Clinton’s Current Popular Vote Lead Razor-Thin Compared To Past Four Elections

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Even though she is ahead in the popular vote against Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton’s lead trails in absolute terms the lead of the past four popular vote victors, including that of 2000 Democratic nominee Al Gore.

As of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Clinton held a lead of more than 200,000 votes over Trump, and votes are still being tallied.

The former secretary of state’s lead in the popular vote falls millions of votes behind that of President Obama, who received 9.5 million more votes than 2008 opponent John McCain and almost 5 million more votes than 2012 opponent Mitt Romney.

Clinton also fell thousands of votes behind the lead 2000 popular vote winner Al Gore, who also lost the electoral vote while pulling ahead in the popular race.

When counting the total votes received by each candidate, Obama received 6.3 million votes than Clinton in 2012 and nearly 10 million more votes in 2008.

At current estimates, total voter turnout has not appeared to have changed dramatically between Obama’s first election and today, decreasing slightly from 131 million, or 58 percent of the voting age population, in 2008 to 129 million, or 55 percent of the population, in 2012. The United States Election Project currently estimates 129 million ballots were cast in the 2016 election.

The departing president also polled more than half the total popular vote in the past two elections, receiving 53 percent in 2008 and 51 percent in 2012. Clinton currently holds 48 percent of the popular vote over Trump’s 47 percent, according to AP result data.

Trump also received fewer popular votes than the past two Republican presidential nominees, though he was outperformed by a much smaller margin than his Democratic opponent. The 2016 president-elect received about 600,000 fewer popular votes than John McCain in 2008, and 1.6 million fewer votes than Mitt Romney in 2012.

Gore bested his opponent, former President George W. Bush, in 2000 by 543,895 votes, which puts Gore’s popular lead at more than 300,000 votes ahead of the 2016 Democratic nominee’s lead.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, it does not appear Clinton’s popular advantage will affect Trump’s electoral vote advantage of 48 votes.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Danielle Keeton-Olsen is a polling intern based in New York City. A Chicago native, she recently graduated from Ohio University, where she honed her skills in data journalism, politics and small-town journalism.
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