Clinton's popular vote lead is growing, increasing calls to abolish the Electoral College

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Hillary Clinton's popular vote lead over President-elect Donald Trump grew to more than 2 million votes, Cook Political Report analyst Dave Wasserman reported Wednesday morning — a total that amounts to a 1.5% lead.

As Clinton's popular vote lead increases, so do the calls for the abolishment of the Electoral College, which allowed Trump to win the presidency despite Clinton receiving the most votes nationwide.

Trump won 306 Electoral College votes to Clinton's 232.

The Electoral College, which gives each state a number of electors equal to their representation in Congress, is a system that dates back to the founders of the Constitution. It was intended to keep the largest states from determining the outcome of the presidential election and ensure that smaller, more rural states had power in elections.

That's exactly what happened in 2016.

Clinton ran up her popular vote total in large states along the coast, such as California and New York. But since those states had a static number of Electoral College votes, running up the score there did not help her win the presidency.

In the states she lost that ended up tipping the scales to Trump, Clinton saw razor-thin margins of defeat, such as her losses in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Clinton's Electoral College loss, but popular vote win, marks the second time such a split has happened in modern history. In 2000, then-Vice President Al Gore won the popular vote but lost to former President George W. Bush.

Frustrated by this, California Sen. Barbara Boxer introduced a bill to get rid of the Electoral College, calling it a "disaster for democracy."

"This is the only office in the land where you can get more votes and still lose the presidency," Boxer said in a statement announcing her bill. "The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately."

Looking to help Boxer's bill gain steam are a handful of Electoral College electors, who are vowing to break the rules and not vote for the candidate they vowed to support in order to "undermine the legitimacy of the institution," Politico reported.

"I do think that a byproduct would be a serious look into Electoral College reform," Micheal Baca, a Democratic elector from Colorado, told Politico of the plan to become "faithless electors" — the term for electors who don't vote for the candidate they pledged to vote for.

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Emily C. Singer

Emily C. Singer, née Cahn, is a senior writer for Mic covering politics. She is based in New York and can be reached at esinger@mic.com

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