Friday, December 30, 2016

Year-End Numbers to Ponder

These are vote totals in past presidential elections (slightly rounded).

Obama (2008)                      69,499,000
Obama (2012)                      65,916,000
Clinton (2016)                       65,845,000
Trump (2016)                       62,980,000
Bush (2004)                          62,041,000
Romney (2012)                     60,934,000
McCain (2008)                      59,948,000
Kerry (2004)                          59,028,000
Reagan (1984)                      54,455,000
Gore (2000)                           51,000,000
Bush (2000)                          50,456,000
Bush (1988)                          48,886,000
Clinton (1996)                      47,402,000
Nixon (1972)                         46,740,000
Clinton (1992)                      44,910,000
Reagan (1980)                      43,643,000

Now I'm a big number questioning guy, which means I don't trust numbers unless I can see them, know who offers them to me, and then inquire into the interpretation of numbers by nearly anyone and everyone. That being said, consider my thoughts on these numbers.

1. (2016) It is NOT true that if Hillary had gotten as many votes as Obama, she would have won. If all those votes were not in key states, she still loses. Then again, if her margin in California (2+ million) was redistributed to swing states, she would have won an electoral college landslide.
2. (2012) Obama got 3.5M less votes than he got in 2008. Same election, Romney got a million more than McCain received in 2008, but even with that 4.5 million vote swing, the end result was the same.
3. (1984) The voters really liked Reagan, look how far out of an orderly progression is his total that year. The same can be said of Nixon in 1972.
4. Voter totals go up year over year over year, with only minor exceptions. That math is based on birth rate versus death rate and has nothing to do with who is running for office or if the voters care, again with minor exceptions like 2008 & 1984.
5. As long as we have the electoral college; in any scenario with competitive race for the presidency, it will be more important where you get your votes, not how many you get.

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