Majority of Arrested Portland Protesters Did Not Vote

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According to many of the protesters speaking out against President-elect Donald Trump, at least one leg of their outrage comes from the fact that he did not win the popular vote. In other words, they are supposedly angry that over a million people were disenfranchised because of the Electoral College. Their vote, essentially, did not matter. And there are millions of Americans – even some who voted for Trump and were thrilled to see him win – that agree with that argument in principle.

One such person being Trump himself, who said in a 60 Minutes interview Sunday that he still believed there was something odd about a system that didn’t recognize the will of the majority, regardless of how said system benefited him.

As it pertains specifically to this election, though, the protesters lose a lot of their credibility when we see things like this: According to Portland news stations, the majority of people arrested in the city’s anti-Trump protests didn’t vote at all! Not for Hillary, not for Gary Johnson, not for whatever write-in candidate they could dream up. They stayed home.

NBC station KGW Portland reports that 79 protesters who were arrested in the demonstrations-turned-riots did not vote in the presidential elections, as proven by state records. That’s more than 70% of the 112 total arrested protesters. According to the news station, 39 of those protesters were registered to vote, 36 were not, and four were under the age of 18.

These numbers, obviously, don’t necessarily say much about the protesters as a whole – we can safely assume there is something different about a protester who causes destruction and violence and those who don’t. It’s not a representative sample.

But if we’re talking representative samples, then that brings us to our next point, which is that these protesters are not a representative sample of the U.S. population. They aren’t even a representative sample of their own cities, which are uniformly blue. The vast, vast majority of Americans are not out on the streets in protest and, in fact, do not contest the results of the election.

The truth is that it wasn’t the electoral college that allowed Trump to win; it was the Obama Democrats who were not inspired by Hillary Clinton’s message. Maybe some of those Democrats are now wishing they’d made an effort on election day, but…they didn’t. And if they continue to believe that American democracy is determined by angry online rants and chaotic marches, Republicans will have control of Washington for a long time.