Most of the country is still reeling from the 2016 presidential election. It’s been a doozy these last few months, between sexual assault accusations, bigoted commentary, countless questions over emails and the general fact that this country is seriously divided socially. The worst thing about it is that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but ultimately lost the election to Donald Trump, who managed to take the lead in the Electoral College. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened.
According to NPR, Clinton received 198,400 more votes than Donald Trump, giving her a total of 59,626,052 votes compared to his 59,427,65. These numbers make Hillary Clinton the fifth U.S. presidential candidate to win the popular vote but ultimately lose the election.
Yesterday Clinton delivered an emotional concession speech in New York City at Grand Ballroom of the New Yorker Hotel. Supporters and campaign staff filled the room while Clinton offered a glimmer of hope to those in distress over the election’s outcome.
“Last night, I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country. I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans,” she said. “Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead.”
She continued, “This is not the outcome that we wanted and we worked so hard for, and I am sorry that we did not win this election… This is painful — and it will be for a long time.”
She also stated that the country’s electorate proved to be “more deeply divided than we thought,” something we have seen in history before. In 2000, Al Gore experienced a similar disappointment, narrowly winning the popular vote against George W. Bush, but losing the presidency by five electoral votes. Before him were three candidates in the 1800s. Here’s the full list:
- Andrew Jackson in 1824 (lost to John Quincy Adams)
- Samuel Tilden in 1876 (lost to Rutherford B. Hayes)
- Grover Cleveland in 1888 (lost to Benjamin Harrison)
- Al Gore in 2000 (lost to George W. Bush)
The last time the electoral college was up for debate was in the late 1960s with the House of Representatives stating,
“The closest Congress has come to amending the Electoral College since 1804 was during the 91st Congress (1969–1971). H.J. Res. 681 proposed the direct election of a President and Vice President, requiring a run off when no candidate received more than 40 percent of the vote. The resolution passed the House in 1969, but failed to pass the Senate.”
Recent events have sparked a similar conversation among American citizens. What do you think about it? Should things change? Sound off in the comments below.