Why Jill Stein’s Recount Matters; Donald Trump Has No One to Blame But Himself

Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for president, raised more than $6 million in a matter of days to pay for recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for president, raised more than $6 million in a matter of days to pay for recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate who probably cost Hillary Clinton the election, is now trying to redeem herself by organizing recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Donald Trump is protesting, naturally, but he has no one to blame but himself.

Trump is the projected winner in all three states, although Michigan’s final tally is still out. Clinton needs to overturn the results in all three states to win the Electoral College, which votes for president on Dec. 19.

She lost those states by just over 100,000 votes; Trump won all three by just over 1 percent of the vote each.

Trump screamed loudly and often during the election about “vote rigging” and refusing to commit to accepting the results, unless, of course, he won.

At the time, he clearly sowed the seeds of mistrust in the vote count.

Coupled with clear efforts by Republican state officials to suppress minority voting and Trump’s razor thin victories in those states, a recount seemed in order.

Clinton refused to go there, but Stein was the person to order one. She was on the ballot in every state and had the right to ask for recounts. She raised more than $6 million in a matter of a few days to pay for them.

As Money & Power reported last week (Nov. 21), the election was remarkable, on its face, because it cut against almost every poll, which predicted Clinton would win key swing states like North Carolina and Florida.

She was also projected to win in Pennsylvania, Michigan and other traditionally Democratic states that actually went to Trump. If the polls were accurate, she would have easily won the Electoral College and the White House by a 3 percent to 4 percent margin.

Beside leading in the polls going into the election, Clinton was also leading in exit polls conducted by Edison Research, a marketing and research firm. It’s election day exit polling was the largest single-day project in the world, according to its Web site.

More than 3,000 exit poll interviewers, precinct vote return reporters, call center workers and analysts across the country created a record of who voted and why. More than 100,000 interviews were analyzed to come up with its results, it states.

Based on its polling, Clinton should have won 302 Electoral College votes compared with 205 for Trump. Clinton won North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida in exit polling, even though she lost those states in computerized state election counts.

Clinton also won Edison Research’s national exit poll by 3.2 percent, about the same margin predicted by a majority of pre-election polls.

Adding fuel to the fire, a group of computer scientists and election lawyers examined voting patterns and concluded that voting may have been compromised in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Discrepancies were discovered in counties that used electronic voting machines compared with counties that used optical scanners and paper ballots. Clinton lost in the former and won the latter.

This is the second election where a Democrat won the popular vote, but lost in the Electoral College. The same thing happened to Al Gore in 2000. He logged 500,000 more votes than George W. Bush, but the latter carried Florida which put him over the edge in Electoral votes.

For his part, Trump has been critical of the Electoral College in the past. He praised the system after his victory, but in an interview with The New York Times, he reverted to his original position.

“I’d rather do the popular vote. I think we’d do as well or better,” he claimed, adding that he was “never a fan of the electoral college.”

The Clinton campaign said it is supporting the recount effort to assure supporters everything possible is being done to verify that hacking by Russia and other irregularities had not affected the results.

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