November 9, 2016. This day will be remembered for generations to come. While the world contemplated on whether Brexit was the most stupid decision a country could ever make, Americans have raised the bar higher, with UK’s Mirror openly asking the world – How can Americans be so dumb as to make lying racist sexual predator Donald Trump President? Voters in California are so upset that they have called for “Calexit” – a campaign in California for the state to become an independent nation. If that’s not enough, massive anti-Trump protests have been planned for Inauguration Day. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has blamed FBI’s Comey for her defeat in the Presidential Elections. Well, let’s not cry over spilt milk!
If you thought it was only in India – one of the largest democracies in the world – that voters refrain from voting, you are wrong! While the world is still to come to terms with what happened on November 9th, numbers based on early results from the 2016 US Presidential elections show that of the 231 million Americans eligible to vote, over 130 million of them voted for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. In some of the key states that decided the results of the election, as few as thousand votes decided the outcome. Projections so far from the United States Election Project show that only 133,331,500 people voted, when in fact the United States of America consists of 231,556,622 eligible voting members. Quick maths tells you it’s just about 57%, which means the rest 43% didn’t vote. These figures may change marginally once all the data is available.
Although there are over 327 million people living in the US, not all of them are eligible to vote. Over 3.2 million people are ineligible to vote as felons. That still leaves a considerable number of people who are eligible to vote but chose not to. If those who didn’t vote had voted, would we see different results? Clinton received 47.7% percent of the total popular vote while Trump received 47.5% . Here’s is an interesting tweet about the voter turnout –
It’s obvious that Clinton didn’t win even if she received more votes overall. Trump’s win can be attributed to electoral vote lead that he got from Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida and Pennsylvania. But numbers show that voter turnout wasn’t actually great in these states.
In Wisconsin, the state Clinton lost, the difference between Trump and Clinton was just 27,257 votes. Could it be that Clinton actually failed to motivate Democratic base like Obama did? Even if she got the same number of votes Obama received in Milwaukee Country alone, the gap would be covered.
We never know if a better voter turnout could have resulted in Hillary Clinton as the President-elect. It remains to be seen how Americans brace for the journey that awaits them this new year. Good luck, America!