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Published: Fri, November 18, 2016
Health | By Constance Griffith

Bid to end Electoral College as Trump lags behind in popular vote


Trump won in the Electoral College but lost in the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton, just as President George W. Bush won in the Electoral College in 2000 while losing the popular vote to Democrat Al Gore.

Trump has shot back, tweeting Wednesday: "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". Mrs. Clinton is now leading in the popular vote by a margin of more than 1 million votes. "Every American should be guaranteed that their vote counts".

The Democrat introduced legislation Tuesday that would abolish the Electoral College and use the popular vote instead to determine the presidency.

In pursuit of Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes, Trump visited Wisconsin five times since becoming the party's nominee, while Clinton made no trips here after her party's convention.

The defense of that system of voting for a "republic" was to place decision power in the hands of state leaders who, at that time, realistically could make more informed decisions about candidates for the highest national office.

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It was part of a classic backroom political deal fashioned to appease Southern slave states so they'd sign the new Constitution.

As US News put it, "Trump's legitimacy has been called into question by his adversaries because he didn't win the popular vote, adding to the desire among his critics to defy him from the start of his administration". A petition on change.org calling for members of the electoral college to vote for Clinton rather than Trump got more than 2 million signatures in under 36 hours, but if people really want change, they should lobby their state legislators to support the electoral college compact. And candidates would have to stop focusing only on states where electoral votes are "in play". Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, is one of 11 states that formally endorsed electing the president by national popular vote. On November 8, all 435 seats of the U.S House of Representatives were up for election, resulting in a Republican majority of 241 to 194 Democratic, according to Ballotpedia. There are only three previous occasions in American history where the loser of the popular vote still becomes president. The counting isn't even over yet - votes in at least three states, including Washington and California, are still being tallied. ME and Nebraska are the exception, awarding their electors by a proportional, congressional district method. As Andrew Prokop has pointed out at Vox, the electoral college now functions exclusively as a "formality", with very few historic examples of electors going rogue. Had John Kerry convinced 59,301 George W. Bush voters in OH to support him instead, he would have taken the presidency in 2004 despite losing the popular vote by 3 million. But Trump's opponents have deluged Banerian and other GOP electors with pleas and nasty emails to reverse course and cast their ballots for Clinton, according to the Michigan Republican Party.

That said, a constitutional amendment isn't the onlyway to abolish the Electoral College.

Now, those very same people are crying themselves, declaring that Trump is not their president.

Old Dominion University's Josh Zingher says it's impossible to know, because if there were no Electoral College, the candidates surely would've campaigned differently. For the protection of AP and its licensors, content may not be copied, altered or redistributed in any form. A Pew Research poll from April found that only 55% of women thought abortion should be legal "in all or most cases" and there's a lot of gray area when we get into later term abortions.

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