What the Democrats Need to Do to Win Again

The results are in and analyzed many ways.  Hillary did not win and the data shows why.  She had lots and lots of votes, but not spread out in a way that would win the Electoral College.  There is only one way to win the Presidency in the US – and that is win the Electoral College.  That means a candidate needs 270 votes spread across the country.

Hillary won the popular vote, yet lost the Electoral College – that is the biggest nightmare in US politics.  While it seems that the “country wants” you to be president, in fact, in the way that the US measures what the country wants, that is not so.  The rules were published in the US Constitution in 1789 and revised in the 12th Amendment in 1804, or 213 years ago, so there is no excuse for not reading the rules.  Hillary won the popular vote 65 million to Trump’s 62 million, so what went wrong?

Once you win a state by one vote, you win it.  Some states have different rules, but in general all votes over the winning one have been called “wasted” votes.  They are not wasted, they just don’t count toward presidential victory.  I am a democrat and my own state went for Hillary big time.  But once it is clear she would win the state, there is no reason for more votes for the top of the ticket.  The rest of the votes are for show at the top (presidency) and for substance for the rest of the ticket.

It is very, very, very unlikely that the Constitution will be changed to count the popular vote only.  Changing the Constitution has been made difficult on purpose.  So in order to win, we need to read the existing rules and play by that game.  Nothing is particularly unfair about it, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, John F Kennedy, and all other democratic presidents have done it.

Hillary lost some states – to her surprise – that she expected to win.  She did not visit states that easily swing democratic, like Michigan.  It has been many years since Michigan voted Republican, yet it did this time. Only a few states would have needed to not flip in order for Hillary to win.  Barack Obama won those states.  So the future of the democratic party to win the presidency involves a geography test.  The next candidate needs to be able to appeal not just to the current population that voted democratic, but also to a few more states.  How can that be done?  Who would be a good democratic candidate in 2020?

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