Presidential Election Of 1824

Time To Move Against Electoral College Distorting Popular Vote, Through National Popular Vote Interstate Compact Agreement

The issue of the Electoral College having failed to elect the popular vote winner of the Presidency for a total of five times now, and twice in the last 16 years, continues to plague us, particularly when the present incumbent of the White House lost the popular vote by the biggest margin yet, 2.85 million votes.

There is no other political election in America where the person with the most popular votes is not the winner of the election.

The Founding Fathers might have seen the Electoral College as a necessary bulwark against mass popular control at the time, but once we began having popular votes in the 1824 Presidential election, it was an advancement of democracy, and the idea that a popular vote loser would win the Presidency was appalling.

It happened in 1824 in a four person race, but then, it occurred in 1876 with a two person race, and then in 1888, again with a two person race.

Since it did not happen again for more than a century, it was assumed to be flukes that would not happen again, and over the years of my teaching career, I was often asked whether it would happen again, and I responded, that while it could happen, it was highly unlikely that it would.

And then came the Presidential Election of 2000, where George W. Bush won with Supreme Court intervention stopping the recount in the state of Florida, winning that state over Al Gore by 537 votes out of six million cast, and therefore barely winning the Electoral College, despite a 540,000 popular vote lead nationally of Al Gore.

In 2016, the situation was even worse, as Donald Trump won by very small margins in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, and lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton nationally by 2.85 million popular votes, so five and a half times the popular vote lead for Clinton over Trump as compared to Gore over Bush in 2000, but Trump winning the Electoral College, but only 12 national elections with a smaller electoral vote majority out of a total number of 58 national elections.

The problem is trying to end the Electoral College by constitutional amendment is dead upon arrival, as it requires a two thirds vote of the House of Representatives and a two thirds vote of the Senate, followed by a majority vote in both houses of state legislatures (except in the one house of Nebraska) in three fourths of the states (38 out of 50). Clearly, that will never happen, particularly with Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, and four of the five times that the Electoral College failed, the ultimate winner was a Republican, and the loser each time was a Democrat.

But the alternative is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact Agreement, developed in recent years, with 10 states and Washington DC with 165 electoral votes agreeing by legislation that they would support the popular vote winner nationally, instructing their electors to do so. The problem is that the 10 states and DC are clearly, at this point, Democratic or “Blue” states—California, DC, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington State.

Once states with 105 additional electoral votes agree to pass such legislation, it would go into effect, but that is the more difficult matter. At this point, 12 states with 96 electoral votes have had one house of the state legislature agree to such a law—Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma,and Oregon. Also, two other states have had committees in the state legislature approve it unanimously, with these two states—Georgia and Missouri—having 27 additional electoral votes.

So if all these states that have taken partial action completed the process in the next few years, we would have 24 states and DC, with a majority of the total popular vote and population, being capable of awarding the Presidency to the winner of the national popular vote, and this would end the idea of a popular vote loser becoming President.

Republican reliable states—Arkansas, Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Missouri—are part of this group, but the question is whether they will take the steps to put it into effect.

While there is no certainty this will ever happen, there is optimism that it will eventually occur, as otherwise, the possibility of a return of 2000 and 2016 is highly likely in the future, and not just once.

If this were to occur, it would promote a truly national Presidential campaign, instead of the present focus in recent decades on 12-15 states, and ignoring the clear cut “Blue” and “Red” states in favor of the “Purple” or “Swing” states alone.

The Nightmare Year Of Donald Trump, But Suburbia, Women, Minorities, White Collar Educated, Those Under 45, And Independents Are Organizing To End The Trump Presidency

A year ago on this date, Donald Trump “won” the Presidency, with 26 percent of all eligible voters backing him, 46 percent of actual voters, and losing the popular vote by nearly 3 million to Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and having 8 million others voting for third party candidates, therefore having 11 million more people voting against him than for him.

