List of United States presidential elections by popular vote margin

In a United States presidential election, the popular vote is the total number or percentage of votes cast for a candidate by voters in the 50 states and Washington, D.C.; the candidate who gets the most votes nationwide is said to have won the popular vote. However, the popular vote is not used to determine who is elected as the nation's president or vice president. Thus it is possible for the winner of the popular vote to end up losing the election, an outcome that has occurred on five occasions, most recently in the 2016 election. This is because presidential elections are indirect elections; the votes cast on Election Day are not cast directly for a candidate, but for members of the Electoral College. The Electoral College's electors then formally elect the president and vice president.[2][3] The Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides the procedure by which the president and vice president are elected.

US Presidential elections popular votes since 1900
Comparison of the popular vote totals since 1900.[1]
  Republican
  Democrat
  All other candidates together

List

The table below is a list of United States presidential elections by popular vote margin. It is sorted to display elections by their presidential term / year of election, name, margin by percentage in popular vote, popular vote, margin in popular vote by number, and the runner up in the Electoral College.

Election Winner & party Electoral College Popular vote Runner-up & party Turnout[4]
Votes % % Margin Votes Margin

Democratic-Republican   Democratic   Republican   Whig   Progressive   Liberal Republican   National Republican  
      Winner did not receive majority
      Winner lost the popular vote
      Winner chosen by the House of Representatives

