Hillary Clinton has made history again: as of Wednesday she is now the first American presidential candidate to have more than two million more votes than any other candidate and not win the White House.
According to Dave Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, Clinton’s lead in the popular vote over president-elect Donald Trump surpassed 2 million Wednesday morning, reports Politico. And the counting isn’t over.
The growing margin far surpasses Al Gore’s lead over President George W. Bush in 2000, which was about 540,000 votes. But in both the 2000 election and 2016, the candidate winning the popular vote lost the election because the outcome is decided solely on the electoral college.
Trump won the election by securing 270 electoral votes, but lost the popular vote to Clinton in a spread not seen for a losing candidate since the disputed election of 1876. That fight over electoral college votes dragged on until the night before the inauguration. Rutherford B. Hayes was chosen to be America’s 19th president over Samuel Tilden by a bipartisan panel of members of Congress.
President-elect Trump told New York Times reporters Tuesday he would “rather do the popular vote” and was “never a fan of the Electoral College,” which characteristically is the exact opposite of what he stated about the electoral college before: just one week after election day, Trump tweeted: “The Electoral College is actually genius in that it brings all states, including the smaller ones, into play. Campaigning is much different!”
And when President Obama defeated Mitt Romney for reelection in 2012, Trump tweeted: “The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.”
Politico reports there is a move afoot to change things, both in the future and in this current political cycle:
“Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Democratic lawmaker who supported Clinton, introduced legislation last week to abolish the Electoral College. The long-shot bid is not expected to clear the GOP-controlled Congress, though.
“And at least a half-dozen electors, those who will formally cast votes for Trump and Clinton on Dec. 19, are pushing to block Trump from winning a majority of votes.
“While the effort is unlikely to succeed — even if it did, the House of Representatives could simply choose to elect Trump — so-called faithless electors who buck the will of the voters could spur more widespread calls for reform.”