Trump’s so-called “mandate” stems from coming in second to Hillary in the vote total, but getting more rural votes, which our constitution values more highly than votes from large states.
Specifically, using Wikipedia population data:
- California has more population than our 21 least populous states.
- California’s 39M people get 55 electoral votes, the 36M in those 21 states get 92 electoral votes, 67% more.
The Electoral College was part of the overall package that included the 3/5 rule for counting people that were owned as property in the slave states. The effect, by design, was to give slave states more weight in the electoral college than their voting citizens would warrant (by crediting them for 3/5 of their slaves in allocating them more electoral votes).
In 2016, the Electoral College elevated the second place finisher to the presidency by giving more weigh to the small states. Coincidentally, still amplifying the votes of the party some of whose members proudly displayed the Confederate flag at its presidential campaign rallies; this flag is also displayed officially in some states they control; and the GOP, in many states, does everything that the courts allow to suppress the black vote.