What percentage of the popular vote did Trump and Clinton get in 2016 election?
The President won the White House four years ago with narrow wins in Florida, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Can he do the same in 2020?
The 2016 presidential election saw Donald Trump stage a surprise victory over Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton. Trump won the presidency after winning in the 30 states and picking up 306 Electoral College votes out of a possible 538.
However due to the American voting system, he managed to win a majority of the nation’s electors despite actually losing the popular vote. The popular vote is a simple tally of the total number of votes cast for each candidate.
The quirks of the Electoral College system were exposed in 2016 when Donald Trump secured the presidency with an Electoral College majority, even as Hillary Clinton took a narrow lead in the popular vote https://t.co/T7oqNv9QGS— TIME (@TIME) November 1, 2020
When the final vote count was returned Trump had received a total of 62,980,160 votes (46.1%), while Clinton had amassed 65,845,063 (48.2%). The Democratic nominee therefore received roughly 2.9 million more votes, giving her a margin of 2.1% over her opponent. However a series of narrow wins for Trump in valuable states like Florida gave him enough Electoral College votesto secure a place in White House.
Who is expected to win the popular vote in the 2020 presidential election?
As was proved four years ago, attempting to predict the results of an election is a fool’s errand, but we can take some clues from how the 2016 race panned out. Trump defied the pollsters to beat Clinton but the margin he overcame on Election Day was less than it is this time around.
In a recent poll tracker produced by Real Clear Politics, Democratic candidate Joe Biden was polling at 50% nationwide. In comparison, Donald Trump was given an average support of 46%. However this is just a projection and only accounts for around 96% of the electorate so there are still some voters who could easily break Republican on Election Day. But the data does suggest that, as was the case in 2016, more Americans will vote Democrat than will vote Republican.
Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon: "We continue to have multiple pathways to 270 electoral votes" says they can win 270 even without PA and FL— Charlotte Alter (@CharlotteAlter) November 3, 2020
How will the use of the Electoral College affect the election this time around?
After Clinton’s defeat in 2016 Team Biden appear to have been far more focused on picking up the votes required to win the Electoral College, and it can be seen in their campaigning strategy. According to a recent data from the CBS News Battleground Tracker 37 states are essentially guaranteed to vote for a particular candidate. States in the Deep South like Alabama will vote Trump, while the more liberal California will almost certainly return a vote for Biden.
Share of popular vote won by candidates who unseated incumbent presidents:— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) November 3, 2020
Clinton '92: 43.01%
Reagan '80: 50.75%
Carter '76: 50.08%
FDR '32: 57.41%
Wilson '12: 41.83%
Cleveland '92: 46.02%
Harrison '88: 47.80%
Harrison '40: 52.87%
Jackson '28: 55.93%
With that in mind, both campaigns have focused their energies on persuading voters in 13 swing states where the decision is still undecided. CBS suggest that the 13 battleground states for the 2020 election are Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, Nevada, Texas, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Iowa.
These states have been the focus of both campaigns this time with Trump and Biden holding multiple events in Pennsylvania, Florida and Wisconsin in recent weeks. Trump managed to flip Wisconsin in 2016 after Clinton had not appeared there once during the course of her nation-wide campaign. A similar oversight seems unlikely this election.
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