Popular Vote Final 2016 Results: Clinton Margin Was 2.1%

clinton electoral college

Hillary Clinton. (Getty)

The final, certified popular vote totals are now in, and they show that Hillary Clinton earned a historic number of popular votes.

Specifically, Clinton led Republican and victor Donald Trump by 2.1% or almost 2.9 million votes.

According to CNN, the final totals from all states are as follows:

Clinton: 65,844,954 (48.2%)
Trump: 62,979,879 (46.1%)

That gives Clinton a lead of 2,865,075. Trump had a popular vote lead in the swing states.

Here’s how Clinton’s total is historic: She earned more popular votes than any other candidate in U.S. history except Barack Obama. However, Trump’s popular vote tally was also historic. He earned more popular votes than any other Republican candidate in U.S. history.

No candidate in history has won the popular vote by so much yet lost the White House. However, those who favor the Electoral College system that gave Trump his victory point out that Clinton’s lead is largely the margin in California alone (she bested Trump in that state by more than 4 million votes). The Founders created the Electoral College system so that candidates would have to compete for the hearts and minds of all Americans.

votes counted


In a series of tweets after the popular vote totals were certified, Trump accused Clinton of focusing on the wrong states. He’s said if the popular vote determined the presidency, he would have campaigned in different states.

Here’s how Clinton’s popular vote total stacks up with the top 10 popular vote tallies of any presidential candidate in U.S. history, according to 270toWin.

1. Barack Obama 2008: 69,456,897
2. Hillary Clinton 2016: 65,844,954
3. Barack Obama 2012: 65,446,032
4. Donald Trump 2016: 62,979,879
5. George W. Bush 2004 62,039,073
6. Mitt Romney 2012 60,589,084
7. John McCain 2008: 59,934,814
8. John Kerry 2004: 59,027,478
9. Ronald Reagan 1984: 54,455,000
10. Al Gore 2000: 50,996,582
(#11 is George W. Bush 2000: 50,456,062)

Only three other presidential candidates have also won the popular vote, while losing the Electoral College.

None won the popular vote by such a margin – not even close.

They are:

Al Gore, 2000: Lost the presidential election to George W. Bush but won the popular vote by 543,816 votes.

Andrew Jackson, 1824: Jackson won the popular vote but lost the presidency in the House of Representatives because neither candidate reached the threshold for victory in the Electoral College. Jackson also had more electoral votes at the onset.

Grover Cleveland, 1888:
Lost the presidential election to Republican Benjamin Harrison despite leading by 90,000 popular votes.