10 1824 John Quincy Adams D.-R. 84/261 32.18% 30.92% −10.44% 113,142 −38,221 Andrew Jackson D.-R. 26.9%
23 1876 Rutherford Hayes Rep. 185/369 50.14% 47.92% −3.00% 4,034,142 −252,666 Samuel Tilden Dem. 82.6%
58 2016 Donald Trump Rep. 304/538 56.50% 46.09% −2.09% 62,984,828 −2,868,686 Hillary Clinton Dem. 60.2%
26 1888 Benjamin Harrison Rep. 233/401 58.10% 47.80% −0.83% 5,443,633 −94,530 Grover Cleveland Dem. 80.5%
54 2000 George W. Bush Rep. 271/538 50.37% 47.87% −0.51% 50,460,110 −543,816 Al Gore Dem. 54.2%
24 1880 James Garfield Rep. 214/369 57.99% 48.31% 0.09% 4,453,337 1,898 Winfield Scott Hancock Dem. 80.5%
44 1960 John Kennedy Dem. 303/537 56.42% 49.72% 0.17% 34,220,984 112,827 Richard Nixon Rep. 63.8%
25 1884 Grover Cleveland Dem. 219/401 54.61% 48.85% 0.57% 4,914,482 57,579 James Blaine Rep. 78.2%
46 1968 Richard Nixon Rep. 301/538 55.95% 43.42% 0.70% 31,783,783 511,944 Hubert Humphrey Dem. 62.5%
15 1844 James Polk Dem. 170/275 61.82% 49.54% 1.45% 1,339,570 39,413 Henry Clay Whig 79.2%
48 1976 Jimmy Carter Dem. 297/538 55.20% 50.08% 2.06% 40,831,881 1,683,247 Gerald Ford Rep. 54.8%
55 2004 George W. Bush Rep. 286/538 53.16% 50.73% 2.46% 62,040,610 3,012,171 John Kerry Dem. 60.1%
27 1892 Grover Cleveland Dem. 277/444 62.39% 46.02% 3.01% 5,553,898 363,099 Benjamin Harrison Rep. 75.8%
33 1916 Woodrow Wilson Dem. 277/531 52.17% 49.24% 3.12% 9,126,868 578,140 Charles Evans Hughes Rep. 61.8%
57 2012 Barack Obama Dem. 332/538 61.71% 51.06% 3.86% 65,915,795 4,982,291 Mitt Romney Rep. 58.6%
28 1896 William McKinley Rep. 271/447 60.63% 51.02% 4.31% 7,112,138 601,331 William Jennings Bryan Dem. 79.6%
41 1948 Harry Truman Dem. 303/531 57.06% 49.55% 4.48% 24,179,347 2,188,055 Thomas Dewey Rep. 52.2%
16 1848 Zachary Taylor Whig 163/290 56.21% 47.28% 4.79% 1,360,235 137,882 Lewis Cass Dem. 72.8%
21 1868 Ulysses Grant Rep. 214/294 72.79% 52.66% 5.32% 3,013,790 304,810 Horatio Seymour Dem. 80.9%
52 1992 Bill Clinton Dem. 370/538 68.77% 43.01% 5.56% 44,909,806 5,805,256 George H. W. Bush Rep. 58.1%
14 1840 William Henry Harrison Whig 234/294 79.59% 52.87% 6.05% 1,275,583 145,938 Martin Van Buren Dem. 80.3%
29 1900 William McKinley Rep. 292/447 65.23% 51.64% 6.12% 7,228,864 857,932 William Jennings Bryan Dem. 73.7%
17 1852 Franklin Pierce Dem. 254/296 85.81% 50.83% 6.95% 1,605,943 219,525 Winfield Scott Whig 69.5%
56 2008 Barack Obama Dem. 365/538 67.84% 52.93% 7.27% 69,498,516 9,550,193 John McCain Rep. 61.6%
40 1944 Franklin Roosevelt Dem. 432/531 81.36% 53.39% 7.50% 25,612,916 3,594,987 Thomas Dewey Rep. 55.9%
51 1988 George H. W. Bush Rep. 426/538 79.18% 53.37% 7.72% 48,886,597 7,077,121 Michael Dukakis Dem. 52.8%
53 1996 Bill Clinton Dem. 379/538 70.45% 49.23% 8.51% 47,400,125 8,201,370 Bob Dole Rep. 51.7%
31 1908 William Taft Rep. 321/483 66.46% 51.57% 8.53% 7,678,335 1,269,356 William Jennings Bryan Dem. 65.7%
49 1980 Ronald Reagan Rep. 489/538 90.89% 50.75% 9.74% 43,903,230 8,423,115 Jimmy Carter Dem. 54.2%
39 1940 Franklin Roosevelt Dem. 449/531 84.56% 54.74% 9.96% 27,313,945 4,966,201 Wendell Willkie Rep. 62.4%
20 1864 Abraham Lincoln Rep. 212/233 90.99% 55.03% 10.08% 2,211,317 405,090 George McClellan Dem. 76.3%
19 1860 Abraham Lincoln Rep. 180/303 59.41% 39.65% 10.13% 1,855,993 474,049 John Breckinridge Dem. 81.8%
42 1952 Dwight Eisenhower Rep. 442/531 83.24% 55.18% 10.85% 34,075,529 6,700,439 Adlai Stevenson Dem. 62.3%
22 1872 Ulysses Grant Rep. 286/352 81.25% 55.58% 11.80% 3,597,439 763,729 Horace Greeley L. R. 72.1%
18 1856 James Buchanan Dem. 174/296 58.78% 45.29% 12.20% 1,835,140 494,472 John Frémont Rep. 79.4%
11 1828 Andrew Jackson Dem. 178/261 68.20% 55.93% 12.25% 642,806 140,839 John Quincy Adams N. R. 57.3%
13 1836 Martin Van Buren Dem. 170/294 57.82% 50.79% 14.20% 763,291 213,384 William Henry Harrison Whig 56.5%
32 1912 Woodrow Wilson Dem. 435/531 81.92% 41.84% 14.44% 6,296,284 2,173,563 Theodore Roosevelt Prog. 59.0%
43 1956 Dwight Eisenhower Rep. 457/531 86.06% 57.37% 15.40% 35,579,180 9,551,152 Adlai Stevenson Dem. 60.2%
36 1928 Herbert Hoover Rep. 444/531 83.62% 58.21% 17.41% 21,427,123 6,411,659 Al Smith Dem. 56.9%
37 1932 Franklin Roosevelt Dem. 472/531 88.89% 57.41% 17.76% 22,821,277 7,060,023 Herbert Hoover Rep. 56.9%
12 1832 Andrew Jackson Dem. 219/286 76.57% 54.74% 17.81% 702,735 228,628 Henry Clay N. R. 57.0%
50 1984 Ronald Reagan Rep. 525/538 97.58% 58.77% 18.21% 54,455,472 16,878,120 Walter Mondale Dem. 55.2%
30 1904 Theodore Roosevelt Rep. 336/476 70.59% 56.42% 18.83% 7,630,557 2,546,677 Alton Brooks Parker Dem. 65.5%
45 1964 Lyndon Johnson Dem. 486/538 90.33% 61.05% 22.58% 43,127,041 15,951,287 Barry Goldwater Rep. 62.8%
47 1972 Richard Nixon Rep. 520/538 96.65% 60.67% 23.15% 47,168,710 17,995,488 George McGovern Dem. 56.2%
38 1936 Franklin Roosevelt Dem. 523/531 98.49% 60.80% 24.26% 27,752,648 11,070,786 Alf Landon Rep. 61.0%
35 1924 Calvin Coolidge Rep. 382/531 71.94% 54.04% 25.22% 15,723,789 7,337,547 John Davis Dem. 48.9%
34 1920 Warren Harding Rep. 404/531 76.08% 60.32% 26.17% 16,144,093 7,004,432 James Cox Dem. 49.2%

