Clinton’s Popular Vote Margin Widest Ever for a Losing Candidate

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016

An Associated Press report shows that Hillary Clinton’s popular vote margin is the largest for any U.S. presidential candidate that lost the election in recorded history. Clinton won 2.9 million more popular votes than her Republican candidate but lost the presidency because she failed to secure the electoral vote.

President-elect Donald J. Trump’s opponents often said that Clinton should have landed in the Oval Office because she won the bulk of the popular vote. Yet on Wednesday, Trump fired back at these comments saying he would have fared better than Clinton if the race had been about popular votes.

The billionaire underlined that his feat was much more “sophisticated” than running a campaign to secure the popular vote. He acknowledged that he would have changed tactics if he was going after the popular vote.

Trump Says He Won the Popular Too

Last month, Trump noted it was he who secured the popular vote if one deducts the “millions” of people that voted “illegally” for Clinton. Clinton’s supporters challenged the assumption, saying that there is no evidence to back it. However, the discussion about voter fraud around the popular vote is ongoing.

In a recent poll, 52 percent of Republicans agreed with Trump on the fact that he won the popular vote. The Christian Science Monitor lashed out at the respondents for favoring ideas over facts. CSM’s Gretel Kauffman thinks Trump supporters distrust mainstream media and fake news outlets that mushroomed during this presidential campaign.

According to the AP report, Clinton secured 65,844,610 votes while his rival won 62,979,636. This means she defeated him 48 percent to 46 percent in the popular vote. Ms. Clinton is now the fifth presidential nominee to win the popular vote and lose the election. Al Gore experienced a similar bitter defeat in 2000 when he won 540,000 extra votes over George W. Bush.

The U.S. electoral system doesn’t enable Americans to elect their commander-in-chief directly. Instead, they vote for 538 state electors who will cast a vote on their behalf.

Electoral College’s Purpose

The advantage of the system is that it empowers smaller states. The major drawback is that candidates that are tremendously popular in large states such as California and New York can still lose. What’s more, the U.S. Constitution and the federal laws do not bind electors to vote as their states’ did.

Other experts claim that the Electoral College is a safety net that ensures an unqualified candidate doesn’t win the presidency. This may be why Clinton supporters recently added pressure on GOP electors to flip their votes.

The CSM believes Trump is the type of candidate the Founding Fathers wanted to prevent from reaching the Oval Office. Kauffman blasted him for his “bizarre tweets,” lack of fact-checking and “rambling speeches.” And she added rumors about a Russian hack and his overseas “business entanglements” to the mix.

However, despite his critics’ rabid attacks, lobbying efforts failed. In the end, Trump won 304 electoral votes with only two electors defecting and voting for someone else. Clinton won 227 electoral votes, with seven electors originally defecting – three of them eventually had to stick with their party’s vote because of state election laws.

Image Source: Wikimedia