Play a hypothetical game: How many popular votes could Trump lose by and still win the election?
I built a spreadsheet using the census figures for the number of registered voters in each state in 2018 and then made these assumptions:
- 60% of the registered voters will vote in 2020. (Yes, it’s high, but there’s historical interest.)
- In a state that Trump carries, he gets 51% of the vote.
- In a state the Democrat carries, Trump gets 35% (his die-hard base).
- Trump gets exactly 270 votes.
The way I got to 270 was to use the electoral votemap website to pick just enough states to get there: AL, AK, AR, FL, GA, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, MS, MO, MT, NE, NH, NC, ND, OH, OK, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, WV, WY.
Using the formulas above, there were a total of 91,832,000 votes cast. (I realize that’s low, but this is just a general experiment.) Trump gets 39,393,000 (about 43%) and the Democrat gets 52,439,000 (57%). Trump loses the popular vote by 13,046,000 — but he wins the electoral college and we all go to jail.
Now if that isn’t an argument to get rid of the electoral college, I don’t know what is! Until we do that, we need a fifty-state GOTV!