Note: The popular vote was not recorded prior to the 1824 election, so the first nine US presidential elections are not included in this table. Until the 1864 election, some states chose their Presidential electors without a popular vote, so results from 1824 to 1860 are not truly nationwide values.

Timeline

PartyVotes-Presidents
Presidents of the U.S. listed in a timeline graph of elections with results of the popular vote color coded for political parties.
A gray arrow points to the name of a person who became president without having been elected as president (9 total). The double arrow indicates becoming president without having been elected as vice president as well (Ford). 5 other former vice presidents are underlined (14 total). The top line indicates the Presidency number (e.g. Reagan: 40th) with Roman numerals indicating election (and term) number.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Clinton on pace to win popular vote despite losing election". CBS News. November 9, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  3. ^ Bostedt, Shelbie Lynn (November 9, 2016). "How it happened: Clinton wins popular vote but loses Election". RedEye. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  4. ^ McDonald, Michael P. (11 June 2014). "National General Election VEP Turnout Rates, 1789-Present". United States Elections Project. Retrieved 16 November 2016.

External links

List of United States presidential candidates by number of votes received

Following is a list of United States presidential candidates by number of votes received. Elections have tended to have more participation in each successive election, due to the increasing population of the United States, and, in some instances, expansion of the right to vote to larger segments of society. Prior to the election of 1824, most states did not have a popular vote. In the election of 1824, only 18 of the 24 states held a popular vote, but by the election of 1828, 22 of the 24 states held a popular vote. Minor candidates are excluded if they received fewer than 100,000 votes, or less than .1% of the vote in their election year.

List of United States presidential elections by Electoral College margin

The table below is a list of United States presidential elections ordered by margin of victory in the Electoral College vote.

United States presidential elections in which the winner lost the popular vote

There have been five United States presidential elections in which the winner lost the popular vote including the 1824 election, which was the first U.S. presidential election where the popular vote was recorded. Losing the popular vote means securing less of the national popular vote than the person who received either a majority or a plurality of the vote.In the U.S. presidential election system, instead of the nationwide popular vote determining the outcome of the election, the President of the United States is determined by votes cast by electors of the Electoral College. Alternatively, if no candidate receives an absolute majority of electoral votes, the election is determined by the House of Representatives. These procedures are governed by the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

When individuals cast ballots in the general election, they are choosing electors and telling them whom they should vote for in the Electoral College. The "national popular vote" is the sum of all the votes cast in the general election, nationwide. The presidential elections of 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016 produced an Electoral College winner who did not receive the most votes in the general election. In 1824, there were six states in which electors were legislatively appointed, rather than popularly elected, so the true national popular vote is uncertain. When no candidate received a majority of electoral votes in 1824, the election was decided by the House of Representatives. For these two reasons, the 1824 election is distinguishable from the latter four elections, which were held after all states had instituted the popular selection of electors, and in each of which a single candidate won an outright majority of electoral votes, thus becoming president without a contingent election in the House of Representatives. The true national popular vote total was also uncertain in the 1960 election, and the plurality winner depends on how votes for Alabama electors are allocated.

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