Donald Trump’s Big Lies work. More than half of Republicans believe that he won the popular vote. In fact, he lost by a record 2.8 million ballots. His always frivolous claim that millions of people voted illegally — presumably for Hillary Clinton — has now been “unambiguously debunked.” The historical record is now complete: Trump’s popular vote performance was worse than many recent candidates who lost their elections.
Trump: 46.2% — 8th lowest winning percentage in history
Trump’s total compared to modern losers:
Nixon: 49.5 (1960)
Ford: 48.0 (1976)
Gore: 48.4 (2000)
Kerry: 48.3 (2004)
Romney: 47.2 (2012)
Dewey: 45.9 (1944)
Dukakis: 45.7 (1988)
McCain: 45.7 (2008)
Imagine Trump’s outrage if he had: won the popular vote by Clinton’s margin over him, lost in the electoral college by a mere 75,000 votes spread across three states (MI, PA, WI), and every U.S. intelligence agency subsequently concluded that Putin had interfered with the election specifically to help Clinton win.
On Election Night in 2012, when it appeared that Obama might lose the popular vote but win in the electoral college, Trump’s 45-minute rant included this tweet: “We should have a revolution in this country!”
Moral: Beware of authoritarian leaders who lie about non-existent popular mandates to justify extreme actions in consolidating and retaining power. The historical precedents are numerous and ugly.