The quixotic left-wing push for recounts in a handful of midwestern states carried narrowly by Donald Trump three weeks ago continues apace. Amid preposterous conspiracies about "hacked" results in Wisconsin, Hillary Clinton's camp has jumped aboard the bandwagon captained by failed Green Party candidate Jill Stein in that state. Ridiculous:
Nearly three weeks after Election Day, Hillary Clinton’s campaign said on Saturday that it would participate in a recount process in Wisconsin incited by a third-party candidate and would join any potential recounts in two other closely contested states, Pennsylvania and Michigan. The Clinton campaign held out little hope of success in any of the three states, and said it had seen no “actionable evidence” of vote hacking that might taint the results or otherwise provide new grounds for challenging Donald J. Trump’s victory. But it suggested it was going along with the recount effort to assure supporters that it was doing everything possible to verify that hacking by Russia or other irregularities had not affected the results.
There is "zero evidence" of improper vote manipulation in the Badger State, which Trump carried by more than 22,000 votes. And as we noted last week, Hillary's performance in Wisconsin's rural counties were the opposite of "irregular," based on comparable neighboring states that exclusively use paper ballots. Over to you, Democratic Wisconsin elections chief:
Wisconsin's (Democratic) Elections Commission chairman: 2011 statewide recount shifted 300 votes.— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) November 28, 2016
Trump won WI by 22k+ pic.twitter.com/GbmA7FeAZs
In Michigan, where Trump prevailed by just shy of 11,000 votes, the possibility of hacked results is nil. "We are an entire paper and optical scan state. Nothing is connected to the Internet," explained state elections director Chris Thomas. But let's pretend for a moment that costly and time-consuming recounts in both states somehow turned up tens of thousands of new votes for Hillary, tipping those states' combined 26 electoral votes into her column (spoiler: this will not happen). What then? Nothing much, actually:
Even in the (*extremely* unlikely) event that recounts overturn his victories in WI & MI...Trump still wins. pic.twitter.com/bZBkmKxJqh— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) November 28, 2016
Clinton would also need to overturn Pennsylvania's outcome to win. How's the Keystone State looking? Trump won it by close to 70,000 votes, and the obstacles to a successful recount are quite high:
Stein's lawsuit would have to present evidence that election fraud was probable in Pennsylvania. Democratic Secretary of State Pedro Cortes says there's no evidence of voting irregularities during the Nov. 8 election...“Absolutely not,” Cortes told reporters. “There is no evidence whatsoever that points to any type of irregularity in any way, shape or form."...According to the Department of State, there were 9,163 voting precincts in Pennsylvania during the 2016 election. So Stein would need over 27,000 voters to file notarized affidavits, but it's unclear if that avenue is even still available...Even if Stein were able to overcome the odds and initiate a statewide recount, it’s doubtful Clinton would be able to overcome Trump’s 70,638 lead in Pennsylvania. From 2000 and 2015, the outcome of the election was changed in just three of 27 elections, according to FairVote, a nonpartisan electoral reform group that researches elections. The largest swing occurred in Florida in 2000, when 1,247 voters for George W. Bush were flipped to his opponent, Al Gore, which wasn’t enough to overturn the state’s results.
Not happening. By the way, even if Clinton managed to magically win Pennsylvania and Michigan via recount, Trump would still be at 270 electoral votes -- plus, he'd have a strong case to demand a recount in New Hampshire, where Clinton prevailed by fewer than 3,000 votes. All of which is to say what we already knew: Donald Trump won this election. Ongoing efforts to cast doubt on that result smell a lot like a "horrifying" undermining of public faith in our electoral system, according to Mrs. Clinton's one-time standard. Trump's decisive electoral college victory makes his irresponsible decision to baselessly allege mass voter fraud by "millions" of illegal voters all the more puzzling. It's a nonsense claim, based on nothing. If he's irked by the Left's endless attention to the popular vote total, this is his much better retort:
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— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2016
This is precisely the point we've made: If the presidential race were determined based on a totally different metric, the campaigns' battle plans would have been totally different. That's why focusing on the popular vote is so misleading and ultimately irrelevant (also, notice how they don't want to talk about the other national popular vote, which Republicans won by about three million). As liberals continue to plug away at the 'popular vote' talking point, conservatives can shoot back that Trump appears to have won more than 80 percent of all US counties. If liberals counter that the number of counties won is an irrelevant statistic, conservatives can finish the easy layup: Exactly. The only thing that matters is winning a majority of the electoral college, based on 51 separate popular votes in the states and Washington, DC -- which Trump did. I'll leave you with this:
UPDATE - Oh.