As the 2016 presidential election popular vote continues to be counted, Hillary Clinton has seen her lead push past 1 million votes over the man who actually won the presidential election, Donald Trump. As a result, despite losing the election due to narrow defeats in three key “swing” states, Clinton will win the popular vote by greater margins than John F. Kennedy in 1960 or Richard M. Nixon in 1968.
The up-to-the-minute vote count comes from the non-partisan Cook Political Report, which keeps a real-time tally of vote counts as they come in from each individual state and jurisdiction. The Cook Political Report updated popular vote totals can be accessed at this link.
As of early evening on Wednesday, November 16, Hillary Clinton had won 62,568,373 votes.
Donald Trump had a popular vote total of 61,336,159. That gives Clinton a lead of 1,232,214.
UPDATE: As of Thursday, November 24, at noon Eastern Time, Clinton’s popular vote lead had expanded by nearly 2 million votes.
The new numbers were: Clinton, 64,418,125; Trump, 62,314,184. That’s a lead of 2,103,941 votes — or 1.6 percentage points, 48.1 to 46.6. Clinton’s margin of popular vote lead is the largest since 1876 when Rutherford B. Hayes won the presidency by one electoral vote — obtained after a lengthy legal battle — despite losing the popular vote by three points in a a disputed election that raised fears of a second U.S. Civil War.
That also makes Clinton’s lead the second-highest for a defeated candidate in the Democrat/Republican two-party era. Maybe also worth noting that all four presidents elected in the D/R era while losing the popular vote have been Republican.
Clinton’s percentage-point lead is higher than that of five elected presidents who *won* the popular vote —including JFK in 1960 and Nixon in 1968 — and has a chance, at least of overtaking a sixth, Jimmy Carter who defeated President Gerald Ford by 2.06 points in 1976.
— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) November 24, 2016
In terms of percentages, Clinton as of Wednesday evening (see updated numbers above), led Trump with 47.8 percent of the vote to 46.9, a lead of 0.9 percentage points. By comparison, in the 1960 presidential election, Kennedy defeated Nixon in the popular vote by a hair’s-breadth 0.2 percent — though Kennedy won 303 electoral votes, only three fewer than Trump’s 306 in 2016.
In the 1968 election, Nixon defeated Democrat Hubert Humphrey by 0.7 percent. That was good enough to give Nixon 301 electoral votes.
But all the votes are not yet counted, and as a result Clinton’s lead over Trump is expected to grow because approximately 5 million ballots remain to be counted before the final popular vote total is complete. The vast majority of those votes come from two west coast states where Clinton has already won by wide margins, according to The New York Times.
According to estimates by The Times, California alone currently has 3,678,000 ballots remaining to be counted. Of those, based on how counties in the state have already voted, The Times expects that Clinton will win those remaining ballots by 29.1 percentage points. Clinton already leads in California by 28.2 points in votes that have already ben counted in California.
Another 1,197,000 votes remain to be counted in Washington state, according to Times estimates. Clinton is expected to win those remaining ballots by 15.8 points. In the ballots already counted in Washington, Clinton leads by 17.5 points.
Many other states also have ballots yet to be counted but in much smaller numbers.
Voters cast another 6,879,193 ballots for other candidates — Libertarian Gary Johnson, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, independent Evan Mcmullen and others — meaning that a total of 69,447,566 Americans voted against Trump, 8,111,407 more than voted for the winner of the election.
In percentage figures, 53.1 percent of voters cast their votes for candidates other than Trump, 6.2 percentage points higher than Trump’s own vote share in the latest updated popular vote count.
Most of Clinton’s popular vote lead comes from the west coast states, as well as New York where she won by 21.3 percentage points.
But she lost extremely narrow races in three swing states — Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Trump won Pennsylvania by 68,236 votes or about 1.1 points. He won Wisconsin by 27,257, or 0.9 points. And in Michigan, Trump won by a mere 11,837 votes — just 0.2 points.
But those total 107,330 votes resulted in wins for Trump that gave him a total of 46 electoral votes from the three states — and left Clinton with 232, a number 38 votes shy of the 270 required to win the Electoral College, which under the United States Constitution actually determines the winner of the presidential election.
If those 107,330 votes — out of what will apparently be a record turnout of more than 132 million voters — had gone her way, they would have given Clinton the presidency.
As a result, retiring California Senator Barbara Boxer on Tuesday announced that will introduce legislation to abolish the Electoral College, establishing a system by which the candidate who received the most votes will win the presidential election.
The presidency is the only office where you can get more votes & still lose. It's time to end the Electoral College. https://t.co/OXZ9vHaIH1
— Sen. Barbara Boxer (@SenatorBoxer) November 15, 2016
In the 2000 election, Democrat Al Gore, the U.S. vice-president, also won the popular vote but lost the election in the Electoral College to former Texas Governor George W. Bush. But Gore in 2000 won by less than half the number of votes than Clinton in 2016 — 537,179 votes, or 0.5 percentage points.
[Featured Image By Lisa Lake/Getty Images]