Elizabeth Warren Proposes to Strengthen Democratic Spines With a Powerful New Tool: Math

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Senator Elizabeth Warren. (Reuters / Gary Cameron)

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is calling on Democrats to be an actual opposition party in the coming era of Trumpism. And she is deploying a powerful tool to make the case for aggressive and unapologetic resistance to Republican hegemony: math.

“Republicans are taking over Congress. They are taking over the White House. But Republicans do not have majority support in this country,” declared the progressive senator from Massachusetts on the floor of the Senate this week. “The majority of voters supported Democratic Senate candidates over Republican ones, and the majority supported a Democratic presidential candidate over a Republican one.”

Warren is right when she points out that Americans did not give Trump a mandate.

In the ongoing count of the national popular vote, Democrat Hillary Clinton was leading Republican Donald Trump by 2,332,745 votes as of Tuesday afternoon. Clinton has won 48.2 percent of the vote to 46.4 percent for Trump. And Clinton’s advantage will continue to grow as states finish counting and recounting ballots in anticipation of the December 13 deadline for certifying results. Trump’s claim on the presidency does not extend from the popular will—53.6 percent of Americans who cast ballots in the November 8 election opposed him—but from the Electoral College, where narrow victories in a handful of battleground states give the Republican a 306-232 lead.

That Electoral College lead may be enough to make Trump president, but it’s no landslide. In fact, as Nate Silver notes, Trump’s Electoral College advantage is “decidedly below-average.” “There have been 54 presidential elections since the ratification of the 12th Amendment in 1804,” explains Silver. “Of those 54 cases, Trump’s share of the electoral vote—assuming there are no faithless electors or results overturned by recounts—ranks 44th.”

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