No President who has won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote has done so poorly, as compared to John Quincy Adams losing to Andrew Jackson by 38,000 votes in 1824; as Rutherford B. Hayes losing to Samuel Tilden by 252,000 votes in 1876; as Benjamin Harrison losing to Grover Cleveland by 110,000 votes in 1888; or George W. Bush losing to Al Gore by 544,000 votes in 2000.

Also, Trump’s Electoral College victory with 304 electoral votes is only 46th of 58 national elections.

The past year, since his victory, has been a horror in so many ways, as Donald Trump has accomplished nothing in legislation, but has undermined a century of progress under Republican and Democratic Presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama in domestic and foreign policy.

He has abused his executive authority to declare war on the environment, promoted discrimination against immigrants and Muslims, advocated the end of government regulation of business, undermining on civil liberties and civil rights, disarray in our foreign relations with our allies and our enemies in the world, destroyed the concept of civility and common decency, and damaged the image of the Presidency itself.

But he has also demonstrated a level of scandal and corruption far greater than the corruption which took place under Ulysses S. Grant, Warren G. Harding, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.

His appointees, with a few exceptions, have been a total disgrace, making them the worst cabinet in performance and ethics we have ever seen.

Assuredly, Donald Trump will be the second President, after Richard Nixon, to be forced out office in the next year by the Mueller investigation of Russian collusion, obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

The reaction against him among intelligent voters is already evident from Tuesday’s off year elections, as suburbia, women, minorities, white collar educated, those under 45, and independents are organizing to end the Trump Presidency and punish the Republican Party that nominated him, have collaborated with him, and are conspiring to enrich the wealthy yet once again, as they did under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. In so doing, the Republican Party has declared war on the middle class, and shown no compassion for the poor, the sick, the disabled, and senior citizens.

A major wave election in 2018 is in the offing, as the goal is to destroy the cancer of the Trump Presidency, although some of the damage he and his party have done will take decades to eliminate totally from the nation’s domestic and foreign policy.

This is a major national tragedy, a setback that the nation will pay for long term.

Donald Trump One Of The Lowest Popular Vote Percentage Winners In American History, And NOT Due To Strong Third Party Performances!

Donald Trump’s percentage of the popular vote continues to decline, and now makes Trump one of the lowest popular vote percentage winners in American History, and NOT due to strong third party performances.

Right now, Trump has 46.28 percent of the vote and is 2.35 million popular votes behind Hillary Clinton, who has 48.2 percent of the vote.

The only 7 Presidents to have lower percentage are:

John Quincy Adams 1824—30.92

Abraham Lincoln–1860–39.65

Woodrow Wilson–1912–41.84

Bill Clinton–1992–43.01

Richard Nixon–1968–43.42

James Buchanan–1856–45.29

Grover Cleveland–1892–46.02

Before it is all over, Trump is likely to fall lower than Cleveland, and possibly Buchanan, in percentage of the popular vote, when all votes are accounted for.

In each of these seven cases, however, there were more than two strong Presidential candidates, and a third party and twice a fourth party gained electoral votes.

Adams had electoral vote competition from Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, and William Crawford in 1824.

Lincoln had electoral vote competition from John C. Breckinridge, John Bell, and Stephen Douglas in 1860

Wilson had electoral vote competition from Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft in 1912.

Clinton had electoral vote competition from George H. W. Bush and Ross Perot in 1992.

Nixon had electoral vote competition from Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace in 1968.

Buchanan had electoral vote competition from John C. Fremont and Millard Fillmore in 1856.

Cleveland had electoral vote competition from Benjamin Harrison and James Weaver in 1892.

However, Trump had no third party competitor who took electoral votes away from him or Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent.

And only Adams ended up second in popular votes with a percentage of the vote lower than Trump.

So Donald Trump cannot claim a popular mandate by any means.

Donald Trump: The Most Unpopular Presidential Winner In American History

Donald Trump may have won the Electoral College, and will be inaugurate on January 20, 2017, as our 45th President.

But he will be inaugurated knowing that he is the most unpopular Presidential winner in American history!

It looks as if Hillary Clinton will have won the widest popular vote victory of the five Democrats who have lost the Electoral College.

