POLITICS

Clinton Now Leads Trump By More Than 2 Million Ballots In Popular Vote

And her lead is projected to continue increasing.

24/11/2016 4:29 AM AEDT | Updated 24/11/2016 4:29 AM AEDT
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Hillary Clinton received far more votes than Donald Trump. But because of the way the Electoral College is set up, she lost the presidency.

While the nation’s attention has already shifted to Donald Trump’s moves as president-elect, his share of the total vote continues to decrease.

Hillary Clinton’s popular vote lead surpassed 2 million ― or about 1.5 percent of the overall vote ― on Wednesday morning, with 64,225,863 ballots now counted in her favor, compared to 62,210,612 for Trump, according to David Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

There are still a few million ballots left to count, and they’re expected to be disproportionately for Clinton.

It became clear on Election Night that Clinton was going to win the popular vote, even as Trump secured a comfortable victory in the Electoral College. It was the second time in two decades that a Democratic candidate had garnered more votes, only to lose the presidency to the Republican challenger. In 2000, Democrat Al Gore got 500,000 more votes than Republican George W. Bush, but came up short in the Electoral College due to a hotly contested race in Florida. At the time, Gore’s margin of victory in the popular vote was the largest for any candidate that had gone on to lose the election.

The latest count comes as speculation swirls about a potential challenge to the election results. A group of computer scientists and election lawyers have gone to the Clinton campaign with claims that voting may have been compromised in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Trump is the projected winner in these states, though Michigan’s results have not yet been certified. Clinton would need to win all three to flip the results of the Electoral College.

The allegations center around statistical discrepancies in counties that used electronic voting machines, which saw fewer Clinton votes than counties that used optical scanners and paper ballots. The Clinton campaign has not yet said what it plans to do, if anything, with this information.

Activists are also exploring other avenues to reverse the outcome of the election. Campaigns are underway to pressure Electoral College “electors” to cast their votes for Clinton on Dec. 19. Many states allow so-called “faithless electors” to ignore their states’ votes and cast ballots for another presidential candidate without penalty.  A Change.org petition urging these officials to do just that currently has nearly 5 million signatures.

The election results have also bolstered plenty of criticism of the Electoral College itself, with many people, including Trump, suggesting they’d prefer to see the process rely on the popular vote. During a meeting with The New York Times on Tuesday, Trump appeared to flip-flop on the system he had called “genius” in a tweet the week before.

Although Trump may be trailing bigly in the popular vote, he’s claimed he would have been able to win by this metric if he’d needed to. The president-elect said that if he were campaigning for the most votes, instead of the Electoral College win, he would have made a push in deep-blue states like New York or California.

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