Regardless of the party that purports to have received one, the use of the word "mandate" in most political contexts is quite annoying to me. Why? Because rarely do the numbers to support that assertion. Let's look at and personalize the numbers for a fairly common electoral margin that would often produce the assertion of a mandate-- a 55% to 45% victory for one or the other of the parties. A 10 point victory is pretty dramatic, right?
If we look at this in a more personalized context however, that 10 point margin of victory becomes a bit more shallow. With the holidays coming up, many of us will be having celebrations in our homes where we'll have 20 or so family members coming to visit. If we apply that 55% to 45% margin to the group of 20 family members, that translates into a split of 11 to 9. If one person changes their mind, the "mandate" has become a dead heat. Sorry, but that hardly reflects a mandate.
What would I call a mandate? If you're getting into the range of 2-1 -- 67% to 33% -- then we can start to talk about a mandate. But please, do not use the Electoral College to claim your mandate.