Recently, I learned that after more ballots were counted, President Barack Obama actually won the popular vote. The numbers I saw gave Obama 61,683,851 votes and Romney 58,489,000. So as of last Wednesday, Obama was the winner but only in terms of the electoral college. Now, data shows he’s won with 51 percent of the popular vote to Romney’s 48 percent. To outsiders, this may make no sense. In fact, it makes no sense to most Americans.
We have this weird system that gets called “outdated,” depending on what political party you’re in and how well your presidential candidate does. The electoral college is comprised of 538 voters, each selected by the political parties in each state. In Pennsylvania, for instance, we have 21 electoral votes (this number is based on the number of Congressmen we have which is determined by the census that gets done every 10 years) and all 21 votes are cast for the candidate who wins the majority of the popular vote in our state. Most states’ participation in the electoral college is the same – all or nothing.
So you may have heard last Wednesday morning that the Democratic candidate, President Barack Obama, won his bid for re-election only in the electoral college and not in the popular vote. This happened with President George Bush’s first term. He ran against Al Gore and won the electoral college (271-266), even though he lost the popular vote by 543,895 individual votes. Democrats, including my 5th grade self, were pissed. And rightly so; if you watch the film Inside Job, you’ll see how awful a president Bush Jr. was. So I was a little nervous when I heard that Obama had won the electoral college and not the popular vote, because I feared the Right’s response. Republicans were surely unhappy.
But now, they can shut their big, fat mouths. And for that, I am grateful. Because I really feared what Mitt Romney would do to our country. His religion scared me, especially with the threats he made to women’s health and well-being. The way I look at it is this: If you threaten to cut Planned Parenthood, which provides medical services to women who can’t afford them elsewhere, then you deserve eternal silencing in the political world. I feared having a president who obviously lives in his own little world.
I really could go on for a year about why I refused to vote for Romney and why he scared me. But I don’t really have to, right? Because even if you’re not American, you knew what was at stake in our election and you, too, breathed a sigh of relief. Am I right? I would bet on it.
So now, we can look forward to 4 years of liberal policies aimed at helping all people – not just the rich ones – and the world doesn’t have to fear an American stand-off with Russia or China or whatever other nations Romney threatened. And women everywhere in our country can get their birth control covered by insurance, are still free to have an abortion if they need to and can have hope that equal pay will be enforced within the foreseeable future.
I’m a happy voter and a happy woman.