Andrew Jackson had a 45,000 vote edge over John Quincy Adams in 1824.

Grover Cleveland had a 100,000 vote edge over Benjamin Harrison in 1888.

Samuel Tilden had a 250,000 vote lead over Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876.

Al Gore had a 540,000 vote lead over George W. Bush in 2000.

But now in 2016, Hillary Clinton has a constantly mounting popular vote lead over Donald Trump of at least 672,000 votes, and it is thought when all votes are counted, including absentee, overseas, and mail ballots not yet counted, and many of them coming from California and Washington State and even New York, that the margin could reach 2 million!

Trump already was the most unpopular Presidential winner in public opinion polls, with 60 percent not endorsing him, and yet he won the right combination of states to win the Electoral College.

The Electoral College Fails For The Fifth Time, With Democrats The Losers All 5 Times: 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000, 2016

The Electoral College has failed for the fifth time, and twice in 16 years.

The same thing happened in 2000, with Al Gore, and in 1888 with Grover Cleveland, and in 1876 with Samuel Tilden, and in 1824 with Andrew Jackson.

Each of these four times, and now with Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee won the popular vote, but lost the electoral vote to their opponent, with each candidate who won the Presidency, except John Quincy Adams in 1824 (National Republican) being a Republican–Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, Benjamin Harrison in 1888, George W. Bush in 2000, and now Donald Trump in 2016.

To imagine it would happen 16 years apart (2000 and 2016) after having occurred 12 years apart (1876 and 1888) makes the urgency to change the Electoral College, but it has been attempted before and has failed.

So we are stuck with the reality that this can happen again and again, sadly!

The Closest Presidential Elections In American History

The closest Presidential Elections in American history would be the following in chronological order since the introduction of popular vote in 1824:

Presidential Election of 1824—Andrew Jackson vs John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and William Crawford

Presidential Election of 1876–Rutherford B. Hayes vs Samuel Tilden

Presidential Election of 1880–James A. Garfield vs Winfield Scott Hancock

Presidential Election of 1884–Grover Cleveland vs James G. Blaine

Presidential Election Of 1888–Benjamin Harrison vs Grover Cleveland

Presidential Election of 1892–Grover Cleveland vs Benjamin Harrison, James Weaver

Presidential Election of 1916–Woodrow Wilson vs Charles Evans Hughes

Presidential Election Of 1960–John F. Kennedy vs Richard Nixon

Presidential Election of 1976–Jimmy Carter vs Gerald Ford

Presidential Election of 2000–George W. Bush vs Al Gore, Ralph Nader, Pat Buchanan

Presidential Election of 2004–George W. Bush vs John Kerry

Donald Trump Accusations Of “Rigging” And “Voter Fraud” Are Preposterous, Based On History

Donald Trump is setting up a situation where he will claim “rigging” and “voter fraud”, that he plans to use as an excuse to refuse to concede when he loses the Presidency three weeks from now.

IF the election ends up close, this will cause a constitutional crisis, and promote the illegitimacy of Hillary Clinton to be in the White House.

This has never occurred in American history, as the loser, even when angry and frustrated, has always conceded to the winner of the election. This includes such example as the Presidential Elections of 1824, 1860, 1876, 1888, 1916, 1960, and 2000 as great examples.

A study of voter fraud as an issue shows over many years, and many elections, only 31 reported accusations out of one billion votes, so the whole idea that a national election, with 51 separate states and the District of Columbia having jurisdiction, could bring about a fraudulent election, is preposterous on its face.

We have to hope that Donald Trump suffers such a massive defeat that any such claim would have no basis or legitimacy in any form or fashion.

It would make the second straight President (Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton) that would have been declared illegitimate by Donald Trump.

Danger Of Civil Disorder If Donald Trump Refuses To Accept Defeat, Which All Previous Losers Have Accepted With Grace And Dignity!

Throughout American history, there has been great emotions as battles for the Presidency go on, but at the end, when the election is over, the loser has always conceded with grace and dignity.

