There’s been a lot of hub-bub about the electoral victory that President-elect Trump won last week as compared to the popular vote that swung Secretary Clinton’s way.

I’ve lost track of how many times this has ben brought up. The arguments are “she won the popular vote; she should be president” and “all the small states go for the Republicans.” I wanted to examine the data for myself.

State

Population

Electoral Votes

Population / Elector

Votes / California

Dem / Rep

WY

586,107

3

195369

3.64

Republican

VT

626,042

3

208681

3.41

Democrat

DC

672,228

3

224076

3.18

Democrat

AK

738,432

3

246144

2.89

Republican

ND

756,927

3

252309

2.82

Republican

RI

1,056,298

4

264075

2.70

Democrat

SD

858,469

3

286156

2.49

Republican

DE

945,934

3

315311

2.26

Democrat

ME

1,329,328

4

332332

2.14

Democrat *

NH

1,330,608

4

332652

2.14

Democrat

MT

1,032,949

3

344316

2.07

Republican

HI

1,431,603

4

357901

1.99

Democrat

WV

1,844,128

5

368826

1.93

Republican

NE

1,896,190

5

379238

1.88

Republican

ID

1,654,930

4

413733

1.72

Republican

NM

2,085,109

5

417022

1.71

Republican

NV

2,890,845

6

481808

1.48

Democrat

KS

2,911,641

6

485274

1.47

Republican

AR

2,978,204

6

496367

1.43

Republican

MS

2,992,333

6

498722

1.43

Republican

UT

2,995,919

6

499320

1.43

Republican

CT

3,590,886

7

512984

1.39

Democrat

IA

3,123,899

6

520650

1.37

Republican

AL

4,858,979

9

539887

1.32

Republican

SC

4,896,146

9

544016

1.31

Republican

MN

5,489,594

10

548959

1.30

Democrat

KY

4,425,092

8

553137

1.29

Republican

OK

3,911,338

7

558763

1.27

Republican

OR

4,028,977

7

575568

1.24

Democrat

WI

5,771,337

10

577134

1.23

Republican

LA

4,670,724

8

583841

1.22

Republican

WA

7,170,351

12

597529

1.19

Democrat

TN

6,600,299

11

600027

1.19

Republican

MD

6,006,401

10

600640

1.18

Democrat

IN

6,619,680

11

601789

1.18

Republican

CO

5,456,574

9

606286

1.17

Democrat

MO

6,083,672

10

608367

1.17

Republican

MA

6,794,422

11

617675

1.15

Democrat

MI

9,922,576

16

620161

1.15

Republican

AZ

6,828,065

11

620733

1.15

Republican

GA

10,214,860

16

638429

1.11

Republican

NJ

8,958,013

14

639858

1.11

Democrat

PA

12,802,503

20

640125

1.11

Republican

IL

12,859,995

20

643000

1.11

Democrat

VA

8,382,993

13

644846

1.10

Democrat

OH

11,613,423

18

645190

1.10

Republican

NC

10,042,802

15

669520

1.06

Republican

NY

19,795,791

29

682613

1.04

Democrat

FL

20,271,272

29

699009

1.02

Republican

CA

39,144,818

55

711724

1.00

Democrat

TX

27,469,114

38

722871

0.98

Republican

What you have is the states, their population (from Wikipedia, 2015 estimate), the number of electors, and the number of people per elector (the column that’s been used to sort the table).

There’s the general notion that California has the lowest number, so I normalized the data for California being one. Based on this, Wyoming with the lowest population, each vote counts for 3.64 times more per elector than California. Surprisingly, Texas has the lowest number wherein each voter is even less important than California on a per-elector basis.

The last column shows which way the state went last week. The popular opinion, like I said up top, is that the small states in the west sway the election. Reality shows otherwise. Six of the top ten states swung Democrat. (Maine has split electors, however)

Another point is that the candidates know how the system works. Each candidate works to win states on their way to 270. This is a set system where the rules are laid out beforehand. You can’t switch things around after the fact.

Say, for instance, you had a football game between teams A and B. Team A scored two touchdowns and has a score of 14. Team B managed to get a touchdown and two field goals netting them 13. You can’t, retroactively, change what a field goal is worth or a touchdown. You can’t say that since B scored three times compared to only two for A that B should be the victor; that’s just not how things work.

If the popular vote was the deciding factor, you know for certain that Mr. Trump would have campaigned in states that he had no chance of winning. He didn’t have many major campaign stops in Washington, Oregon, and California knowing that losing is a foregone conclusion. Same with Ms. Clinton in states that she had no chance of winning herself.

The popular vote, being unimportant to the outcome, was ignored during the campaigning process.

Do I think it needs to be changed? Yes, in some ways it certainly needs tweaks. But, again, you can’t change systems during, or worse still, after the contest.

Now, back to the regularly scheduled bickering.