Along with the fairly obvious logic & ethics-based reasons that no one but Clinton & her campaign are responsible for their dramatic Tuesday loss, math also appears to support the position that the democrats were defeated — no, not by vindictive millennials — but by their own spectacular foolishness. If we assume the results are legitimate (which we must because there’s literally no way to verify them), it is extremely unlikely that it was third-party voters who foiled the democrats’ presidential candidate and, if anything, they may have actually helped her.
So — Let’s dive into the math!
According to Math:
Clinton Defeated Herself
As most of you know, general elections in the United States are won by whoever is awarded 270 or more electors and those electors are almost entirely awarded on a winner-takes-all basis. That, along with the polarization that the electoral college inevitably results in, is why the results of roughly 4 out of every 5 states are pretty much already set and this race was no different. Of the states he won, below are the 10 states Trump came closest to losing, in order of closest to least close:
Firstly, we must ask — did third-party voters “give” Donald Trump any of these states? And — if they did — would it have made any difference?
States That Third-Parties Couldn’t Have “Stolen”
First, let’s cross out the states where the amount of third-party votes was less than the amount that Clinton needed to catch up because, even had 100% of them voted blue, Trump would still win. Let’s also cross out North Carolina, since Clinton would need more than 95% of the third-party votes, which is only a hair less impossible than the others. Now, our list of states becomes shorter:
So — How Many More Votes Would Clinton Need?
Clinton needed 42 more to reach 270 and — since Trump already has 290 from states that have been called — not only would she need 42 more but at least 21 must be from states Trump already won. Otherwise, Trump would still have more than 270 — make sense?
We’ve already eliminated states where Clinton needed more than 100% and also North Carolina, where she needed more than 95%. Now, Let’s take a look at the margins of the remaining 4…
Could Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, or Arizona
Have Made Any Difference for Clinton?
Alright — let’s pretend that it’s election day and, tragically, the third-party candidates have just been eaten during a flash-alien-dinosaur-attack. Sorry, better luck next time, third parties, bye! Okay, now that third parties are gone, their voters are very sad but we’re going to cheer them up by forcing them to vote, anyway.
If we split it 50/50, obviously it doesn’t help Clinton as Trump will still be ahead of her by the same number of votes as before — so, logically, Clinton needs more than 50% to gain anything at all. Now, this is going to be an uphill battle (since Clinton notoriously struggles to win independents) but let’s see if we can make it work for her, somehow. The formula to find the number that Clinton needs in each state will be the number of votes between her & Trump plus ½ or more of all remaining third-party votes. Expressed as arithmetic, that looks like this:
0.5 × (v – m) + m + 1 = number HRC needs in that state
m = margin of Trump’s victory, v = total third-party votes
The numbers we need are in the table below, so that all of you can check my work. I took them from this website, which is super-useful.
|State||Third-Party/Write-Ins||Margin (Votes Needed to Tie)|
Third-Parties Didn’t “Steal” Arizona
It’s clear, right away, that Arizona is out of Clinton’s reach because…
0.5 × (105, 406 – 84,904) + 84,904 + 1
0.5 × (20,502) + 84,904 +1
10,251 + 84,904 + 1 = 95,156
and 95,156 ÷ 105,406 = 0.9027 or about 90.3%
She would have to take 90%, which is very, very unlikely
Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, & Florida
Here’s Hillary’s “victory-formula” for the 3 remaining states:
0.5 × (151,162 – 27,257) + 27,257 + 1 = 89,211
and 89,211 ÷ 151,162 = 0.5901 or about 59%
0.5 × (210,805 – 73,224) + 73,224 + 1 = 142,016
and 142,016 ÷ 210,805 = 0.6736 or about 67.4%
0.5 × (295,721 – 119,489) + 119,489 + 1 = 207,605
and 207,605 ÷ 295,721 = 0.7020 or about 70.2%
At first, it seems possible, at least (although Florida’s a bit of a stretch), that third-parties could could have helped Clinton win in these states — well, until you start looking at Gary Johnson’s share of the third-party votes in these states…
Hillary Clinton, Meet Gary Johnson…
Here’s a table of Gary Johnson’s share of the third-party vote:
|State||Third-Party/Write-Ins Total||Johnson’s Share|
|Wisconsin||151,162||106,470 / 70.4%|
|Pennsylvania||210,805||141,476 / 67.1%|
|Florida||295,721||206,189 / 69.7%|
It is indisputable that Johnson’s libertarian voter-base is strongly anti-authoritarian, young, & fall on the far-right of the political spectrum — none of which are very favorable demographics, in this case. By which I mean that it’d be difficult for even the most determined optimist to imagine that Clinton — a liberal, establishment-democrat — could even get near the 50% mark with these folks. Yet, she would need to score — not 50%, not 60% — but 70%+ of the 69.7% libertarian vote in Florida!
So, uh — bye, Florida. Also, goodbye Pennsylvania, for the same reason.
Clinton Would Have Lost
Even If Third-Parties Didn’t Exist
All that remains is Wisconsin — the Badger State.
Unless you really believe that Clinton’s neoliberal message would have resonated with 7-out-of-10 libertarians — which would be a very silly thing to believe — she is left with only the faintest hope of getting 59% of Wisconsin’s third-party votes, which is unlikely. But — even if she did — it wouldn’t matter.
Remember, Trump has 290 from the states that were already called and so Clinton’s imaginary third-party voters have to grab 21 votes from him. Wisconsin has 10.
So — even if she took 59% there and won 20 electoral votes in New Hampshire & Michigan (which haven’t been called yet) — she’d only have 30 — she needs 42. And even if we just invented 12 more out of thin air, it still wouldn’t matter because she must get 21 of them from Trump, which is now impossible — at best, she can grab 10. Being very, very, very generous with the third-party votes that we give to Clinton, the absolute best-case scenario that third-party voters could have given her would be:
Hillary Clinton 258
If Some Third-Parties Had Done a Little Better,
They Actually May Have Almost Saved Her!
Let’s take this a step further — look at Utah, a red state which Trump nearly lost because of the libertarian-ish independent, Evan McMullen! If he had done just a tiny bit better, he might’ve stolen it from Trump, which would have given Clinton another 6 electoral votes, which only brings her total to 264!
To Sum It All Up
It’s time for democrats to face the music and accept the fact that Hillary Clinton and the corrupt DNC have no one to blame but themselves. They ran an awful candidate in a fear-based campaign that quite possibly risked starting World War III — and it backfired on them.
It backfired because the DNC failed — no, not failed — the DNC arrogantly refused to listen to their own voter-base and chose to value the unpopular, neoliberal agenda of their wealthy donors more than their own people who they threw under the bus.
That’s what cost Clinton the election. That & that, alone — not Trump, who did as badly as Mitt Romney in 2012, and definitely not third-parties who simply listened to the voters who the DNC stupidly & arrogantly discarded.
I don’t feel the slightest bit bad for Clinton or the DNC — the only people that deserve any sympathy here are their voters who were betrayed for the 1%…
P.S. If you have a minute & you’re interested in getting more real journalists on the ground at Standing Rock, please take a look at this fundraising campaign to send me to North Dakota to report on the struggle…
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