Monday, December 5, 2016

Trump claims he actually won the popular vote

On Sunday Donald Trump claimed in a tweet that he actually won the popular vote if the illegal votes for Clinton were subtracted from her total vote.

One Trump tweet said: "In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally." Trump later added another tweet that said: "Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California - so why isn't the media reporting on this? Serious bias - big problem!"
Rick Hasen, a professor specializing in election law at the University of California Irvine claimed: “There’s no reason to believe this is true. The level of fraud in U.S. elections is quite low. The problem of non-citizen voting is quite small — like we’re talking claims in the dozens, we’re not talking voting in the millions, or the thousands, or even the hundreds.” David Becker, of the Center for Election Innovation and Research agreed that widespread fraud was unlikely: "We know historically that this almost never happens.You’re more likely to get eaten by a shark that simultaneously gets hit by lightning than to find a non-citizen voting.”
The Trump claim appears to have arisen from an article in Infowars published on Nov. 14 that claimed in a headline that three million votes in the presidential election were cast by illegal immigrants. The article is analyzed in detail by Politifact. The evidence comes from two tweets by Gregg Philipps but Politifact observes that when Phillips was asked for more information: "He said he has chosen not to release more information because he is still working on analyzing the data and verifying its accuracy. Phillips would also not say what the data is or where it came from, or what methodology he used. Phillips said he would release the information publicly once he is finally finished." There is no report from VoteFraud.org which the Infowars article refers to for evidence. Nevertheless the article has been accessed tens of thousands of times and reprinted on various other websites. The two tweets were:" Gregg Phillips @JumpVote We have verified more than three million votes cast by non-citizens. We are joining .@TrueTheVote to initiate legal action. #unrigged 10:47 AM - 13 Nov 2016 9,106 9,106 Retweets 8,671 8,671 likes" and "Completed analysis of database of 180 million voter registrations. Number of non-citizen votes exceeds 3 million. Consulting legal team. 5:23 PM - 11 Nov 2016
2,869 2,869 Retweets 2,548 2,548 likes
Phillip's page on Linkedin claims he is a former finance director of the Alabama Republican Party. He also was managing director of a super PAC that worked for Newt Gingrich's 2012 campaign for president.
Trump also cited a 2014 blog post in the Washington Post which used figures from a disputed study that estimated 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens in 2010. However, election experts dispute the finding with one analyst saying that the finding is entirely due to measurement error.
The Trump outbursts may be related to claims that having lost the overall popular vote, Trump does not have a mandate to govern. Trump has also been critical of the audit of voting in three states in which Trump had relatively narrow wins over Clinton. A senior Obama administration official has claimed that the election results "accurately reflect the will of the American people"
Princeton historian Julian Zelizer said: "In this case, we see the victor making blanket accusation of fraud to delegitimize 2.5 million votes. Given there is no evidence to support the claim, this is simply stunning and troubling as a sign as to what he will do as president."
In reaction to Trump, Paul Krugman, the Nobel prize-winning liberal economist joins the conspiracy crowd tweeting: "So Comey and Putin installed a crazy, vindictive can't-handle-the-truth person in the White House. Scary." I append an Alex Jones Infowars video on the issue.


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