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If the 2020 election is within a 1% margin, the less popular candidate has a 45% chance of becoming president, and the odds favor Republicans, according to the University of Texas Electoral College Study. The results raise questions about the manner in which the U.S. Electoral College represents the voice of the U.S. electorate.
The presidential elections of 2000 and 2016 were controversial in part because the candidate who had the most votes did not win. In 2000, Republican George W. Bush defeated Democrat Al Gore by 5 electoral votes after losing the popular vote by about 540,000. And in 2016, Republican Donald Trump garnered 27 more electoral votes than Democrat Hillary Clinton but lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million.
Odds - Happening - Decades
What are the odds of this happening, especially twice in the past two decades?
"Higher than you probably think," said UT Austin economist Michael Geruso, who—with UT Austin economist Dean Spears and economics and math undergraduate Ishaana Talesara—co-authored a paper on "inversion" elections that was recently released by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Study - Inversion - Elections - Elections - Times
According to the study, "inversion" elections are very likely in close elections. Although they have happened only four times in U.S. history—1876, 1888, 2000 and 2016—the researchers report an 80% chance that another slightly less popular candidate will win the presidency in the next 60 years if elections continue to be as close as they have been in recent decades.
"The probability of inversion is very tightly linked to the expected closeness of the race. And the last couple of decades have featured some of the closest presidential races in U.S. history," Geruso said. "To the extent you think 2020 will be a close race, you should be prepared that an inversion is likely. That goes for any future election as well."
Fact - Researchers - Someone
In fact, the researchers estimate that if someone...
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