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Trump says he could have won the popular vote if he campaigned in New York and California

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks at election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX2SVNW
Reuters/Mike Segar
What would have happened if US elections were decided by popular vote?
By Hanna Kozlowska
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Since Hillary Clinton lost the US election, many have pointed out that the Democratic candidate actually won the popular vote. So today, US president-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter to defend himself:

If the election was decided by simply the number of ballots cast for each candidate, instead of the electoral college, Trump said he would have won anyway by taking a different approach to campaigning.

Trump would have had a tough time: Clinton won the popular vote in New York and California by wide margins, nearly 1.5 million in the former, and nearly 3 million in the latter, as of Nov. 15. What’s more, millions of votes from both states (along with many votes in Washington) still have not been counted. According to one estimate, Clinton’s national popular vote advantage, currently at about 0.7%, could grow to 2% by the time of the electoral college vote in mid-December.

Clinton supporters are calling to abolish the electoral college system, which has now deprived Democrats of a win in two out of the last five elections. In 2000, Democrat Al Gore won the popular vote by more than 500,000, but lost to George W. Bush who gained five more electoral college votes. Clinton lost by 58 electoral college votes.

Trump actually shared this opinion during the 2012 election, when he called the electoral college a “disaster.” Today, as the design of the American electoral system is set to award him the presidency, Trump appears to have changed his mind:

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