OPINION: ‘Most American voters wanted a woman to become president’

Concordia expert Graham Dodds examines how the US Electoral College trumped a popular majority
November 15, 2016
By Graham Dodds


Graham Dodds is an associate professor of political science in Concordia’s Faculty of Arts and Science

On Tuesday November 8th, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote over Donald Trump by 776,854 votes, a number that has continued to grow since then.

So, instead of an unrepentant sexist and an alleged serial sexual harasser and abuser, most American voters wanted a woman to become president. Instead of someone who unashamedly appealed to ethnic nationalism and much that is dark and dangerous in people, voters preferred the candidate who embraced diversity and assured Americans that they were “stronger together.”

Instead of a candidate with shockingly little knowledge of public policy or the world around him, the U.S. electorate preferred someone with a surfeit of governmental experience who had the audacity to provide the public with details of her plans and priorities.

And instead of a candidate who caused even his own party’s most ardent supporters to recoil in disgust and disbelief, most American voters favoured a candidate whose personality and politics were, on balance, less repulsive.

But courtesy of the magic of the Electoral College, Donald Trump by 290 to 232 and is now the president-elect.


If Ms. Clinton’s supporters had been distributed just a bit more advantageously, or if a few thousand of the five million supporters of Jill Stein or Gary Johnson had appreciated the folly of voting for a minor party, or if a fraction of the 100 million Americans who chose not to vote had seen fit to do their democratic duty, we might all now inhabit a very different world.

But none of that happened, so Donald Trump will be the President until 2021, or perhaps 2025.

Find out more about Concordia’s Department of Political Science.

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