PSA: There is no such thing as a "popular vote" for President. Thus, there is nothing to "win" or "lose...

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PSA: There is no such thing as a "popular vote" for President. Thus, there is nothing to "win" or "lose."

And this isn't merely a technical point: people cast their vote based on the system we have, so the fact that we have no popular vote has an effect on the vote itself, such that votes in different states aren't equal.

In California, for example, it's not possible for anyone but Clinton to win, so someone might be more likely to vote for a third-party or independent candidate, or not at all, since your vote is inconsequential. But in Florida, where the outcome was far from assured, someone is more likely to vote for one of the majority party candidates.

So the way you vote can change depending on which state you're voting in; therefore, you can't just pull all the individual votes together from all the states (plus DC!) and call it a "popular vote." The number is meaningless.

We don't know who will have the most individual votes in 2016, but we know Bush had fewer than Gore in 2000. But what we don't know is if Bush would have had fewer in 2000 if we had an actual popular vote. All we know is that the tally would have been different, and that it might have been different in sufficient degree that Bush would have had more.

So please, stop talking about the "popular vote" as though it can tell us who would have won if we determined the election by actual popular vote. It cannot tell us that.

Cheers! G+

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