For a bit over two weeks, Trump supporters and opponents have been trading angry barbs over whether or not the popular vote discrepancy between the vote numbers received by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton matters or even whether or not the numbers are legitimate. The reality is that the popular vote problem for Republicans is FAR more significant than one election.
Before we discuss that problem, let’s briefly address the question of the legitimacy of the numbers being reported. The numbers are more or less accurate. Has there been voter fraud in the past on the part of Democrats? Absolutely. Statistical analysis of the likelihood of 59 voting precincts in Philadelphia reporting zero votes for Mitt Romney in 2012 and the absurdity of 141% turnout in certain Florida counties make the debate over fraud a laughable waste of time. Yes, there was massive cheating in 2012 and that was not the first time.
However, we need to look at the nature of vote fraud. Democrats do not engage in major cheating in places where they are already guaranteed a win, such as California and New York. Why would they? Every act of fraud carries a risk of discovery. There is no possible advantage to adding votes to NY or California or Massachusetts. There is no chance that the Democrat nominee would lose those States. There is no reason to cheat.
Democrats have no ABILITY to cheat in significant numbers in major GOP stronghold States. They cannot possibly cheat enough to win Texas or Mississippi. They control no infrastructure and cannot overturn the results. Again there is no possible benefit.
Thus, the only places where cheating makes sense are States which are traditionally close. Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia, Colorado, etc. In most of those States, Hillary lost, even though Obama won in 2012. That was not where she created her popular vote margin over Trump.
The numbers may not be entirely accurate. However, there is all but zero doubt that Hillary received more popular votes than Donald Trump did. Regardless, he won and will be the legitimately elected President of the United States.
The bigger problem is the pattern we have seen in the US over the course of almost three decades. From 1992 through today, the GOP has seen a continuous strengthening – with few setbacks – in both State elections and our hold on the two Houses of Congress. We have steadily grown the number of Governors’ Mansions we control. Concurrently, both the total number of Houses of State Legislatures in which we control a majority and the overall number of State Legislatures has increased significantly. After four decades of Democrat control, the Republicans took both Houses of Congress in 1994 and maintained that control of the House with the exception of 2007 through 2011 and the Senate with the exception of 2001-2003 and 2007-2014.
At the same time, our performance in Presidential elections has been dismal. In the seven Presidential elections held from 1992 through today, the Democrat nominees ended up with more popular votes than the Republican nominees six times. Of those six Democrat popular vote victories, four were also Electoral vote victories. Two of them were Democrat landslides. In seven elections, the only unequivocal win for Republicans – where we won both the popular and Electoral votes – was in 2004 when Bush beat Kerry soundly.
The lack of popular vote pluralities coupled with Electoral Vote victories means that GOP Presidents cannot claim mandates in pushing forward with plans for positive, liberty oriented change in America. Their jobs become more difficult.
More importantly, this troubling pattern represents a disconnect between the national GOP leadership and candidates and the voters in general. Our victories in State elections – strong and frequent as they are – prove that American voters WANT to vote for Republicans, for Conservatives. Yet, they are not replicating their voting proclivities in elections aimed at securing the White House.
This year in particular is a warning sign. As we picked up Governors’ Mansions and State Legislative Houses, we not only pulled in fewer votes for President than the Democrats did, we also lost seats in both Houses of Congress. Like it or not, there is a significant problem which must be addressed if we are to be consistently nationally successful in the future.
Denying the problem by focusing on what constitutes a legal victory or spreading statistically ridiculous claims about who “actually” win the popular vote does not help the problem. This is a long term issue which has been plaguing the GOP since long before this year’s new voters were born. Acknowledging it is not about supporting or opposing the current President-elect. It is about recognizing a disturbing and potentially catastrophic pattern. Republicans need to look beyond their own political choices over the past 18 months and to the needs of the Party and the Nation for the next several decades. Failing to do so will almost certainly result in national catastrophe.