The popular revolution may not be such a groundswell.

Although some non-voters broke their stay-home-streak for Donald Trump, numerically he's underperformed the last two losing Republicans.

More people voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 than voted for Donald Trump (or Hillary Clinton for that matter).

Similarly when John McCain ran for president in 2008, he also received more votes than Trump did in 2016.

Yet by looking at the share of the vote won, Trump did better than the last two Republican candidates for president.

George W Bush became president in 2000 with over 900,000 fewer votes than Donald Trump, but with a greater vote share than Trump, Romney, or McCain, taking 47.9 per cent.

Just shows how important winning a sizeable share of the vote (and your Daddy's friends sitting on the US Supreme Court) can be to winning the presidency.

Voter turnout

However, comparing share of the vote obscures another story of this election.

By looking at data compiled by Statista, one can see how neither candidate drummed up much support as their predecessors, not just the Republicans.


The influence of voter turnout on the result becomes even clearer when comparing the total number of votes cast in recent elections.

Although a higher percentage of registered voters turned up to their polling stations, fewer actual votes were cast in 2016 than in the preceding three elections.

119,628,036 people voted in 2016, compared to 126,849,299 in 2012.

Non-voters supporting either candidate can hardly complain about the result.

Supporters of Clinton (or people who just hate Trump) who live in swing states, or the counties that would have swung their state, ought to feel especially annoyed with themselves.

Clinton may have won the popular vote, but her campaign knew they were going for the electoral college when they ran for the White House.

Voter turnout is hard to drive up without driving up that of your opponent, it's up to each eligible voter to get down to their polling station, or suffer the consequences of a president for whom they did not vote or vote against.

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)