Well, at the risk of getting into current politics, 2016 was apparently not a popularity contest. The issue, which I have made abundantly clear in my various posts, is that there can be highly or densely populated areas, albeit a small geographical part of the nation, who have similar wants. A candidate only has to go to a few places where the electorate likes what that candidate is offering in order to win a popularity contest. Again, without wanting to get into current politicas, the democratic candidate in 2016 ignored certain states, even regions, because there was belief that the states in her corner would carry her. that was a fatal mistake. the E.C. actually makes a presidential candidate spread out and appeal to more than just a few heavily populated states.