A new ABC News poll shows that 74 percent of Americans feel that Donald Trump won Tuesday’s election legitimately. Of course, of Trump’s supporters, 99 percent believe that he did. (Who are the 1 percent of Trump supporters that don’t believe it was legit? I mean, honestly.)
Of course, the unexpected result of the election flipped the numbers on Hillary Clinton and Trump supporters of who believes the win is legitimate. Prior to the election, 87 percent of Hillary supporters said they would consider whatever the election outcome as being legitimate, as opposed to 68 percent of the supporters of Mr. It’s-Rigged! himself. Today, only a paltry 58 percent of those Hillary Clinton supporters believe Trump’s win is legitimate. Which would explain the protests breaking out in cities that went all-in for Hillary, like Portland and Washington, D.C.
While at first glance a 74 percent agreement on Donald Trump’s presidential win might seem like good news, it’s actually a terrible commentary on how few Americans understand the electoral system, federalism and why the Electoral College is important, which I discussed here last week. Americans should either be learning this in high school civics or through the citizenship process, but they’re apparently not anymore. Or, we’ve gone so far in our ignorance of history that we think we’re going to do straight democracy better and make it work — Newsflash: It won’t and it never has.
In reality, the number of people who agree the election was legitimate should be right up there with the number of Trump supporters who think he won fair and square. Rules are rules. It was fair. States have the power to allocate their electors in the way they see fit, either by winner take all or breaking them out proportionally. We don’t elect our president via a popular vote and for good reason.
Lord knows, we don’t have to like the result, but we do have to accept it. As well as accept that Donald Trump is the President-elect, and he won according to the system that has served up well for over 200 years.