As the Left continues to support an elimination of the electoral college (EC) because they lost in 2016, the Washington Post thought it would help them out with an article supposedly fact checking President Donald Trump and knocking down his argument in favor of the EC.
The Post’s Philip Bump published an article titled, “Trump’s defensive defense of the electoral college doesn’t make much sense.” To bolster this argument, Bump claimed a factually correct tweet from Trump was “obviously wrong.”
“Campaigning for the Popular Vote is much easier & different than campaigning for the Electoral College,” Trump had tweeted. “It’s like training for the 100 yard dash vs. a marathon. The brilliance of the electoral college is that you must go to many States to win. With the Popular Vote, you go to just the large States — the Cities would end up running the Country. Smaller States & the entire Midwest would end up losing all power — & we can’t let that happen. I used to like the idea of the Popular Vote, but now realize the Electoral College is far better for the U.S.A.”
Nothing in those tweets is “obviously wrong.”
As evidence, Bump takes Trumps line about the “brilliance of the Electoral College is that you must go to many States to win.” Bump uses data from the National Journal (which he admits is incomplete after New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz noted its obvious errors) to claim that Trump “visited 16 states more than one,” he didn’t visit 29 states, and 20 states received no visit from either major party’s presidential or vice-presidential candidates.
He then writes that the “electoral college doesn’t ensure that candidates blanket the country, it just shifts the places of focus from states such as California, New York, Texas and Illinois — places with big, dense cities — to places that are more likely to be swing states.”
First, Trump never said candidates had to “blanket the country,” he just said they had to visit “many states to win.” Sixteen is obviously more than the four Bump mentioned, and 30 (the number of states National Journal claims candidates visited) is way more than four.
So, on this point, Trump is “obviously” correct.
But, as Markowicz pointed out, Bump’s data was wrong.
“It seemed suspect that Hillary wouldn't have visited *California,* at least for fundraising, and here's at least one article saying she did in October 2016,” Markowicz tweeted, including a CNN article for evidence.
She then tweeted articles showing Trump in Louisiana and New Mexico, two states not included in Bump’s original article. He responded to Markowicz by saying he deleted his tweet and was “looking” into the issue. He then updated the article to simply say the National Journal data “didn’t capture every trip.”
But the entire point of the article is to claim that Trump and Clinton didn’t visit many more states than they would have if they were campaigning for the popular vote – and doing so by using data and facts. But the data is wrong and incomplete, negating the article’s point.
Bump’s article actually proves that the electoral college forced candidates to visit more states, instead of just those with populous cities.