Donald Trump has been on a “victory tour” falsely telling his rabid supporters that he won a “massive landslide victory.” Donald Trump’s Electoral College victory was not a ‘massive landslide’.
According to the 2016 National Popular Vote Tracker, Hillary Clinton now leads by 2.8 million votes (more than 2.1 percent of the total vote) as states continue to report final results.
Trump won 30 states, gathering 306 of 538 electoral votes. There have been 45 presidential elections in which the winning candidate won a larger share of the electoral vote.
[Trump’s popular vote] deficit gives him the third-worst vote margin among winning candidates since 1824.
But Trump’s self-angrandizing falsehood gets repeated in the Epistemic closure of the ‘conservative misinformation feedback loop’ media bubble, and this is the result: A new poll shows an astonishing 52% of Republicans incorrectly think Trump won the popular vote:
Half of all Republicans actually think Trump won the popular vote.
In a nationally representative online survey of 1,011 Americans conducted by Qualtrics between Dec. 6 and 12, we asked respondents, “In last month’s election, Donald Trump won the majority of votes in the electoral college. Who do you think won the most popular votes?”
Twenty-nine percent said Donald Trump won the popular vote. This is a slightly larger proportion than in a recent Pew survey in which 19 percent said Trump won the popular vote.
Respondents’ correct understanding of the popular vote depended a great deal on partisanship. A large fraction of Republicans — 52 percent — said Trump won the popular vote, compared with only 7 percent of Democrats [who are these people?] and 24 percent of independents. Among Republicans without any college education, the share was even larger: 60 percent, compared with 37 percent of Republicans with a college degree.
This same pattern of partisan bias didn’t emerge on other factual questions in our survey. For example, we asked respondents to estimate the size of the country’s African American and Latino populations. As is typical, people tended to overestimate the size of these groups: On average, respondents think 27 percent of Americans are black and 28 percent are Latino. (The correct answers as of 2015 are 13.3 percent and 17.6 percent.)
But these numbers do not vary by party affiliation. Democrats and Republicans make similar guesses, on average.
These results align with something social scientists have long recognized: We choose facts to be consistent with our prior beliefs. In this case, Republicans are more likely to endorse erroneous claims about Trump’s victory because it aligns with their partisanship. They do not, however, have any partisan motivation when estimating the size of minority groups.
I don’t know how we can ever achieve the goal of an informed electorate in an era of fake news and epistemic closure in a post-truth America where feelings have replaced irrefutable facts.