Trump Says He Would Have Won Popular Vote If He Tried

November 15, 2016 11:21 am Last Updated: November 15, 2016 12:11 pm

President-elect Donald Trump returned to Twitter, saying that he would have won the popular vote if he tried to.

“If the election were based on total popular vote I would have campaigned in N.Y., Florida, and California and won even bigger and more easily,” he wrote.

What Trump appears to suggest is that if the U.S. election system was based solely on the popular vote, which Hillary Clinton won by nearly 1 million votes, Trump would have used a different strategy to gain the popular vote by going to the three most populous states in the United States.

According to the latest tally, Clinton took 47.9 percent of the vote, while Trump got 47.2 percent of the vote. However, Trump is on track to secure more than 300 votes in the electoral college—well over the 270 required to be elected president.

The popular vote total is itself based on the electoral college system, and it would be impossible to know the results under a popular vote system whether Clinton would have won.

Campaigns, under the electoral system, prompt candidates to concentrate efforts on swing states (like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida). Candidates make very little effort in trying to sway voters in states that lean heavily Republican (like Texas, North Dakota, or Alabama) or Democrat (New York, California).

Trump also tweeted that “the Electoral College is actually genius in that it brings all states, including the smaller ones, into play. Campaigning is much different!”

Four years ago, Trump derided the Electoral College after Republican Mitt Romney lost to President Barack Obama. “He lost the popular vote by a lot and won the election. We should have a revolution in this country!” Trump wrote, adding that “the electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.”

“The phoney electoral college made a laughing stock out of our nation. The loser one!” he added [sic]. “More votes equals a loss…revolution!”

However, at the time, Obama won the popular—and electoral—vote.