Was Donald Trump’s Electoral College Win a Historic Landslide?

Donald Trump, Donald Trump Ohio, Donald Trump polls, Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump in Canton, Ohio on September 14. (Getty)

The final 2016 Electoral College tally is in. Now that Michigan has officially been declared for Donald Trump, the Republican candidate has won 306 electors compared to Hillary Clinton’s 232. In response to Michigan finally being called, Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, bragged that the Electoral College victory was a “landslide,” a “blowout” and “historic.” But how historic is it, exactly?

While it is certainly true that Donald Trump winning the presidential election was a historic achievement, his margin of victory over Hillary Clinton is hardly so large as to be classified as unprecedented or a landslide. In fact, when looking at all of the 25 elections that have taken place in the past 100 years, in 21 of them, the winner won by a wider margin than Donald Trump did in 2016.

The most recent election where the Electoral College result would be considered historic was 2000, as this was the most narrow margin in modern American history. George W. Bush defeated Al Gore by just five electors; the previous comparable election was 1876, when Rutherford B. Hayes won by one elector. Another historic election in modern times was 1984, when Ronald Reagan scored the biggest landslide in the history of the United States, winning 525 Electoral College votes.

In terms of the 21st century, Trump did not come close to scoring a bigger Electoral College victory than Barack Obama did; in 2008, Obama won 365 electors, and in 2012, he won 332. Trump did, however, win more electors than George W. Bush did in either of his elections. Just looking at the Republican candidates, every other Republican president since 1916 – Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan and George H.W. Bush, won with more electors than Trump did.

In addition to Kellyanne Conway’s tweet, Donald Trump himself also recently tweeted that he won the Electoral College in “a landslide.” Trump and his staff have continued to emphasize what they call a historic Electoral College victory as Democrats emphasize that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. Now, Trump is attempting to discredit even that, saying that he would have won the popular vote if it wasn’t for voter fraud, a statement Trump has no evidence to support.

In order to put the 2016 election in historical perspective, here is the Electoral College total from every election in the past 100 years:

Election Winner Loser Margin
1916 (Wilson) 277 254 23
1920 (Harding) 404 127 277
1924 (Coolidge) 382 136 246
1928 (Hoover) 444 87 357
1932 (Roosevelt) 472 59 413
1936 (Roosevelt) 523 8 515
1940 (Roosevelt) 449 82 367
1944 (Roosevelt) 432 99 333
1948 (Truman) 303 189 114
1952 (Eisenhower) 442 89 353
1956 (Eisenhower) 457 73 384
1960 (Kennedy) 303 219 84
1964 (Johnson) 486 52 434
1968 (Nixon) 301 191 110
1972 (Nixon) 520 17 503
1976 (Carter) 297 240 57
1980 (Reagan) 489 49 440
1984 (Reagan) 525 13 512
1988 (Bush) 426 111 315
1992 (Clinton) 370 168 202
1996 (Clinton) 379 159 220
2000 (Bush) 271 266 5
2004 (Bush) 286 251 35
2008 (Obama) 365 173 192
2012 (Obama) 332 206 126
2016 (Trump) 306 232 74


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Jon Schorr

This is the largest electoral college victory since 2012 so your article is misleading. Typical liberal bias! Fair reporting now!


Most of the stupposed 52 were from illegalness voters so I refuse to back to school where the proven evil Common Core is ruining everythings. Also, can I really learn math in 2012? Go back to school and learn comas!

Jon Schorr

yes I am and proud of it, forgot to post with name. I’ll do so now.


Trump is here to stay for 8yrs as the nation President. but I wasn’t expected that much huge different on electoral college out come.

Ray Gilbert Johns

It sounds all Russian to me. It would
be funny if it was not so serious,even dangerous to our U S election process.
Donald Trump ought to be in jail , not pardoned by the American voters for his lies,racism and bigotry. #PresidentialElection2016 #safetypin


Funny, Republicans think Hilary should be in jail for lies, selling out the country to foreign goverments for profit, not supporting our troop, mishandling classifies material. Support a know rapist (Bill). He won the electoral college, deal with it. The losers need to stop costing the tax payers money and creating division.

Randy L Eveland

Funny that you have to hide behind anonymous when you post. Usually this is due to either not really believing what you post or not wanting to be associated with it. Both candidates lied, not just one, or have you not watched real news lately? After 7 or 10 attempts to push the Benghazi narrative just give it up. And Donald is interviewing those that mishandled classified materials. Oh and lest we forget The Donald is making calls on an unsecured phone and not taking his daily security briefings. And is a known sexual predator, came from his own mouth. Hillary worked things out and did not get divorced instead of being married multiple times. Some last things for you Anonymous.

Another (one of many) false news post from the Trump team is this post. Others, in a recent “rally” Donald stated lock her up worked in the run up but forget it as he no longer cared thus he lied about a campaign promise. And told the ones that voted for him. “I don’t need your votes now. Imagine that but talk to me in 4 years.”. And, after
bitching at Hillary for talking to Goldman Sachs he has three on his team. So he did not drain the swamp he cemented it further.

Are ya started to get the Con yet? Maybe not but boy you should be. Stop believing false news Dude.

JD Reed

A lot of bull to unload there? Anonymous. Bill Clinton is no more of a known rapist than Trump is. Both have been accused, but neither accusation has been proved. Selling out the country for profit? State your evidence. Same with not supporting troops.
Costing taxpayers money? How? If you’re referring to the recounts by Ms. Stein, her backers are paying the cost. If you’re referring to costs associated with investigating suspected Russian hacking, this needs to be done to protect the nation’s security, and to learn lessons useful in securing the integrity of future elections. Finally if lying were a jailable offense, Mr. T would have to spend the rest of this life behind bars, plus a couple of lifetimes to come if reincarnation were real.

Sheryal Birch

I don’t know how you get he is here to stay for 8 years. He was voted in for one term, 4 years. He will need to run again for president after that. Do not think that the nation will be complaicent again when that time comes.

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