Democrats are still licking their wounds, their supporters are still shell shocked over President-elect Donald Trump’s upset win over Clinton, and they keep peddling the myth that Clinton won the popular vote. They also say that because a majority didn't vote for Trump, he doesn't have a mandate either. Enter Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) (via The Hill):
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) blasted Donald Trump on Thursday, saying the president-elect doesn't have a mandate for his "politics of hate and division."
"I think most people conclude that the fact that he lost the popular vote is so disturbing to the president-elect because he wants to claim a mandate, but he cannot claim a mandate because a majority of Americans voted against him," Merkley said.
Circling back to Clinton, she leads Trump 48/46 in the popular vote right now. Is that a majority? No, it’s a plurality. And grouping third party candidates, who didn't for Clinton either, to make that talking point seem legitimate is also dishonest.
Clinton didn’t win the majority of the popular vote, and the majority of Americans didn’t vote for her. The majority did think she was a liar, dishonest, and untrustworthy, which probably explains why she wasn’t able to break through with voters and energize them in the same manner as the president-elect. Moreover, the popular vote isn’t how we decide who is president. As sitting lawmakers, I would’ve hoped they would know that it’s the Electoral College, a system in which candidates must wage a national campaign to win the electors from each respective state. If it were decided by popular vote, the snobby, insufferable bastions of progressivism on the Left Coast and the liberal Northeast would be the only places where candidates would campaign. That’s not how you keep a country together. Second, Trump did win a majority…of the states. The GOP retained control of Congress, has over 4,100 lawmakers elected into state and local legislatures (the most in the party’s history), has control of 33 governorships; and has control of 69/99 state legislatures. In 25 states, it’s a unified Republican state government. We’re the dominant political force in the country. Democrats are now reduced to their coastal and urban strongholds. I think we have a mandate…in the areas that matter when gauging who won an election.
Guy made mince meat of the other talking point, which is that a majority of Americans voted for Democrats in the Senate elections. Again, not really indicative of a national outcry a) only one-third of the seats were up; b) some of these contests were even competitive in deep-blue states; and c) there were no Republicans running in uber-progressive California, which drove up the margins for Clinton and Democrats in these Senate contests. A majority did vote for Republicans in the House elections. The Left can learn something from Republicans after our defeat in 2012. We accepted defeat and began a long journey to winning back Congress and now the presidency. We didn’t cherry-pick the results en masse to make ourselves feel better because you can’t polish a turd. Romney lost. Clinton lost. The only difference is that the GOP has healthier political apparatuses in the areas that decided the last election. Democrats do not. In fact, they’ve been wiped out in working class America; out of 490 counties that dot Appalachia, Clinton only won 21 of them. Maybe it’s time for Democrats to say something that they’ve been avoiding to do: admit that Hillary Clinton was a terrible candidate.
Now that she’s gone, Joe Biden seems to be the only heavyweight left who could mount a national campaign in which he’ll be approaching 78 years of age. That’s how you know you’re in trouble. Democrats you lost. Accept it and move on. This quest to find reasons to make defeat feel better is only prolonging your anguish and it’s getting pathetic.
This post has been updated to clarify Sen. Merkley's quote. Our apologies for mixing it up in the initial post.