It’s disconcerting, the idea that a presidential candidate can win the “popular vote” and still lose the election. But thus has been our system from the beginning: each state’s electoral votes, based on population not party, determine the outcome. And thank goodness for that.
If the “popular vote” was all a candidate needed, then those states heavily invested by one party or the other would carry the day for all of us. California and New York are Democrat and Trump supporters there, for instance, know it. So why should they bother to stand in line to vote when their vote would mean little? Thus the “popular vote” is undermined.
Clinton apparently won the “popular vote” because voters in heavily populated places like New York and California overwhelmingly voted for her. Trump won the presidency because his votes were spread more evenly across the country and he won many more states, and their electoral votes, though some by a slim margin.
And each of their electoral votes, though smaller than California’s and New York’s, added up to more electoral votes for him. So when the ever-clueless news media makes a whoop-de-do out of her winning the “popular vote,” just remember what it means. The majority of the states voted for Trump not for her.