New Math?

In an impassioned speech on Monday defending President Trump against the suggestion by some that his rhetoric contributed to the violence of the past week – first the bombs mailed to the president’s critics and then the mass murder at the synagogue in Pittsburgh – White House public relations spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders, spokespersoning at her first White House press briefing in weeks, said that

You guys have a huge responsibility to play in the divisive nature of this country, when 90 percent of the coverage of everything this president does is negative despite the fact that the country is going extremely well, despite the fact that this president is delivering on exactly what he said he was going to do if elected. And he was elected by the overwhelming majority of 63 million Americans who came out and supported him and wanted to see his policies enacted.

While Trump unquestionably won the electoral college vote, he unquestionably did not win the “overwhelming majority of 63 million Americans who came out and supported him…”

We should begin by noting that Sanders’ syntax was horribly twisted – which, to be fair, is something that can happen when you’re speaking extemporaneously and don’t have an opportunity to edit your remarks.  Still, she is a professional spokesperson, so maybe she shouldn’t have twisted syntax…

But we digress.

Was she trying to say that Trump had the overwhelming support of the people who voted for him? Only those people?  Or that the 63 million votes he received represented the overwhelming support of the overall electorate – that is, among everyone who voted?  Only Sarah knows for sure.

But it sure came across as if she was saying that Trump was elected by the overwhelming majority of participating voters on that day that will live in infamy.

But was he?

No, he was not.

Let us recap the facts and figures as they actually were – “real news,” let us call it.

For the record, 63 million people voted for Trump on election day 2016.  135.6 million people cast ballots that day.  That means 46.5 percent of the votes cast were for Trump.

Not an “overwhelming majority.”

Not even a majority.

Not even a plurality.

And, of course, not even the most:  65.9 million people cast their ballot for Hillary Clinton, giving her 48.6 percent of the vote.

Is there any reasonable conclusion other than that she is a liar?  

Not an overwhelming majority, not even a majority, but definitely a plurality.

And 2.9 million more votes than Trump received.

Sarah Sanders was…wrong.

How could that be? Was she trying to create some of that thar “fake news”?

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