Our elections, all by the numbers


To the editor:

(re: “Liberals need to support the right candidates to win,” Jan. 18)

I read Richard Warren’s thoughtful Point of View, and I agree that Hillary Clinton was a weak candidate.

Let’s examine the numbers. It takes 270 electoral votes to be elected president, and since any Democratic Party candidate currently starts out with California and New York “in the bag,” Hillary needed only 186 electoral votes from the remaining 454 electoral votes in the other 48 states.

But she only won 148 electoral votes from just 18 of those other 48 states. President Trump won 306 electoral votes.

I could not vote for Mrs. Clinton because of my perception of her lack of honesty.

It is said that the incumbent president’s party tends to lose congressional seats in the mid-term elections, which we will have this year. This is because Americans have generally high expectations from the party in power and, if voters feel let down by that party, they are more willing to consider the other major party’s candidate (which seems to account for the 2016 election of Donald Trump).

The Republican Party currently has a 46-seat plurality in the House of Representatives with three vacancies. The Republicans also hold a two-seat plurality in the Senate (I am counting the two independent senators as Democrats). Depending on various factors, the Republicans will likely still have control of the House after this November’s election.

The Senate is a different story, due to the current razor-thin plurality that Republicans hold.

It would be nice to see our elected officials spend their time governing and not campaigning and making promises that they can’t or won’t keep. So we shall see what transpires in 2018.

I do think President Trump has had a very successful first year in office, despite the loud opposition from some voters and their representatives. He exhibits the energy of a man half his age.

Paul Birnbaum

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Paul Birnbaum