We are at the end of July 2018, and the Democrats are still screaming, "But Hillary Clinton won the popular vote!" Almost any thread on social media discussing any element of the current political situation will involve liberals reciting this as though it is some sort of magical spell. If they just say it long enough, loud enough, and often enough, we will all be transported back to November 8, 2016, with Clinton being declared the prom queen or some such nonsense.
Of course, there are also cases where Republicans purposely stir the pot. Case in point, John Cardillo of Newsmax recently tweeted, "Yes, Hillary won the popular vote. In ONE state, California... Trump won the popular vote in the 49 other states. The majority of the U.S." This naturally sent Democrats into a frenzy as they came flooding forth to say that Clinton won the popular vote in many states and overall. And, for good measure, they also variously brought up slavery and such so as to attack the United States while saying Clinton should be President of... the United States. Conservatives are also fond of pointing to how many counties Trump won versus the much smaller number that Clinton won, but we no more elect the President based on counties than we do on the raw popular vote.
So what is the truth in all of this? Conservatives enjoy saying "Trump won except for <insert state(s)>," and liberals cannot help but regurgitate, "Clinton won the popular vote." But is either position valid or substantive?
To begin, let's first understand that 137,125,040 people voted in the 2016 election (most of them presumably alive and actually citizens), and neither now-President Trump nor still-not-President Clinton reached 50% of the vote because 8,286,698 people voted for other candidates. Clinton managed 48.02% of the vote to Trump's 45.93% with her supposed "margin of popular victory" being 2,868,686 votes.
Now, how do we reconcile the fact that Clinton won nearly 2.9 million more votes yet lost? The simple answer is that the presidential election is based on voting in the States and the Electoral College, not overall, and that she lost speaks to the fact that she must have "run up the score" in places that she won while being wiped out everywhere else. In point of fact, her entire "margin of popular victory" can be more than accounted for by just two places—New York City and Los Angeles, the East and West hubs of liberalism in the United States. Indeed, she netted 3,364,647 votes over Trump in the Five Boroughs and Los Angeles County alone. To be perfectly clear here, let's reiterate... we are not discussing the entirety of New York and California, just New York City and Los Angeles.
That means, if you include the entirety of the United States sans NYC and LA, Trump won the popular vote by 495,961 votes. All of those other deeply blue cities? Irrelevant. Those twenty blue States that she won? Not a factor. Clinton lost in the State count and the Electoral College because her "popular vote victory" is a phantom. She ran up the score in two cities that are so deeply liberal that you could fornicate and defecate in the middle of downtown and not be arrested for it so long as you were some combination of non-white, gay, trans, and/or molesting a child.
This is where a liberal screams, "But they are still citizens! Their votes still count!" And the conservative response is, "But there are Republicans there who don't bother to vote because of the system!" Both of these arguments are true. The modern Sodom and Gomorrah are sadly part of the United States, and there are many registered Republicans in those States who do not bother to vote because they know their votes will not change anything in the current system.
But here is where things seem to get tricky... we do not use another system. It is not actually relevant that Clinton won the "popular vote" because there is no popular vote to win. Each State is its own entity with its own election, and then they send representatives to vote in the Electoral College. Clinton could win by 15 million votes from NYC and LA, and it would not matter because that is not the system that the United States uses. If we did use a popular vote, then Republicans and Democrats behind enemy lines would have a reason to vote... But we have no idea what that would have looked like in 2016 or any other election because that is not the system we use. Would people have shown up? Maybe. Would one side or the other show up more or less? Who knows? It is all meaningless speculation.
What we do know is that Hillary Clinton lost. It is just a footnote in history that fully 1 in 13 of her voters came from just two places—Sodom and Gomorrah.