60,981,118* people voted for her
48% of the vote
*As of 11/13/16 at 6:03 p.m.
Donald Trump received 47% of the vote.
Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.
But us Americans don’t elect a president based on the popular vote. We have what’s called the Electoral College.
What does that mean??
When we go to our polling place on Election Day, we aren’t voting for the next president and vice president of the United States (I mean, we are, but not exactly). Each state has “electors.” These electors pledge to vote for a particular candidate based on how the majority of a state voted (they legally can vote however they want, but they rarely do). There are 538 electors. Why 538? There are 100 seats in the Senate, 435 in the House of Representations, and 3 electors who represent D.C. You can thank me later for this “explain it to me like I’m five” lesson in politics.
Each state has a certain number of electoral votes based on the number of members in its Congressional delegation: one for each member in the House of Representatives and two for your state’s Senators.
538/2 = A nominee needs to get 270 ELECTORAL votes to win (the majority of 538)
This process was established by the good ol’ founding fathers as a compromise between the voters (like you and me) and a vote in Congress – mostly because they didn’t trust the Regular Joe voters. Seriously. And let’s remember that only white, male, landowners could vote back then.
Are people pissed with this system? Yes. Has a nominee won the popular vote and lost the electoral vote before? Yes, four other times.
- Al Gore vs. George W. Bush (2000) – Gore won popular/Bush won electoral
- Grover Cleveland vs. Benjamin Harrison (1888) – Cleveland won popular/Harrison won electoral
- Samuel J. Tilden vs. Rutherford B. Hayes (1876) – Tilden won popular/Hayes won electoral
- Andrew Jackson vs. John Quincy Adams (1824) – This one isn’t cut and dry. Adams didn’t win the popular vote. He also didn’t win the electoral vote. Jackson won both categories, but he didn’t reach the majority – and back then the majority was 131 votes. The decision went to the House of Representatives, and they voted for John Quincy Adams. Quite the loss on that one, Andrew Jackson. Sucks for him.
While Hillary Clinton lost the electoral college, she still won the popular vote (by about 631,000 votes).
I’m overjoyed to be in the majority on this one.
I’m proud to have voted her Most Popular.
**Check out Mary Purdie’s illustrations on social media. They are badass!**
Update: 11.29.16 Hillary Clinton’s popular vote lead surpassed 2 million.