President-elect Trump praises Electoral College, retiring Democratic senator to introduce bill to end it
President-elect Donald Trump is now praising the Electoral College after previously criticizing the system — and even says he could have won the popular vote if he campaigned differently.
In a series of tweets Tuesday morning, November 15th, President-elect Trump said he would have won the populous states of Florida, New York and California if he had spent more time campaigning there.
“If the election were based on total popular vote I would have campaigned in N.Y., Florida and California and won even bigger and more easily,” President-elect Trump tweeted.
President-elect Trump won the battleground state of Florida, which had been carried by President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, but he failed to carry the loyally blue states of New York and California.
Hillary Clinton leads President-elect Trump with the popular vote and could be the first candidate since Al Gore to win the popular vote but lose the general election. The last Republican to win the popular vote was George W. Bush in 2004.
President-elect Trump went on to praise the Electoral College as “genius.”
“The Electoral College is actually genius in that it brings all states, including the smaller ones, into play. Campaigning is much different!” President-elect Trump said.
This is a change in tone for President-elect Trump. Back in 2012, shortly after then-Republican nominee Mitt Romney lost to Obama, President-elect Trump called the electoral college “a disaster for democracy” in a tweet.
President-elect Trump reiterated this stance once again on Sunday, November 13th during an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes.”
“I’m not going to change my mind just because I won,” President-elect Trump told CBS’ Lesley Stahl. “But I would rather see it where you went with simple votes. You know, you get 100 million votes and somebody else gets 90 million votes and you win.”
Retiring Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, who was an outspoken supporter of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election, is set to introduce a Senate bill that aims to end the Electoral College.
Boxer announced in a statement on Tuesday that the bill, which she planned to introduce later Tuesday afternoon, would determine the winner of presidential elections by the outcome of the popular vote.
She cited President-elect Donald Trump’s victory in the Electoral College despite Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s apparent popular vote advantage.
“In my lifetime, I have seen two elections where the winner of the general election did not win the popular vote,” Boxer said in a statement. “The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately. Every American should be guaranteed that their vote counts.”
“In 2012, Donald Trump tweeted, ‘The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy,’ ” Boxer added. “I couldn’t agree more. One person, one vote!”
According to CNN’s election results as of Tuesday, Clinton won 61,329,657 votes and President-elect Trump won 60,530,867.
This is the fifth time in history that a nominee has won the popular vote but not the Electoral College. The same situation happened to Al Gore in 2000, when he lost to George W. Bush.
The actual likelihood of Boxer’s bill passing is low. It’s a proposed constitutional amendment, which would require passage not only by two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate, but then in three-quarters of states. A lame duck session and a Republican Congress will make it difficult to get such a bill through the legislative branch.