Hillary Won 2016


11/9/16

Hillary won 2016. Well, not really. Well, kind of. Ok, technically, she lost, and as of now, Trump, my future new boss, is the President elect. However, it is well known that there are problems with any voting system (see Arrow, for example), and specifically, problems with the current winner-take-all (WTA) approach to electoral votes.

There are, however, many possible alternatives to WTA. Consider just a few, for example the popular vote (PV), as well as awarding electoral votes proportionally by state popular vote, either using whole numbers (WNP), using rounding or using the int function, or using fractions (FP) for the electoral votes.

Using these rational alternatives, Hillary in fact won. The table below highlights the winner by each method:

Candidate
PV
WTA
WNP (rounding)
WNP (int function)
FP
Trump
46.10%
305
257
224
253.09
Clinton
48.20%
233
260
231
257.03

Actually, under the PV alone, Clinton won by about 2,865,075 votes, which while a small number compared to the U.S. population and the number of voters, is not negligible. The number is in fact a population larger than that of Chicago, IL.

Please see the attached spreadsheet here for the calculations. Note that I generally obtained the underlying data from http://www.cnn.com/election/results/president.

I'm not saying to go back and use one of these systems to determine the winner for 2016. Simply put, Trump won, and barring anything bizarre, he will become the next President. I'm saying that moving foward, we need to seriously revisit systems that are more rational than the WTA approach. After voting in Gore/Bush in 2000 and in Clinton/Trump in 2016, and having the winner not be the most popular candidate, a serious revisit is the least the country can do.

But don't take my word for it. Trump himself tweeted:

after Romney's loss in 2012.

I personally favor the FP method - it just makes more sense to me to award electoral votes proportionally by state popular vote and seems less arbitrary than rounding methods and less severe than WTA. If FP were to be implemented, I'd like all states to do it, ie. no mix and match of different electoral methodologies.


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