This includes the John Adams-Thomas Jefferson race in 1800, the first time an incumbent has lost to a challenger.

It includes the John Quincy Adams-Andrew Jackson Presidential races in 1824 and 1828.

It includes the Abraham Lincoln–Stephen Douglas–John C. Breckinridge–John Bell four way race on the eve of the Civil War in 1860.

It includes the hotly contested 1876 Presidential race between Rutherford Hayes and Samuel Tilden, resolved by the political deal known as the Compromise of 1877.

It includes the four way contested race of 1912 between Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Eugene Debs.

It includes the upset election victory of Harry Truman against Thomas E. Dewey in 1948.

It includes the John F. Kennedy-Richard Nixon race in 1960, which Nixon thought might have been corrupt, but chose not to challenge.

It also includes the Presidential election of 2000, when Al Gore challenged the results in court, but then was graceful once the Supreme Court intervened in favor of George W. Bush.

And it includes the grace and dignity of John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, when they lost to Barack Obama.

But now, we have had indications that Donald Trump will not concede, and will claim a “rigged” election if he loses, and this will only encourage civil disorder, and the potential for bloodshed and violence, and refusal to allow a peaceful transition to the inauguration and administration of Hillary Clinton.

This is not a laughing matter one iota, and a very worrisome matter!

The Myth That The Election Victory Of Hillary Clinton Is Narrowing: The Misunderstanding Of The Electoral College As Against Polls

It is amazing to this author and blogger that so many Americans seem to think that the election victory of Hillary Clinton is narrowing, according to some public opinion polls.

There is a failure to understand that news media have an investment in building up that there is a real battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, when there is absolutely no realistic chance for Donald Trump to overcome the deficits that he has created for himself over the past 15 months.

The point to be made is that it is the Electoral College and 270 electoral votes that elects our President, and in fact, as George W. Bush reminded us, a candidate can actually lose the national popular vote and still be elected President, as happened in 2000, and also in 1824, 1876, and 1888.

There are 18 “Blue” states and the District of Columbia, which have voted Democratic from 1992 on, and are not about to change. But even if Pennsylvania and Wisconsin somehow surprised us, which is not going to happen in the real world, Hillary Clinton is presently ahead in all of the “Swing” states that Barack Obama won, plus she is even or slightly ahead in a number of “Red” states.

If she wins the likely 242 from the 18 states and DC, all Hillary needs is Florida OR Ohio and Virginia OR a combination of other “Swing” or “Red” states, the latter including, possibly North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, Utah, Montana, South Carolina, and even in new polls the states of Texas and Mississippi, and even possibly one vote in Nebraska in the Omaha area, since Nebraska, along with Maine, allows splitting of electoral votes.

To believe that Hillary will somehow lose is totally preposterous, while it can be said that IF the Republican Party had nominated John Kasich, or even possibly, Jeb Bush, all bets would have been off.

And while Gary Johnson will have some effect in some states, the Libertarian nominee is not going to be the spoiler he thought he would be.

And the Green Party and Jill Stein—just forget it, not worth one’s time and attention!

Potential Third Party Or Independent Attempt To Deny Clinton or Trump 270 Electoral Votes!

If it was left up to Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard and other conservatives, they would love to form a third party or independent conservative movement to deny Democrat Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump the ability to win 270 electoral votes, the minimum needed to win the White House.

Such a strategy, a real long shot, would have Mitt Romney or Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse or Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton or Florida Senator Marco Rubio or someone else gain financial backing to work to win a few key “swing” states in a three way race, and throw the election to the House of Representatives.

This has not happened since 1824, when John Quincy Adams, the second place finisher, was declared the winner of the Presidency over Andrew Jackson, what became known as a “corrupt bargain”, and fueled the victory of Jackson over Adams in the Presidential Election of 1828.

The most disturbing part is that the Republicans, who control the majority of House delegations in the present Congress, could put that third party or independent nominee in the Oval Office, even if he ended up with the third most electoral and or popular votes, an unprecedented situation, which would be seen as a true “stealing” of the Presidency!