Friday, March 18, 2016

A Plurality Is Not A Majority

Now, I know what you are saying, everyone knows a plurality and majority are not the same thing.  But I keep hearing many pundits on TV saying if Trump has the most delegates going into the convention in Cleveland, he must be given the nomination or it will be like they are stealing the nomination from him and disregarding the will of the people.

The way you win the Republican nomination is you must earn a majority of the delegates.  You are not given the nomination just because you have a plurality of the delegates.   

What is a majority?  A majority means 50% + 1.  
What is a plurality?  A plurality is having more than anyone else, but less than a majority.

There are 2472 delegates that will make up the Republican Convention.  50% of that is 1236.  50% + 1 is 1237.  That is why a candidate to win the nomination must have 1237 delegates to win the nomination.  Not 1135 because it is close; not 1000 if you have 400 more delegates than anyone else.  It doesn't matter how big a plurality of delegates the leader has.  The only thing that matters is which candidate is able to cobble together 1237 delegates.  

Also, it would not be against the will of the people to not eventually give the nomination to the person who has the plurality of delegates going into the convention.  Here is why. The person who has a plurality of delegates going into the convention means that while he has more than anyone else, it also means a majority of the delegates are for someone other than the person with a plurality of the delegates.  

In Donald Trump's case, it is even starker that because there were so many candidates in the race, Donald Trump is winning most of those delegates with about 35% vote from the people.  That means an overwhelming majority of the people that voted, voted for someone other than Donald Trump.  In fact, there hasn't been one primary or caucus where Donald Trump has received a majority of the vote.  Not even close to it. 

It would actually be more accurate to say to just automatically give the nomination to Trump without having a majority of the delegates is actually stealing the nomination away from the will of the people because the will of the people was to choose someone other than Donald Trump.  Now after the first ballot, if Trump is able to garner together 1237 delegates then he will rightfully win the nomination and that won't be stealing it from anyone.  Absent that and if someone other than Trump is able to garner a majority of the delegates at the convention, that will also mean the nomination will not have been stolen from anyone or that the will of the people had been subterfuged. That will just be following the rule that you must have a majority of the delegates, not a plurality, to win the nomination.

So, enough with this "the will of the people" that Donald Trump supposedly has.  It just isn't true. 


dbsnyder said...

One of the beauties of the electoral college system is that the President gets elected by a majority of something. He/She is not elected simply by a plurality.

Big Mike said...

Yep! Thank you DBSnyder!