Clinton vs. Trump Popular Vote: Are Recounts Still Possible in Any States?

can Hillary still win, Hillary Clinton election, did Donald Trump rig election, 2016 Presidential Election

Hillary Clinton’s lead in the popular vote continues to grow to historic dimensions as states count outstanding absentee and provisional ballots. However, it’s unlikely at this point that recounts could change the Electoral College margin that cost Clinton the presidency, although one major state (Michigan) still hasn’t been called.

That’s true even though multiple battleground states had close margins (see a list below).

That means the United States is almost certainly not going to see a repeat of past contentious presidential recount battles. Instead, Clinton supporters are banking on a last-ditch, improbable scenario known as “Faithless Electors” – trying to get electors to switch to Clinton even in states that bind them to that state’s popular vote victor. The Electoral College meets in December.

trump protest

Demonstrators gather outside the Edward Roybal Federal Building to protest against Trump’s election. (Getty)

As of November 14, Clinton had won the popular vote by a margin of 0.7% (compared to the 3.9% Democratic popular vote edge in 2012). Donald Trump is president elect because he prevailed in the Electoral College by a margin that is wide but not very deep (290 to 232 as of November 15).

The problem for Clinton – who had 61,781,190 popular votes compared to 60,850,366 to Trump as of November 14, according to the National Popular Vote Tracker created by Dave Wasserman/Cook Political Report – is that Trump won a series of battleground states by close margins, propelling him to a large lead in electoral votes. If the race had boiled down to one or two close states, a recount would be a feasible option. But even if Clinton knocked off a state (a monumental task at this point), Trump still has enough electoral votes to win.

Indeed, the popular vote was very narrow in some states. Here are the states with the closest margins, according to the National Popular Vote Tracker, as well as Secretary of State offices:

1. New Hampshire: Clinton +2,701
2. Michigan: Trump +13,080
3. Maine: Clinton +19,995
4. Nevada: Clinton +26,434
5. Wisconsin: Trump +27,257
6. Minnesota: Clinton +44,470
7. Pennsylvania: Trump +68,236
8. Arizona: Trump +92,245

Politico has a rundown of the recount rules in the above battleground states. In some of the states, the recount window has passed, although it remains an option in other states. However, once margins get in the tens of thousands, the chances of a recount prevailing would be very remote. There’s no evidence either campaign is gearing up for a recount, and Hillary Clinton has already publicly conceded the race.

Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton 2020, Democratic Party


In Michigan, worth 16 electoral votes (not enough to change the Electoral College victor by itself at this point), an automatic recount is triggered if one candidate’s lead is less than 2,000 votes, which isn’t the case here. Candidates can still request a recount once the final vote count is certified. That won’t happen until all results are canvassed (reviewed) at the local level. It’s not clear whether Clinton will request one, since winning Michigan is not enough to give her the Electoral College victory anyway. The AP has not called the Michigan race because it’s still not clear whether she will ask for a recount, which can’t be done until the canvassing is over.

In New Hampshire, the Trump campaign had until November 14 to ask for a recount, but chose not to do so, said the BBC, causing the Associated Press to finally call that race for Clinton.

The country remembers the historic recount in Florida during Bush vs. Gore, but there is not an automatic recount under Florida law unless the final margin is less than half a percentage point. Trump won Florida by 1.2%, according to the most recent tallies.

Clinton drove up the popular vote edge largely in two states. She has 1,779,506 more votes than Trump in New York, and 2,883,196 more in California, the popular vote tracker says. That means Clinton has more than a 4.6 million edge in the popular vote in just those two states; her overall popular vote edge is just over 930,000 popular votes. There are still millions of unprocessed ballots being counted in California. Although that’s expected to increase Clinton’s popular vote numbers, it won’t give her a win in the Electoral College either since that state is already in her column.

The closest race in the 2016 election was in New Hampshire. The battleground state with the largest popular vote margin was in Ohio, which Trump won.

The other battleground states had greater than 100,000-vote margins.

Clinton now has the fourth highest popular vote margin in U.S. history (after Obama’s two victories and George W. Bush), and Trump has the 5th (he’s now passed Mitt Romney as the winner of the most popular votes of any Republican nominee in history except for George W. Bush).

