “blue” states in contemporary history (i.e., increasingly under-represented by the popular vote vis-à-vis the Electoral College and a concerted State-level GOP strategy to suppress voter participation such that a small ball red state Electoral College strategy is increasingly able to produce disjuncture between national popular vote winners and Electoral College winners, never moreso than this year, obviously).


OB John December 13, 2016 at 1:52 pm

To rid ourselves of the Electoral College would require change to Constitution not a petition by State’s electorate. As I have said to others here, people’s energy to defeat Trump agenda is much better placed elsewhere.

It sure appears this “progressive” forum is mainly a gripe & moan fest.


Colin Purdy December 13, 2016 at 2:20 pm

Sure, to “rid ourselves of the Electoral College” would require Amendment, but how the States award Electors is, per Article II, Section 1, up to each State’s discretion; that all States currently do this according to the popular vote in each State is simply a matter of each State’s historical choice, thus far. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact doesn’t attempt to “rid” of the Electoral College, but merely avails of the Article’s stipulation that each State’s legislature may choose how that State’s Electors are awarded.

I’m not sure that to Constitutionally and historical ponder the question of two recent national popular vote winners yet losing the Electoral College, is a “gripe & moan fest”. If it is, I count myself in the company of the nation’s founders who when drafting the Constitution fundamentally considered the question of whether or not to elect the President by national popular vote or Electoral College.

Indeed, that they created an Amendment procedure, even a Constitution, itself, necessary for the law of our common governance, might constitute their overall sanction and awareness that one unchanging aspect of being a nation is a grip & moan fest, lest the might-makes-right’ers merely decree who shall rightly gripe & who shall rightly moan. See Standing Rock, and the Enlightenment.


Colin Purdy December 13, 2016 at 2:29 pm

And the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is not a direct “petition by the State’s electorate”, if that’s what you were suggesting. It’s been passed by 10 State legislatures, and D.C. (I misspoke 8, prior). A 2007 WaPo poll to gauge support for Presidential election by national popular vote show support from 78% of Democrats, 60% Republicans, and 73% Independents (Wikipedia). So, at least a popular gripe & moan fest.


OB John December 14, 2016 at 5:23 pm

And in 6 months ALL talk of presidential election reform will vanish for at least another four years at least– most likely to resume again only when another ‘minority of popular vote’ president is elected.

I believe the displaced anger at election should be placed at the feet of the corporate Democrats Pelosi, Reid, Obama, Clinton’s etc who have sold out the party to Goldman Sachs while claiming to fight for Americans. Hillary and Ovama should be apologizing to Bernie Sanders and us for not seeing the writing on the wall— namely voter backlash to elite Democrats who promote job killing free trade agreements, enable big oil pipelines, have produced a scary turnkey Totalitarian state through government/ corporate surveillance of all who use electronic communications.


OB John December 14, 2016 at 5:25 pm

Oh yeah & Add drone strike assasination of anyone he chooses to Trumps tools– gee whiz thanks Obama!


Colin Purdy December 15, 2016 at 12:18 pm

First, I do disagree that ALL talk of presidential reform will vanish for at least another four years, only to resume if/when another popular vote loser yet wins the Electoral College. Although almost all Electoral College winners have also been the popular vote winner, that 2 of the past 6 have not, and this last one by a gaudy ~ 3 million, suggest to me that the question will persist, especially as it’s now apparent that an Electoral College strategy of voter suppression in red/red-leaning states and/or GOP controlled state legislatures post-Supreme Court gutting of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 has likely created an enduring presidential election context wherein blue (etc.) states will consistently be under-represented by popular vote vis-à-vis the Electoral College. Will ~65+ million blue state voters whose states pay the most in taxes that directly benefit red states as federal aid which those same red states yet constantly seek to denigrate, defund, or destroy, simply let the election question die? I don’t think so.
Second, I’m not angry.
Third, I do generally and whole heartedly agree with your assessment of the corporate Democrats. During the 70’s, and especially after the losses to Reagan, the so-called New Democrats have persistently moved right, especially regarding collusion (sell-out) with big business/banking profiteering, at the expense of the New Deal and Great Society elements of the Party. Liberal identity politics wherein the center-right, big business, Wall Street, Democrats remain socially liberal/left is probably not going competitive enough anymore, leaving the nation vulnerable to someone like Trump who will scapegoat immigrants and talk tough for workers, but baits and switches once in office, stocking his cabinet with oilmen and bankers (though I give him credit for not going along with the absurd demonization of Russia and Putin). I still vividly recall standing the basement of my fraternity house watching Bill Clinton sign into law the Financial Services Modernization Act/Graham Leach Bliley, which repealed Glass-Steagall, thinking, boy, this can’t be good, and, dang, did that giant Chicken Rex come home to roost in 2008. And, yeah, Obama, Nobel Peace Prize?! He doubled down on the Bush Wars, big time. No question in my mind to vote Sanders in the primaries, who consistently polled much better against Trump than Hillary Clinton. I think a lot of Democrats don’t really see the Wall Street War Party for what it is. True, however, I firmly believe domestically (SS, Medicare, immigration, etc.) we’d be a lot better off with Hillary than we potentially are in for with Trump.


Geoff Page December 13, 2016 at 3:03 pm

Well said Mr. Purdy, as have been all of your comments here.


OB John December 13, 2016 at 5:38 pm

I wasn’t aware that Romney received more of the popular vote than Obama. Can you provide a link to that?

I’m not so sure about the remaining psuedo-factual information you included. Where in US history is an example of State taking an alternative path to selecting Electoral College delegates? This is laughable.


