The Electoral College vote is on Monday, and President-Elect Donald Trump’s lead might be greater than you think. It’s nowhere near as close as George W. Bush and Al Gore in 2000, even though it’s far closer than many other elections. Trump has earned 306 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 232. That means that Trump has 56.9 percent of the electoral college vote. But although a sizable lead, it doesn’t count as a landslide. For comparison, Ronald Reagan in 1984 had 97.6 percent of the Electoral College vote.
The last time the Electoral College came under so much national attention was when George W. Bush and Al Gore had an incredibly close Electoral College race. But compared to 2000, Trump has a much greater lead.
Trump has 56.9 percent of the Electoral College vote. In 2000, Bush had only 50.4 percent of the Electoral College vote. In some ways, things were a lot more tense in the 2000 election.
In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote and George Bush won the electoral vote by a very narrow margin. In fact, it would only take two of Bush’s electors’ flipping in order to make the Electoral College vote a tie and send it to the House of Representatives. Bush’s win was controversial because there were concerns that Gore might have rightfully won the electoral vote if ballots were counted incorrectly in Florida. There was a strong lobbying campaign seeking to encourage Republican electors to switch to Gore. Some of the electors told CNN that they even received death threats over the whole thing.
But in the end, only one elector went faithless. She was pledged to Gore, but abstained from voting as a protest over D.C.’s lack of congressional representation.
So, while Trump has earned 306 electoral votes to Clinton’s 232, the Bush-Gore electoral race was much, much closer. Bush had earned 271 electoral votes to Gore’s 267. Bush only needed to lose two electoral votes in order to force a tie, but in the end only one elector flipped — away from Gore.
If it was so difficult to get electors to flip in 2000, it’s likely going to be even more difficult to get them to flip today. But this election has been unprecedented so far, so nothing’s off the table.
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