John Sides over at the Monkey Cage is astonished to discover that the majority of Republican voters are disregarding the facts about the 2016 election.
Amid the speculation on whether the electoral college will refuse to make Donald Trump president, many Trump opponents are pinning their hopes on one glaring fact: Hillary Clinton’s sizable win in the popular vote.
Clinton’s lead now exceeds 2.8 million votes (more than 2.1 percent of the total vote) and continues to grow. Many Democrats hope this fact alone might persuade Republican electors to reject Trump in favor of some alternative.
But this hope faces a serious challenge: Half of all Republicans actually think Trump won the popular vote.
In a nationally representative online survey of 1,011 Americans conducted by Qualtrics between Dec. 6 and 12, we asked respondents, “In last month’s election, Donald Trump won the majority of votes in the electoral college. Who do you think won the most popular votes?”
Twenty-nine percent said Donald Trump won the popular vote. This is a slightly larger proportion than in a recent Pew survey in which 19 percent said Trump won the popular vote.
Respondents’ correct understanding of the popular vote depended a great deal on partisanship. A large fraction of Republicans — 52 percent — said Trump won the popular vote, compared with only 7 percent of Democrats and 24 percent of independents. Among Republicans without any college education, the share was even larger: 60 percent, compared with 37 percent of Republicans with a college degree.
Please remember this the next time you feel like saying "If only Hillary Clinton had talked more about jobs and economy!" or "I can't believe Trump voters voted against their own self-interest!" The facts simply didn't matter in 2016. It was a cult of personality, pure and simple. And the cult won.
It was never about jobs, or the economy, or the facts. It was about assembling like-minded individuals into an army to destroy those unlike them. It's the definition of a cult.
The Cult now in fact rules the entire federal government, and most states. When the reality of the damage that they cause settles in, the Cult will simply convince America that the Others are the problem. The Others have to go. The rest of you? Join the Cult or else.
That ultimatum will be backed up by the power of the state. History tells us what happens next in these situations, and the results are usually catastrophically bloody.
This is why I think that what the Electoral College may or may not do on Monday is ultimately 100% meaningless. The Cult already has the results. They will validate the Cult or else.
Deviation will be dealt with swiftly and with brutal finality. Those who deviate will be destroyed.
“The Trump campaign is calling. The Republican Party of Texas is calling. They’re trying to lock down the votes,” said Texas GOP elector Alexander Kim, who estimated he has received at least 30 such calls. One RNC insider, he said, called him three times in one hour to get a response.
There’s a reason electors like Kim make Republicans nervous. While he insists he’s voting for Trump when the body meets on Monday and that nothing can shake him from that position, there is a caveat: “unless Trump does something to violate the compact that he created with American citizens.”
Just that eyelash of doubt, Kim suspects, has led to his barrage of calls from the party.
Chris Suprun of Texas, the only GOP elector to publicly oppose Trump, has been especially battered by criticism — mainly from fellow Republicans, including party leaders who have questioned his integrity.
Suprun announced his intention to vote for someone other than Trump in a New York Times op-ed, recalling his service on Sept. 11, 2001, as a first responder to the attack on the Pentagon. On Friday, a Texas television station ran a story accusing Suprun of inventing his 9/11 role, the story that Suprun built his career around. The charge, based on a discrepancy with Suprun’s LinkedIn page, featured an anonymous former colleague accusing Suprun of “stolen valor.”
Suprun has vehemently denied the story.
The Others will be dealt with. But first the Cult will be purged of those who believe the Others have rights or are even human.
All hail Trump.