If all you ever listened to were Donald Trump, his supporters and the Republican Party, you’d think they were all handed some unprecedented mandate from the American people on November 8th. If the only places you got information from were Fox News or other parts of the conservative media, they’d have you believing the same thing.
The only problem is, it’s all bullshit.
Let’s get a few facts out of the way.
Yes, Donald Trump won the election via the electoral college by a sizable margin of electoral (keyword here — but more on that in just a minute) votes. That’s absolutely true. And, yes, Republicans kept a majority control of both the House and the Senate. That is also true. Which means, unfortunately, in just a few weeks the GOP will control the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the White House.
But there’s a lot more to this story.
You see, while Republicans had a great night last month — context matters.
Such as the fact that Republicans lost seats in both the House and Senate. While that doesn’t impact the reality that they’re going to have majority control in both houses of Congress, it matters that, as a whole, the GOP actually lost a few seats in Congress while Democrats gained some.
Especially when you factor in the next indisputable reality: Donald Trump is going to lose the popular vote — badly.
Trump won the electoral college victory, but he’s on pace to be one of the biggest “losers” to ever become president in U.S. history. Once all is said and done, it’s very likely that Trump’s going to lose the overall popular vote by somewhere between 3-4 million votes (or just over 2% of the total number of people who voted), after getting voted against in some way or another by 54% of the American voting populace.
Think about it this way: If a candidate won an election 54-46%, that would be considered a massive victory in today’s political world. But that’s essentially what happened. While Clinton didn’t get 54% of the vote, that’s the percentage that voted for anyone but Trump. Hillary Clinton’s going to end up with around 48% of the vote, which isn’t exactly impressive — but it’s still going to be millions of votes more than what Trump receives.
That matters because while Trump won, the fact that a sizable majority of the public voted against him shreds this whole notion that his victory was some unprecedented “mandate” given to him by the American people like he’s implied over the last few weeks.
Furthermore, when you look at his electoral college victory, it isn’t all that impressive, either. Once all is said and done, Trump won because of around 100k votes spread out between Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. When you do the math, that comes out to around 0.078% of the 129 million votes casts.
In layman’s terms, that’s called a “fraction of a percent.”
But it doesn’t stop there. When you dig into Trump’s numbers even more, he’s set to be sworn in as one of the least popular presidents since we started tracking those types of statistics.
Did Donald Trump win? Yes. Did Republicans keep majority control in both the House and the Senate? Yes. I’m not denying any of that.
That being said, it’s completely absurd for Trump, his supporters and the GOP to act as if the 2016 election was some sort of historic event where the party’s ideology was handed a blank check to do whatever the hell they want.
The truth is, the party lost seats in both houses of Congress, and their presidential candidate is set to become one of the biggest losers to ever call the White House their home.