Trump and his team have been saying a lot of stupid things about Hillary Clinton’s popular vote edge in the final general election tally. For example, that there were millions of fraudulent votes cast, there weren’t, or that ignoring California would have changed the popular vote outcome. That’s just idiotic.
But they are correct when they say that the rules of the game, i.e., the Electoral College system, change how campaigns are conducted and can have a massive impact on popular vote outcomes. For example, a Republican candidate would be foolish to spend money and time in California and New York knowing that these states are reliably Democratic. Sure, they might cut the Democratic margins of victory in these places, but since most states are winner-take-all, it would have had no impact on the Electoral College outcome and would have deprived them of resources best spent elsewhere.
The same is true for Democrats in, say, Texas or Mississippi.
We can argue about how strategic the Clinton campaign was in failing to adequately target states they thought were blue and any number of other questions, but the point is that it’s about electoral votes not the popular vote so Trump is right that it should be a non-issue.
Would Clinton have won the poplular vote under most concievable circumstances? Who knows, who cares?
It’s a good talking point as it seems to piss Trump off royally, but any candidate who actively tries to run up the popular vote without understanding how things work is a fool.
Sure, Trump is a fool, but not on this point.