Clinton’s lead in the popular vote surpasses 2 million By NOLAN D. MCCASKILL 11/23/16 01:39 PM EST


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Hillary Clinton has garnered 64,223,958 votes, compared to Donald Trump’s 62,206,395 votes. | Getty

A half-dozen electors, those who will formally cast votes for Trump and Clinton on Dec. 19, are pushing to block Trump from winning a majority of votes.

Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump in the popular vote surpassed 2 million Wednesday morning, according to Dave Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

Clinton has garnered 64,223,958 votes, compared to Trump’s 62,206,395 votes.

By Nov. 15, the Democratic nominee’s advantage had crossed the 1-million mark and ballooned to 1.5 million by Sunday.

Despite Clinton’s lead in the popular vote, it was Trump who prevailed on Election Day by clinching 270 Electoral College votes.

Trump told New York Times reporters Tuesday he would “rather do the popular vote” and was “never a fan of the Electoral College until now.”

“The popular vote would have been a lot easier, but it’s a whole different campaign. I would have been in California, I would have been in Texas, Florida and New York, and we wouldn’t have gone anywhere else,” Trump said. “Which is, I mean I’d rather do the popular vote.”

“But I think the popular vote would have been easier in a true sense because you’d go to a few places,” he added. “I think that’s the genius of the Electoral College. I was never a fan of the Electoral College until now.”

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Voting rights rulings could deal blow to Republicans in 2016 elections – Andrew Gumbel Sunday 31 July 2016 10.00 EDT


North Carolina, Wisconsin, Kansas and Texas see voter ID and registration measures ruled discriminatory in decisions that could affect November results

 Demonstrators marched through the streets of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, last year after the beginning of a federal voting rights trial challenging the 2013 state law.

Shortly after Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 presidential election, the former chair of the North Carolina Republican party wrote an anxious postmortem saying something had to be done about the students and black voters whose unprecedented turnout had turned the state blue for the first time in 32 years.

The alternative, the former state chair Jack Hawke wrote, was that the country would “continue to slide toward socialism”.

That “something” turned out to be a notorious omnibus law – better known to its detractors as the “monster law” – passed by a Republican-majority state legislature in 2013. The legislation gutted many of the progressive voting rules that had contributed to Obama’s razor-thin margin in the state: same-day registration, a lengthy early voting period and out-of-precinct voting by provisional ballot – all favored disproportionately by African American voters and students. The law also introduced a strict voter ID requirement, with the anticipated effect of suppressing Democratic votes even further.

Had the law stood, it could have been the biggest setback for voting rights in North Carolina since the Jim Crow era, a brazen attempt by conservatives to upend the rules of democratic engagement and block access to groups most likely to oppose them. The Republicans have sought to couch their maneuvering in more benign terms, as a form of justifiable partisan warfare. Hawke noted in his postmortem that the Democrats had been motivated, united and well-financed in 2008, and said it was up to the Republicans to respond in kind.

That argument has come crashing down, following a flurry of remarkable court rulings over the past two weeks accusing North Carolina and three other Republican-run states – Wisconsin, Kansas and Texas – of violating the 1965 Voting Rights Act and intentionally discriminating against African Americans and other classes of voters. State and federal judges have struck down laws that could have given the Republicans a significant edge in close races this November, lifting the spirits of voting rights activists who have been campaigning against such laws for more than a decade.

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White House, GOP weighing big budget talks – By SEUNG MIN KIM 09/29/15 03:29 PM EDT Updated 09/29/15 07:55 PM EDT


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The goal is to ease the threat of repeated government shutdowns until after the 2016 elections.

As President Barack Obama and top congressional leaders prepare to launch negotiations on a two-year budget deal, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is maneuvering to cut key Democrats out of the talks, according to sources familiar with the nascent negotiations.

The ambitious budget goal, outlined by McConnell on Tuesday, could help ease the threat of repeated government shutdowns until after the 2016 elections. But drama is already unfolding behind the scenes with McConnell’s private suggestion that the discussions be limited to just him, President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), according to Democratic sources — a proposal that the president and outgoing speaker have rejected, the sources said.

On Tuesday, McConnell detailed the talks, which are focused on top-line budget numbers for fiscal 2016 and 2017. The discussions, which included McConnell, Obama and Boehner, began with an initial phone conversation among the three men nearly two weeks ago.

The discussions are preliminary, and are likely to stretch beyond the end of October, when Boehner’s resignation from Congress takes effect. But if the talks can produce top-line numbers for domestic and defense spending, that could help the GOP-led Congress avoid future showdowns over government spending like the standoff that will loom in mid-December.

“We’d like to settle a top-line for both years so that next year, we could have a regular appropriations process,” McConnell said Tuesday. “The president and Speaker Boehner and I spoke about getting started into discussions last week, and I would expect them to start very soon.”

A Boehner aide confirmed the talks, saying the men “discussed the need to get moving on the budget process.”

 

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