Here are other historic popular vote totals:

2012, according to 270toWin
Barack Obama 65,446,032
Mitt Romney 60,589,084

2008, per 270toWin
Barack Obama 69,456,897
John McCain 59,934,814

2004, per 270toWin
George W. Bush 62,039,073
John Kerry 59,027,478

See more past election popular vote totals here.




No. he’s you’re president now. It was Hillary Clinton that said and I quote, “Donald trump not accepting the results of the election is A threat to our democracy.” But Donald trump won the election… with all of the riots, protests, assaults on trump supporters, and this post of not accepting the results of the election, is that not a threat towards our democracy? Or is it ok because trump won and Hillary is your hero. Do your research, Stop being biased, and give him a chance.


Let’s change rolls for a minute. Go back to Nov. 9th, Hillary won. What would you and the rest of your party be doing?


Absolutely nothing….. just as we did when BHO won his two elections…. we just accepted it and moved on…. we didn’t riot like idiots….. who has time for that???? That’s right, liberal losers.


All her voters are illegals….criminals…or dead. Why would she want a recount?? It would show just how corrupto that loser is.


“Illegals” would not be capable or able to vote and to be fair, she won the popular vote. Thanks to the system of the electoral college, mind you, the same one that Trump was making a hissy fit over in 2012 when Obama was selected for a second term and in October not long ago, which is how he won. If we had a straight up democracy it’d go straight to it.


are you joking me … what rock are you living under …there has been proof the illegals and the dead are voting… and this is how Bernie lost to her… you know if you cant see the light right in front of your eyes then the light bulb in the brain is burnt out


REALLY! It is a fact that millions of illegals and dead voted for Hitlery. I suppose, since you libloons do not want a Democratic Republic as it does not suit mob rule, then I suggest we split the country in half by how you vote. You libs pay for all your social stuff, all of your black lives matter terrorism, your illegals and libs in prison. We will pay for our few white collar criminals…. Ha.


wow, you are stupid. Illegals can not vote you dumb piece of shit. Maybe you should go back to school before you before you are allowed to open your mouth


I guess you didn’t read the story about the guy in Seattle who killed all those people in the mall. They discovered that he was illegal and had voted in the last three presidential races because Seattle does not check id. They go on the “honors system.” Also, regardless of how much you disagree with what someone says, you are just showing your own immaturity by calling them names.

Replying to stupid comments.

How old was this guy in Seattle? He would have had to be 30. I didn’t think he was that old.

Daniel Hutnicki

You are right, illegals cant vote. Having said that, no one checks to see if a person who register is qualified to do so. Since no one checks, its no problem to register and vote. So, he isnt stupid. Its almost illegal to carry a concealed weapon in Los Angeles, but no one would be accused of being stupid if they said there are plenty of criminal who do so.

Vincent Mcelroy

There is proof that illegals that had California drivers licensees voted! Quit calling people names because you can,t defend your talking points!


Donald Trump could be the very first president to be impeached within his first 100 days. I would be against that since that would put Pence president, who in spite of the differences I have with this person, he is far more stable emotionally and not as nutty and unfit as Trump is. Trump has no idea what the hell he is doing but you have to admire his approach. Talk as stupid as you can; make promises that are as ridiculous as you can; have no policies only sound-bytes; refuse to show your taxes since that would reveal that you are a con with much to hide and you will get enough stupid dumb and uneducated voters to turn out for you to win.


Trump is not nutty…. it was all an act just to get a rise out of the pc crowd and liberals…. he hit the Democrat party with their own medicine.


Spoken like a true Trump voter: Ignorant, racist, sexist and xenophobic. Let’s get a recount and show how TrumpTheCon was helped out by the filthy Russians.

Vincent Mcelroy

All of you liberals are immature cry babies! You throw tantrums and call people names when they don,t agree with you!
Let us know when your 5th birthday comes around so we adults can send you our well wishes!


Joe, i voted for Trump. I’m a pediatric anesthesiologist married to a black woman from South Africa. Am I a “true Trump voter…”? Idiot.


You as a Democrat are the Ignorant, racist, sexist, xenophobic one. I don’t understand what the purpose is of supporting all of those causes… Let’s face it, there are more liberal loser then there are conservative ones.

Discuss on Facebook