OB John December 13, 2016 at 5:54 pm

I misinterpreted “two recent” to mean last two. I apologize. But hmmm… I see the two recent you are referring to are two where Democrats lost. Were you expounding upon and promoting “States decide how to select delegates” theories after the other elections and prior to most recent? Because this just boils down to sour grapes again!

Yes, only Constitutional Amendment will change way Presidential Elections are carried out. Since Republicans are in majority in both Houses of Congress, I have to say discussion of altering Constitution in Democrats favor is moot.


Colin Purdy December 14, 2016 at 10:10 am

With the exception of 2016 (49%), since 1944 Gallup polling has consistently shown popular majority in favor direct national popular election of the President. Boiling?! I’d make wine with all of those grapes! But it’s certainly a sour whine that discussion of Constitutional interpretation of a historically fundamental question discussed at length by the Founders, you know, just the election of the President, is nothing but sour grapes.

Yes, you do, in fact, say that “only Constitutional Amendment will change way Presidential Elections are carried out.” But you haven’t even availed yourself of any actually qualified discussions, otherwise, of the actual matter that are widely available on the Internet and which have very long been the subject of scholarly debate. And, of course, 10 State legislatures and D.C., along with upper or lower houses of other States’ legislatures at various times, disagree with you.

I have nowhere discussed “altering Constitution in Democrats favor”, but only the question of Presidential election by national popular vote or Electoral College. But you would be at least correct if you said that Amending the Constitution is difficult due to the requirement that 2/3 supermajority of both the U.S. House and the Senate are required before sending an Amendment to the States where final approval requires 2/3 supermajority of States. Generally speaking, 2/3 supermajority to be achieved across a relatively wide voting distribution is very difficult to achieve.


Colin Purdy December 14, 2016 at 9:39 am

You’re the only one mentioning Romney receiving more of the popular vote than Obama. I certainly didn’t. Now, that’s pseudo-factual! But 2000 Bush v. Gore and 2016 Trump v. Clinton aren’t, nor are the elections of 1824, 1876, 1888. (Wikipedia, National Popular Voter Interstate Compact)

I cited other sources for my information, too, you know, like the Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, Clause 2, “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress.”

And the scholarly interpretation of that Clause, “The Constitution does not mandate any particular legislative scheme for selecting electors, and instead vests state legislatures with the exclusive power to choose how to allocate its own electors.” (Wikipedia – Brody, Michael (February 17, 2013). “Circumventing the Electoral College: Why the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact Survives Constitutional Scrutiny Under the Compact Clause”. Legislation and Policy Brief. Washington College of Law Journals & Law Reviews at Digital Commons @ American University Washington College of Law. 5 (1): 33, 35. Retrieved September 11, 2014.)

Where in U.S. history is there an example, well, you could try looking, but, here, the Wikipedia entry (which itself cites extensively) indicates historical precedence, “States have chosen various methods of allocation over the years, with regular changes in the nation’s early decades. Today, all but two states (Maine and Nebraska) award all their electoral votes to the candidate with the most votes statewide.” So, if you did look, you’d probably find the facts behind the assertion “regular changes in the nation’s early decades”; and that Maine and Nebraska award proportionally is an obvious demonstration of the Clause’s intended latitude.


Geoff Page December 13, 2016 at 3:01 pm

Ok, then, OB John, if that is how you see this, why don’t you stop commenting and do something else? That’s not meant to be an angry comment, I just don’t understand comments like this.


OB John December 13, 2016 at 5:40 pm

My good fellow you choose to not answer my inquiries, I too am indifferent to yours.


Geoff Page December 14, 2016 at 10:45 am

Uh, I was not commenting on any inquiries of yours, I was commenting on your statement that this is a “gripe & moan fest.” When someone makes a judgmental statement like, I have to wonder why they are even bothering to hit the keys because the discussion is over at that point. I commend Mr. Purdy for continuing the discussion with you, I personally would not have bothered once I read that.


BeachBum December 13, 2016 at 3:39 pm

Too bad there wasn’t a popular election and hence the popular vote is pointless.

If there was a popular vote, you’d probably see a lot more red votes in blue states, and vice-versa. (no point voting red in a blue state like Cali)

But have fun counting anyways!


triggerfinger December 15, 2016 at 2:26 pm

Exactly! Voter turnout suffers in states where it is all but decided. And the campaigns ignore those states. Click here and scroll down for a chart showing why arguing about the 2016 popular vote is pointless. Nobody will ever know what a popular vote presidential campaign would have resulted in.

I would be interested to see someone normalize the vote turnout in each state to the national average…. and then to compare that with the electoral votes. Clearly electoral colleges overrepresent people in less populated states, but those states are not necessarily rural. DC is the most overrepresented, and is very blue.

Utah shouldn’t be listed on that chart though, it’s not a battleground state.


Colin Purdy December 15, 2016 at 2:54 pm

I agree that if election was by popular vote, of course many numbers across the states would be different, if not necessarily different outcomes, but I don’t think you can dismiss the 2016 popular vote out of hand. I mean, I knew voting Democrat in California was “pointless”, but I still voted.


Eamon December 14, 2016 at 1:14 pm

“As the scale of Clinton’s lead in the popular vote becomes more widely known, Trump’s elevation to the presidency will be seen ever-more widely as politically illegitimate”.
“the unprecedented scale of his defeat in the popular vote has clearly deprived him of any right to claim a mandate for his reactionary agenda.

Can anyone doubt that if the roles had been reversed, and Clinton had won the Electoral College while Trump rolled up a big margin in the popular vote, that the Republican Party would have proceeded far differently?


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