Having taught at community colleges and universities over more than thirty years, I see students less and less prepared. Unfortunately, this is not just in science and mathematics. It apparently includes civics, a study of how governments work.
When President Trump was elected there was an outcry regarding the votes. Our system uses an Electoral College, and only those votes count. We vote for members of that body. It really does not matter which candidate got more of the people’s votes. Yes, Hillary Clinton had more people vote for her than did President Trump. But the claim that she had the majority of votes in wrong. Neither rose to over fifty percent. That has not happened in many prior elections, so why is this one different?
This happens because there are other political parties. Currently, these have little chance of getting a candidate elected. But they pick up some votes based on philosophical reasons. Another reason people vote for these smaller parties is in protest of the two major candidates. In an election with other than the rules for a presidential election there would be a runoff. Neither could claim victory until after that happened.
The situation was complicated by those who wanted to explain it, but in their effort decided to address the people who failed to vote. Since most states give all of their votes to a single candidate, people living among those who vote for the opposite party in large numbers often do not bother voting. This is not right, but it was used to try at an explanation, since it dismissed President Trump’s poorer showing. In politics, spin is more important than fact, and both sides do it.
So, the claim Hillary Clinton had the majority of votes and won is bogus. More is not a majority.
In our government the Vice President takes over if something happens to the President, not the person who came in second in the election.