Some interesting data on the Us Presidential election:
ABC reports on “Turnout for vote in Presidential election
Trump received just 25.6 per cent of the total vote. Let that sink in. Only one in four Americans actually picked him to be president.
They didn’t vote.
Turnout for the election was just 53.1 per cent.
Trump got 1.1 million fewer votes than John McCain in 2008 and 2 million fewer voters than Mitt Romney in 2012. Given both of those former candidates lost in their respective elections, you’d think Trump would’ve lost?
Well, Clinton got 7 million fewer voters than Obama in 2012.”
It makes some sobering reading.
While there is a lot of handwringing over Trump’s success, he only got 25% of the eligible vote. It’s about the same proportion that Clinton got. Hardly a ringing endorsement of either candidate.
By Australian standards, neither candidate received a mandate
But to suggest, as many in the media have, that America has voted for Trump is simply not true. America didn’t vote for Trump and it didn’t vote for Clinton either. It’s reasonable to speculate that nearly half of the eligible voting population didn’t want either of them.
There could be endless speculation about how they would vote under an Australian-style compulsory voting system.
The plain fact of the matter are that these people couldn’t, or couldn’t be bothered, voting. If you want an argument that suggests democracy is not working in the US, this is where you would start.
The other interesting aspect is that Clinton was not able to maintain Obama’s vote. It’s difficult to say whether these 7 million voters switched to Trump, although his success in the rustbelt state would suggest this might be the case.
It is also highly possible that the decline in Clinton’s vote was a factor in Trump’s rise.
One thing is certain: if there is a candidate from either party who can mobilise the apathetic, that candidate will win in a landslide.