Today in Depressing Headlines

Via The Monkey Cage:  A new poll shows an astonishing 52% of Republicans incorrectly think Trump won 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.


FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Stormy Dragon says:

    The need for belonging is a more fundamental need than a need for self actualization.

    So when group loyalty conflicts with an abstract philosophical principle like Truth, group loyalty is almost always going to win.

  2. CSK says:

    They obviously believed what Trump told them about 3 million illegals voting for Clinton.

  3. Liberal Capitalist says:

    I read a fascinating article about this post-truth phase that we seem to have entered.

    Surprisingly, it is a thing called a “Lie”.

    These “lies” seem to loose their veracity when an overwhelming majority steps up and confronts the “liar”.

    Possibly, we should try this.

  4. Gustopher says:

    “Yeah? Well that’s just like your opinion, man.”

    Seriously, though, I think it has to be hammered at every opportunity that he is not a popular vote winner. Mostly because it annoys Republicans to know that they are unpopular. I’d rather have the boring competency of Clinton, but annoying Republicans will have to do.

    Well, Republicans, you own this shit show — good luck! Assuming he doesn’t destroy the world, I’ll be fine. I would like a tax break, thank you very much. I don’t need a tax break, but whatever.

    (Also, I am shifting all my donations away from groups that might help the red parts on my state, or red states in general. It’s all hyper-local, international, and political at this point. I’m not sure if that makes me a bad person or not. It’s sort of like how I donate to food banks and homeless shelters one or two neighborhoods from mine in hopes that the homeless will go there… human misery is a fungible resource, right? People over there need help too, right?)

  5. Mass denial of truth and facts is the first step off of a slippery slope. When lies are delivered by the President and the masses believe it, it’s like high diving into an empty pool.

  6. John Peabody says:

    I think his appeal is just becoming more selective.

  7. dmhlt says:

    We have got to stop asking Trump supporters (and republicans in general): “Just how stupid can you be?!?”
    They’re taking it as a challenge.

  8. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    Based on the phrasing of the question, a lot of the response could simply be ignorance about how the system works–“he must have won the popular vote, too; I mean, you can’t win the one without winning the other, right?”

    That this type of basic ignorance exists in a society where nearly half of the electorate voted for Donald Trump is not very surprising to me. But, the headline and fact are still depressing , yes.

  9. James Pearce says:

    Trump is president because half of all Republicans believe a lot of dumb shit.

  10. SenyorDave says:

    I’m surprised that the percentage isn’t higher. Trump spent the whole campaign spewing out lies and his supporters consistently parroted those lies when polled. A few of his whoppers:

    Donald Trump said that the murder rate in the U.S. is the “highest it’s been in 45 years” and “the press never talks about it.” In 2015, the murder rate was 4.9 per 100,000 people. In 1980, it was 10.2, more than twice as high.

    “Our real unemployment rate is 42 percent.”

    “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,”

    If you voted for a compulsive liar, you probably would believe that person when he lies. He claimed he won the popular vote, so you believe he won the popular vote.

  11. SenyorDave says:

    At this point, I would imagine most Republicans would believe anything he says, and excuse anything he does.

    I believe during the campaign Trump said he could murder someone on 5th avenue and get away with it. I think he could murder a young woman on 5th avenue, and then climb into bed with her and young boy and his supporters would still be with him (putting to rest the the old Evan Edwards quote “The only way I can lose this election is if I’m caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy”).

    The amazing turnaround in Republican support for Putin demonstrates the phenomenom.

  12. @SenyorDave:

    The amazing turnaround in Republican support for Putin demonstrates the phenomenom.

    It is pretty amazing (although, in fairness, some of that was starting pre-Trump–I think because Putin was for “traditional marriage”).

  13. Franklin says:

    I thought my cousin was joking on Facebook. It turns out … no.

  14. Hal_10000 says:

    I would not read too much into this. The poll was badly phrased and there were no test questions to probe biases (e.g., asking the opposite question of Democrats). This is a bad polls as invented news.