2016 presidential election by the numbers

How do I reconcile with thee? Let me count the ways

Let's do the numbers.

The numbers don't lie. (Photo by Canadian Pacific via Creative Commons/Flickr)

Not the ones you already know: January 20; 45th president; five-letter word (rhymes with stump, slump, ka-thump). Let’s look at the numbers that tell a more complicated story, one that muddies tidy conclusions about a resurgent GOP, a country flushed red with working-class rage or a Democrat who failed to ignite her core constituencies.

Here goes:

  • Number of electoral college votes received by Donald J. Trump: 290
  • Number he would have received if only the votes of 18-25-year-olds were counted: 23
  • Size of the history-making gender gap in votes for Clinton and Trump: 24 points (Clinton won women by 12 points and lost men by 12 points, compared to Obama’s 20-point gap in 2012)
  • Number of votes (as of Monday) for Clinton: 61,039,676
  • Number of votes for Trump: 60,371,193
  • Clinton’s popular-vote margin of victory: 668,483
  • Number of Citizens Bank Park-size arenas it would take to hold that many people: 15
  • Of the past seven elections, number in which the GOP candidate for president has lost the popular vote: 6 (only exception: Bush in 2004)
  • Number of previous times in U.S. history that a candidate lost the popular vote but won the electoral college: four
  • Last time that happened: 2000 (Hanging chads, anyone?)
  • Time before that: 1888
  • Year our founding fathers created the electoral college, in part a bid by southern states for more heft in the electoral process (slaves could not vote, but were counted as part of a state’s population, boosting its total electoral votes): 1787
  • Worth of each slave in that population count: three-fifths of a person
  • Year in which Trump tweeted, “The electoral college is a disaster for democracy”: 2012
  • Percentage of eligible voters (as of Saturday’s count) who actually made it to the polls: 57.9
  • Percentage of eligible voters who did not vote: 42.1 (shame on every one of you)
  • Number of states in which voters approved hikes to the minimum wage: four (Washington, Arizona, Colorado and Maine)
  • Annual income of a Washington worker earning minimum wage once it rises to $13.50 in 2020: $28,080
  • Total campaign spending by both candidates as of mid-October: $689.5 million ($450.6 million by Clinton, $238.9 million by Trump)
  • Number of accusations of sexual assault, harassment and discrimination against Trump detailed by the New York Times in late October: 23
  • Number of times Trump has used the word “disgusting” to describe — sorry, no, not his behavior with women — everything from the Iran nuclear deal, to an attorney who needed to pump breast milk, to Clinton’s bathroom break during a debate: Too many to count (but you can watch the video here)
  • Number of people who have gained health insurance coverage because of Obamacare: 20 million
  • Number of times, during his second debate against Clinton, that Trump referred to Obamacare as a “disaster”: three (in case you missed the point, he also called it “a lie,” “horrible,” and “very bad”)
  • Number of Philadelphians who live under the federal poverty line: 400,000 (26 percent, the highest among the nation’s 10 largest cities)
  • Percentage of Philadelphia voters who chose Clinton: 82
  • Amount by which scientists expect sea levels to rise in this century due to global warming: two to seven feet
  • State most vulnerable to flooding due to rising sea levels: Florida
  • Number of presidential wannabes who have tweeted that climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese: one (extra credit if you guess which one)
  • Election returns in Florida: 49.1 percent for Trump, 47.8 percent for Clinton
  • Cost of a grande vanilla decaf soy latte at Starbucks: $5.05
  • Number of weeks in a presidential term: 208
  • Cost of drowning my rage and grief in a grande vanilla decaf soy latte once a week until November 3, 2020: $1,050.40
  • Cost of a letter mailed to any member of Congress: 47 cents
  • Cost of new soles on my favorite black clogs once I’ve worn them out marching in resistance and solidarity: $25

Cost of spending the next four years not standing up, in every way possible, for the dignity and rights of women, immigrants, people of color, LGBTQ folks, Muslims, the poor, and the unemployed, while simultaneously agitating to change a system stacked in favor of the wealthy and advantaged: HUGE.

Our readers respond

Connie Briggs

of Abington, PA on November 16, 2016

I am in mourning too. I was hoping Clinton would fix Obamacare. There are 509,000 angry, forgotten Pennsylvania residents with individual plans whose rates went up an average of 32.5 percent and some even more than 40 percent for 2017. Most of us are not millionaires, but we are paying for Obamacare. Why? The health care industry did not get its money from the federal government to run the marketplace because of Republican blocking of funding. Not enough young health people signed up. Insurers had to take care of more people who needed care. The state was afraid insurers would leave the marketplace, so the Pennsylvania Insurance Department gave insurers everything they wanted, but then Aetna and Humana left anyway.

Independence Blue Cross is the only company with marketplace plans in Philadelphia and got its requested premium rate increases. It is a monopoly now in our Philly area. We are like fish in a barrel; a half million of us have to foot the bill.

So I ask you just to remember there are 509,000 angry Pennsylvanians, both Republican and Democrat, who I hope will go with me to Harrisburg next summer to tell the Pennsylvania Insurance Department what we think. Government isn't working, and certainly not at the federal level. And while the new regime will not be able to get rid of Obamacare too quickly, it is not working for many of us either way.

I agree with a lot of what you say. I am really sad and mad too. The Affordable Care Act isn't great for all. But things may get worse if the insurers get more power.

Margaret Darby

of Center City/Philadelphia, PA on November 16, 2016

More numbers: According to the New York Times's count of results in Florida as of November 16, 2016, Trump had 4,605,515 votes, Hillary 4,485,745 (a difference of 119,770). But 206,007 voted for Gary Johnson, 64,019 for Jill Stein and 25,465 for others.

Joseph Glantz

of Levittown, PA on November 19, 2016

So if Obamacare premiums went through the roof because insurance companies only want to insure the healthy, why should anyone believe that privatizing Medicare will work?

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