The BBC published an article this morning ( that makes a very important point about the US…

The BBC published an article this morning ( that makes a very important point about the US primary elections. Almost nobody is voting.

Take Nevada, where you can read a ton of news articles about how Trump won with 46%. First of all, that’s only technically true. He won 46% of those who voted for the Republican party, of those who voted in general.

But how many actual people voted for Trump? Well, the answer is 34,531 people … in a state with 2.8 million people. That means that only 1.2% of the actual population voted for Trump. The rest either voted for someone else… or most likely didn’t vote at all.

So I decided to run the numbers for the other states as well, and the result is what you see below.

You see what’s happening here? The only people who vote is an increasingly small group of ‘angry people’ who in no way represents the actual population. With numbers this low, the margin of error and the likely difference in behavior is too high for us to assume it represents the rest of the public.

What we have here is a disconnected public, in which people don’t feel their voices make any difference (and they are right). You might say that this would be different if everyone voted, but no. The US system for electing a president is possibly the most disconnected way you can elect anyone. (see here:

The result is that the next president of the USA might only have gained about 5% of the actual votes… or rather the votes went to the delegates, who may or may not vote as you told them to.

BTW: I’m not saying it’s better elsewhere. In Denmark (where I live), The party that forms our government and the seat of our current prime minister only got 19% of the votes in the last election. It’s the same problem in the UK where only 37% now holds the majority and thus 100% of the Government.

So much for democracy 🙂

(Thx to Avinash Kaushik for the HT)

13 thoughts on “The BBC published an article this morning ( that makes a very important point about the US…

  1. Relating votes to the whole population is at least arguable. Not all of them are allowed to vote at all (f.i. children). In Germany there are about 80% of the population who are allowed to vote. About 70% of those actually did vote during the latest election (which seems not that bad) from which the current government got about 66%. This ends up to about 36% of the German population actually voted for this government. Given the numbers above I would not count that as a minority. Usually this number is quite a bit smaller.

  2. Trudy Conway It is indeed important to vote. We have done everything to make this aware to our children. Even if you don’t like anyone on the ballot, vote for the one that does less harm. Every non-vote values the votes for the extremes.