By Daniel Politi, Slate
Hillary Clinton’s lead in the popular vote over President-elect Donald Trump keeps growing and currently (as of Nov. 18) stands at 1.677 million votes. On Election Day, Clinton received 63,541,056 votes compared to Trump’s 61,864,015 while other candidates received 7,034,595 votes, according to the latest numbers published by the Cook Political Report. So far the numbers show Clinton obtained 48 percent of the popular vote, compared to Trump’s 46.7 percent.
The numbers mean that Clinton’s lead in the popular vote is, so far at least, much greater than Al Gore’s advantage when he won the most number of votes but still did not become president. In 2000, Gore received 50,996,582 votes compared to 50,456,062 for George W. Bush—an advantage of 540,520 votes.
The widening gap between Clinton and Trump comes at a time when some are trying to persuade members of the Electoral College to change their mind and select the person who won the most votes on Election Day. There are numerous petitions circulating online calling on delegates to become “faithless electors” while Sen. Barbara Boxer from California has said she will introduce legislation to abolish the Electoral College. (Although abolishing the Electoral College is possible, it would actually be very difficult, argued Slate’s Mark Stern recently.)
As more numbers come in, it is becoming clearer just how Clinton managed to win more votes without getting victories in certain key states. The Wall Street Journal recently summarized it: Put simply, Mrs. Clinton performed well relative to Barack Obama in states that didn’t matter for the Electoral College because they were states she could count on winning easily or losing badly. In two prime examples, Mrs. Clinton ran up the score in California, which hasn’t voted for a Republican since 1988, and outperformed Mr. Obama in Texas, which last voted for a Democrat in 1976.
Meanwhile, Mr. Trump eked out victories in Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and won solidly in Iowa and Ohio. All those states voted twice for Mr. Obama.