So, how did Clinton win over 3,000,000 more popular votes than Trump and still lose? Two reasons. First, the easy one. She clobbered Trump in California and New York, racking up tens of thousands in popular vote advantage, but lost some very close elections in several critical States, and we’ll get to that.
The Second, and less well known, are the Little States.
The two Electors each State receives for its two Senators are way more valuable than people think. The House of Representatives are chosen by population. So, wining the Electoral College Electors assigned based on Congressmen or women could be reasonably akin to winning the popular vote.
BUT, every State receives 2 more votes. This was designed to protect the smaller States.
There are 7 States and the District of Columbia that have the minimum of 1 Representative, because their populations are so small, and so receive 1 Electoral College vote for that person. BUT they end up with 3 Electoral College votes once their 2 Senators are added in (DC gets 3 under the 23rd Amendment). 3 is the minimum, so the populations of these States receive 300% representation in the Electoral College. Never going to change.
These tiny Board Spaces are: Alaska, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Montana, North and South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming. Their total populations approximate that of Missouri, 6,327,000, which receives 10 Electoral Votes to 24 for these States.
DC, Vermont and Delaware vote Democrat. That gives the Republicans a nice 15 to 9, or 6 Electors advantage in these States, valued at 3 times their populations. You can see why these 7 States would never vote the Electoral College out.
California, the largest State by far on the other hand, has 53 Reps, plus 2, gives them 55, or 104% representation in the Electoral College. You can win this huge, which Clinton did, and receive little more than a “popular vote” benefit. But wait, that’s not all!