Last Tuesday, November 3rd, was Election Day. As of Friday, November 6, 2020, at 1 pm, we still do not have the results of the election, but it seems to be leaning in favor of former Vice President Joe Biden. He currently leads with 264 electoral votes to President Donald Trump’s 214, and three of the five states remaining uncalled are leaning blue. If Joe Biden gets even one of those states (Georgia, Pennsylvania, or Nevada, with 20, 16, and 6 electoral votes respectively) he will win the election. Vice President Joe Biden also leads the popular vote by a margin of approximately four million votes, and while the race has not yet been called, it is very likely he will win, assuming the vote count continues the way it has been most recently.
There have been cases of a presidential candidate winning the popular vote but not the Electoral College’s votes. A presidential candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the presidency. In 2016, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by three million votes, but now-President Donald Trump won the electoral votes, 306-232, and this won him the presidency. Many people argue that because the public is not voting in the president, but instead the Electoral College is, it should be abolished, and presidents should be elected by whoever wins the popular vote. The Electoral College remains operational despite these complaints.
There have been five instances of a president losing the popular vote but still winning the presidency. The first was in 1824 when Andrew Jackson won the popular vote by lost to John Quincy Adams. The second was President Rutherford B. Hayes vs Samuel Tilden, in 1876, where Tilden won the popular vote but lost the election. Third, in 1888, President Benjamin Harrison lost the popular vote to Grover Cleveland. Fourth, in 2000, President George Bush lost the popular vote to Al Gore but won the election. The fifth and most recent was in 2016, in the Trump versus Clinton race.
It is most likely that this election will not be an example of a president losing the popular vote but still winning the Presidency. If President Trump wants to secure this win, he will have to win every single state that remains uncalled, and since three of the five are leaning blue, this most likely will not happen. Mail-in ballots are being counted and most of them are votes for Biden, which is why we saw Georgia and Pennsylvania switch from red to blue early this morning. If President-Elect Joe Biden continues the way he has been, he will win both the Electoral College and the popular vote and secure the presidency. We can only hope there is a peaceful transition of power come January 2021.
Kaitlyn Willett is a Dakota Student News Writer. She can be reached at [email protected]