Dec. 23, 2016 — Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season. This will be the final update of the 2016 election cycle. We will return at the beginning of 2017. Thank you for being a loyal Ellis Insight follower.
With the final election numbers having been reported in every state, we can now begin to delve below the numerical surface in order to highlight certain key electoral facts.
Despite the news media reporting on Election Night that the 2016 presidential turnout was low, the post-election data reveals a completely different story. With over 14 million votes received, counted, and recorded after Election Day, turnout swelled to 136,645,381 voters, the highest raw number count in American history. This shatters the previous record set in 2008 of 131,426,292 participating individuals.
Election Day, turnout swelled to 136,645,381 voters, the highest raw number count in American history.
The 2016 total doesn’t include participating individuals who failed to vote for president. Adding those voters mean that 138,884,863 people came to the polls or mailed a 2016 general election ballot.
Dec. 20, 2016 — According to state Electoral College counts from yesterday’s announced votes, it appears Donald Trump has officially won the presidency. The secret ballot results will be read before the Congress on Jan. 6, and at that time the presidential outcome, at long last, will become final.
The group calling itself “The Hamilton Electors”, whose goal was to convince at least 37 GOP electors to eschew Trump in favor of another Republican candidate, failed miserably as predicted. In fact, two of the key organizers, Colorado electors Polly Baca, a state senator, and teacher Bob Nemanich were replaced by the state officials because they were openly planning to violate Colorado’s law that requires electors to support the candidate who earned at least a plurality of the state’s election votes.
The state officials went to federal court to block Baca and Nemanich from voting for someone other than Hillary Clinton, the candidate who received 48.2 percent of the vote in the Nov. 8 Election Day vote. Yesterday, all nine Colorado electors, sans Baca and Nemanich’s participation, voted for Clinton.
Dec. 19, 2016 — Today is the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December after a national election, which therefore means the Electoral College convenes and will cast their official votes for the offices of president and vice president of the United States.
While Donald Trump earned 306 electoral votes from citizenry participation on Nov. 8, there is no specific guarantee that he will secure that many official votes. Nor are all of Hillary Clinton’s 232 electoral votes necessarily locked down.
As we have covered in previous updates, a group of Democratic electors, calling themselves “The Hamilton Electors”, will culminate their activities today. The group is named after Federalist Papers’ Essay #68, largely credited to Alexander Hamilton, that advises electors to exercise strong judgment in casting their official presidential vote because they speak for the entire nation.
The group is also referencing Hamilton’s section that encourages the electors to protect against “foreign powers [to] gain[ing] an improper ascendant in our councils.” Obviously, this passage is being quoted to help support the claims about Russian election “hacking” that is attracting so much post-election political media coverage.
Dec. 7, 2016 — Is the Electoral College doomed, or coming into a new sphere of relevance? As we know, Hillary Clinton out-polled Donald Trump in the popular vote, now by some 2.3 million people as the totals are becoming finalized, but she failed to secure an Electoral College victory. Therefore, numerous efforts have begun to either change Electors’ votes or eliminate the system entirely.
The Gallup organization just completed a poll, as they did after the 2000 election when Al Gore suffered a similar fate at the hands of George W. Bush. Their recent results are surprising, especially when considering the tenor of the media arguments.
According to Gallup (Nov. 28-29; 1,021 US adults), 49 percent of the respondents would like to see the US Constitution amended to elect the president through an aggregate vote of the citizenry. Those in favor of keeping the current system totaled 47 percent.
In actuality, this result is a huge improvement for the pro-Electoral College segment. Just a week after the 2000 election, during the Nov. 11-12 period, Gallup conducted a similar survey and found 61 percent wanting to scrap the Electoral College versus only 35 percent status quo supporters.
Nov. 9, 2016 — Donald Trump once again defied the odds and scored possibly the biggest upset in presidential history. The final count is likely to bring him near 300 electoral votes, almost the opposite position that most predicted.
Trump won 29 states and the 2nd District of Maine. Hillary Clinton took 21 states and the District of Columbia. It is possible that Clinton will still place first in the national popular vote, which will be the second time that has happened in this century. As you might remember, George W. Bush also won the Electoral College in 2000, but not the popular vote.
It will take awhile for the numbers to finalize and clear analysis to begin. Below is a quick re-cap of the Senate and House data.
Republicans held their Senate majority, which could go as high as a total of 53 seats. That would mean they would lose only one seat as long as they win the Louisiana run-off on Dec. 10 (they will be favored to do so) and as long as Sen. Kelly Ayotte hangs on to her small lead in New Hampshire (which now looks unlikely). • Illinois
Sen. Mark Kirk (R) fell to Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Hoffman Estates), 40-54%. • New Hampshire
Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) leads Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) by a scant 700 votes with counting now at the 100% mark. Nothing yet has been officially declared, however, as of our publishing time. We will have further information later today.