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Put the ‘popular vote’ argument to bed — the Democrats have been on a losing streak

In his letter of Aug. 9 (“The problem is the Electoral College, not the Democratic Party”), Stephen Goodwin disagreed with a recent Globe op-ed and a supporting letter, which asserted that the Democratic Party needs to find a way to reach lost voters. Goodwin said that since Democrats have won the popular vote in six of the last seven presidential elections, “the overwhelming trend of voters preferring Democrats in presidential elections is undebatable,” and the party’s problem is just the voting system. Unfortunately for Democrats, this statement is misleading.

While Hillary Clinton did win the 2016 popular vote by a comfortable margin of almost 2.9 million votes, she won California by more than 4 million, meaning that she lost the rest of the country by more than a million votes. When combined with the Democrats’ massive reversals during Barack Obama’s failed stewardship, including the loss of comfortable margins in both houses of Congress and historic reversals in the state houses, this result makes it clear that the party has serious soul-searching to do before it can reclaim its national relevance.


Nicholas Newell