18% of voters across the nation detested both candidates on November 8, and yet the majority of this group voted for Donald Trump, putting him over the top. For example, in Wisconsin, which was a crucial state for Trump, the “Neithers” were 22%, not 18%, and yet among them a whopping 60% voted for Trump. In Michigan, 50% of the Neithers voted for Trump but Hillary Clinton did not get the other 50%; she only got 29%, the remainder evidently going to minor party candidates. Where the percentage of Neithers was smaller than 18%, such as in Florida and North Carolina, the Neithers went for Trump by more than 60%.
The point is that Trump is president-elect exactly because he won narrow victories in several key states, where voters who detested him—but detested Hillary Clinton more—made the difference. (Hat tip to Mark Levin for turning me on to this Edison Research poll.)
An odd finding: Two percent of voters had favorable views of BOTH candidates! What were these people on, and is it legal anywhere?
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If you think it would be a good idea to do away with the Electoral College, just look at an election map for 2016. It is a sea of Republican red bordered by a few islands of Democratic blue. Of course, the blue states include some of the country’s most populous states: New York, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Virginia. But thirty states, including Texas, went for the Republican candidate while only twenty voted for the Democratic candidate. That means twice as many states went for the Republican as the Democrat. While the popular vote in favor of the Democrat (by only 1.32 million votes) indicates that the Republican should not assume that he has a mandate—especially since almost ten percent of the voters who pushed him over the top in key states actually detest him—he nevertheless won the election fair and square according to the rules established in 1787, and, state-by-state, the so-called fly-over people got the candidate they voted for. Whether they really wanted him or not, in an ideal world, is another question.
That said, Donald Trump is already getting criticism even from conservatives who voted for him (notably, Mark Levin). His announcement of a deal with the air-conditioner company, Carrier, is being called “crony capitalism” and favoritism. (Where are the deals for the air-conditioner companies that never said they were moving jobs overseas? Why does the squeaky wheel have to get the grease?) Meanwhile, most conservatives are taking a wait and see approach. After all, the president-elect is not president until January 20.