Major suburbs across the country were in a standstill as protests against the outcome of the 2016 election continued, as Donald Trump refused to concede the race due to his overwhelming victory in the popular vote.
The margin between Trump and President-elect Hillary Clinton rose to 2.6 million as more votes came in from Texas, Alabama, and South Carolina. He is now leading by nearly 2% points, more than the margin of several previous elections, and nearly the same margin that separated President George W Bush and 2012 opponent John Kerry.
However, Clinton led the electoral college 306–232 due to high voter turnout in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, all of which had recently passed automatic voter registration laws, added more voting precincts, and made vote-by-mail much simpler.
“The high turnout among minority voters in urban areas — mostly due to the increased ease of voting — is what gave Clinton the White House,” said John Brown, a political analyst.
Democrats also took control of the House of Representatives, due to what analysts called the inherent pro-urban bias in how House districts are drawn across the country, and the Senate after surprise victories by Russ Feingold and Kathy McGinty in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, respectively. This gives Democrats the trifecta for the first time since 2009.
However, the country remains in turmoil, and Trump is adamant that the popular vote is what matters, pointing to tweets he made in 2012 calling for the abolishment of the Electoral College.
“The electoral college must do the right thing, and follow the will of the people,” said Trump, who has continued to hold large rallies nearly everyday since election day.
His supporters agreed, saying that allowing someone who lost by 2.6 million votes to become President would be a “disgrace to Democracy,”, likening it to elections in countries like Russia or Ethiopia. Polls now show that 90% of Republicans disapprove of the Electoral College
Democrats, including President Barack Obama, called for calm and called on President-elect Hillary Clinton to meet and come up with a compromise solution.
“Look, I understand why Republicans are so frustrated,” said a White House spokesperson.
Clinton has remained mostly silent, meeting with her transition team and holding fundraisers, while reiterating that the election was fair, and that the process one that had been agreed to long before Trump’s surprise red-stage surge.
“If it had been the other way around, I would have conceded promptly,” said Clinton in an interview with CWN. “But I won. Trump needs to focus on the future of our country. Protests are not what America needs right now.”
Trump continued to tweet about the blatant stealing of the election, saying that millions of people voted illegally, and that the media has been very biased against him throughout this entire process.
“ The election of the next president is not yet a done deal. Electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country. Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience” said one elector, to the New York Times.
Republicans in Congress, including Speaker Paul Ryan, who had previously distances himself from Trump, are calling on the election to go to the House of Representatives, as it would if neither candidate was able to reach 270 electoral votes.
This is starting to become a real possibility. The massive uproar caused by the election night uncertainty has already lead to nearly a dozen electors saying they will follow the will of the people and vote for Trump and not Clinton, who won their state.
Some are blaming the Supreme Court, which, after the nomination of Merrick Garland shortly after the death of Antonin Scalia earlier this year, reversed the court’s 2014 decision which gutted the Voting Rights Acts. This restored federal oversight over voting in numerous southern states, including several that Clinton won.
This might be the new norm, and Republicans were also calling out Democrats for taking steps to cement their majorities by making it easier to vote in states with large minority populations across the country.
“If they succeed in making in making voting easier and more accessible, Republicans can say goodbye to any hope of ever winning the electoral college ever again,” said one Republican strategist.
The Republican Party is standing firmly besides Trump, launching a nationwide ad blitz, funded by the Koch Brothers, calling on the Electoral College to do the right things on December 19th and elect the people’s winner to the White House.