Appearing Sunday morning on CBS News’ Face the Nation, a smiling Hillary Clinton trolled the Republican presidential front-runner who boasts so incessantly and tiresomely about his poll numbers and primary victories. “I’ve gotten more votes than anybody running on either side,” said the New York Democrat. “I’ve gotten more votes than Donald Trump, although I’m sure he doesn’t want to hear it,” she added with a laugh. “And we’ve gotten them from a wide, broad base.”
Is she right? My back-of-the-envelope calculations show that Hillary Clinton has received more than 4.1 million votes in primaries and caucuses, while Trump has received just under 3.6 million. So far she is ahead of the authoritarian vulgarian by about half a million votes. Not huge, but not bad.
What Clinton pointed out cuts against the current mainstream media narrative, as exemplified in a March 3 New York Times story that contrasted the falloff in Democratic turnout since the 2008 primaries with the “flood of energized new voters showing up at the polls to vote for Donald J. Trump in the Republican contest.” Nobody should dismiss Trump’s demagogic powers, and nobody should take a single vote for granted in November. But if analysts are examining the relative strengths and weaknesses of candidates, why not begin by adding up their actual vote totals?