Okay, Who Nearly Cost WHOM The Election? 2016

Another close election with close counts and a group of voters angry over having gotten more votes and fewer electors. Where have I seen this before? Oh yes, back when Nader was running and pulled plenty of people from Gore – only it turns out that, of those who would have voted for either of the major candidates, more would have voted for Bush than for Gore.

As it is, we had multiple candidates who ran as third party candidates. There were at least three, and others had effects here and there.

Let’s take a look, shall we? (Thanks, by the way, to Reason for doing the digging.) I’m assuming that your average Libertarian, limited to choosing between Mme. Clinton and Mr. Trump, would probably have chosen Trump at a 3-1 margin (a stat I heard during the campaign from a friend of a friend); with a similar skewering (if not a greater skewering towrds Trump) from McMullin. We’ll assume that Most Green Party candidates would go to Clinton THIS TIME AROUND.

(And yes, I know Hillary won the popular vote by 2 Million Plus. Unfortunately that’s now how we pick our presidents – something about the Tyranny of Majority Rule and all that.)

  • Arizona: Trump beat Clinton by four points; Johnson collected 3.8 percent and Stein collected 1.2 percent. Most likely, Trump would have won more comfortably here if the 3rd party candidates were removed, there is no way for Clinton to with even by keeping Johnson and removing Stein.
  • Colorado: Clinton won by 2.2 percent. Voters also gave 4.9 percent to Johnson, 1.2 percent to Stein, 1 percent to McMullin, and nearly 1 percent more to a collection of third-tier candidates. Remove Johnson and McMullin, and you may flip the state to Trump.
  • Florida: Trump eked out a win by just 1.4 percent here. Johnson, Stein, Castle, and Rocky De La Fuente of the Reform Party between them collected 3.2 percent; Stein got only .7 percent of the total vote. No Dice.
  • Maine: Clinton won this by three percentage points, and Johnson collected 5.1 percent, so there’s a chance he tipped the electors who represented the State’s Senate Votes to the Democrats.
  • Michigan: Trump won this ordinarily blue state by about .3 percent. Stein got 1.1 percent, and Johnson got 3.6 percent. Remove Stein and you get a Clinton squeaker – assuming, of course, that Johnson is forced to stay around.
  • Minnesota: Clinton won by 1.4 percent. McMullin got 1.8 percent, Johnson got 3.4 percent (Making for 5.2 percent together) and Stein got 1.3 percent. Given my percentages, looks like Clinton won another state thanks to the third parties.
  • Nevada: Clinton won by 2.4 percent; Johnson got 3.3 percent. A bit close, especially since Jill Stein wasn’t on the ballot.
  • New Hampshire: Another narrow Clinton win—just a tenth of a percentage point—and another relatively strong showing for Johnson, who collected 4.1 percent. Stein only got .9 percent, so it would appear that Johnson handed yet another state to Clinton (assuming that that’s the only thing third parties tend to do).
  • Pennsylvania: Trump won by about 1.1 percent. Stein’s .8 percent isn’t enough to cover that spread; Johnson’s 2.4 percent would likely have made this state called sooner for Trump.
  • Virginia: Clinton won by 4.7 percent. Johnson, McMullin, and Stein got 3, 1.6, and .7 percent, respectively. So the third-party candidates covered the spread if you include the Green, but the two candidates who were more likely to pull from Trump didn’t have quite enough to cover it on their own.
  • Wisconsin: Stein’s 1.1 percent is just enough to bridge the 1-percent margin between the winning Trump and the losing Clinton. But then what does Johnson’s 3.4 percent do to the results—or, for that matter, the nearly half a percentage point that Castle won while running to Trump’s right (none of whom would have been caught DEAD voting for Clinton)?

So what do we have? Michigan and MAYBE Wisconsin “stolen” from Hillary, accounting for 16-26 votes – assuming, of course, that Johnson (and Castle) stay in the race. Not enough to push Hillary over the top by any means.

Meanwhile we have Colorado, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Maine (at least the two senate electors) going to Trump were it not for third parties, accounting for 25-26 electoral votes. Add Nevada’s six electors, and it’s possible that we’d have a true landslide for Trump (as it is, the size of victory is large enough to make normal Democrats uncomfortable).

Remove Stein, Keep Johnson, McMullin and Castle: Close Trump Victory
Remove Johnson, McMullin and Castle, Keep Stein: Trump Landslide
Remove All Third Party Canididates: Michigan and Wisconsin look out of place.

So please, stop blaming Third Parties for your loss. There’s not enough there for you, and you could end up REALLY getting embarassed. Stein barely pulled enough votes to get noticed, for that matter.



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