After spending an entire election cycle spewing ridiculous nonsense, it’s no surprise that Kellyanne Conway and the Trump campaign climbed back aboard the crazy train on Monday to say that Donald Trump’s Electoral College victory on Nov. 8 was a “landslide.”
306. Landslide. Blowout. Historic. https://t.co/ObYZDo8cBq
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) November 28, 2016
The tweet from Trump’s former campaign manager came shortly after it was announced that the president-elect officially carried the state of Michigan’s 16 electoral votes.
As Conway correctly noted, that brings the final Electoral College tally to 306 votes for Trump and 232 for Hillary Clinton – hardly a historic blowout, no matter how you slice it.
Nate Silver of FiveThrityEight was quick to pounce on Conway’s assertion using historical data and a little bit of sarcasm.
Trump won in the 44th biggest landslide out of the past 54 elections. Pretty epic. https://t.co/TFouy56v2A
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) November 28, 2016
Silver challenged the “blowout” claim in a piece titled “War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Trump Won In A Landslide,” in which the stats guru called Conway’s comment “Orwellian” and said Trump’s electoral victory was “decidedly below-average.”
More from Silver:
But in a historical context, Trump’s Electoral College performance is decidedly below-average. So it’s a bit Orwellian to call it a “landslide” or a “blowout.” There have been 54 presidential elections since the ratification of the 12th Amendment in 1804. (Before that, presidential electors cast two votes each, making it hard to compare them to present-day elections.) Of those 54 cases, Trump’s share of the electoral vote — assuming there are no faithless electors or results overturned by recounts — ranks 44th.
Not only was Trump’s victory not yuge, as Silver wrote, but it was actually pretty unimpressive. The terms “landslide” and “blowout” aren’t the appropriate adjectives to describe it.
Conway’s assertion that the election outcome was “historic” does have some credence, however.
After all, Hillary Clinton is on pace to win the popular vote by 2.5 to 2.7 million votes – and she is on track to win more votes than any presidential candidate in history, aside from Barack Obama.
Despite all that, the former Secretary of State will not be the next President of the United States, and Donald Trump will.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.