Hillary Clinton won more votes than Donald Trump Tuesday night, at least according to the most current count.

That statistic is being passed around by dejected but smug liberals who claim: “the people chose Clinton.” But it is a meaningless and irrelevant statistic.

We do not elect presidents based on the popular vote, we select them using the Electoral College. This means that certain states — states that are not guaranteed to vote for Republicans or Democrats — will get more attention from candidates than states that are guaranteed.

For instance, Clinton went to California for star-studded fundraisers but not to campaign. To campaign in a state she was guaranteed to win would have been a waste. Her time was better spent campaigning in swing states such as Florida and North Carolina. If she had campaigned in California, it would have only been to pump up her vote count for the popular vote, but it wouldn’t have gotten her any closer to the White House. She only needed enough votes in that state to secure its electoral votes.

If we selected our presidents based on the popular vote, candidates would spend more time in secure states to pump up their numbers.

This also means, as noted by the Washington Post’s Jonathan Adler, that we don’t know who would have won an actual popular vote. If we selected our president based on that, and politicians campaigned that way, there’s still no guarantee that Clinton would have won.

“What all this means is that when the popular vote is reasonably close — as it was this year, as it was in 2000 and 2004 — we cannot say with confidence that the candidate who won the popular vote under the Electoral College system would also have won the popular vote under a popular-vote system. It’s possible, but anything but certain,” Adler wrote. “So while it’s true that Clinton won the majority of popular votes cast, we don’t know that she was actually the candidate voters would have picked were we to rely on the popular vote.”

Usually, the person who wins the Electoral College also wins the popular vote. Notable exceptions are this year and in 2000, when Al Gore won the popular vote but George W. Bush won the Electoral College. We also don’t have all the votes counted (some races still have not been called and we’re still missing absentee ballots), but I don’t think Trump will end up winning it.

What liberals really want is for the popular vote in this election to be counted retroactively. But switching to a popular vote system may not have helped Clinton or the Democratic Party.

Trump's priorities: Immigration, healthcare, jobs

Also from the Washington Examiner

Donald Trump on Thursday listed out his top three priorities after a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

“We’re going to look very strongly at immigration… the border,” he told reporters in the Senate when asked to name the top issues he wants to tackle. “We’ll look very strongly at health care, and jobs, big league jobs.”

Trump didn’t take any followup questions during his quick stop in the Senate, including where he stands on his plan to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

However, Trump made immigration a cornerstone of his campaign, and has promised repeatedly to build a wall to keep out illegal immigrants. Some of his aides have walked that promise back and said it implies a tougher overall

11/10/16 3:28 PM

Ashe Schow is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.

Trump: Obama and I talked about 'a lot of different situations'

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The meeting comes one day after Obama congratulated Trump on his sweeping and unexpected victory.

11/10/16 12:28 PM

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