Hillary Clinton wins popular vote by nearly 3 million ballots

Kenneth T. Walsh

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton defeated Republican candidate Donald Trump in the popular vote by nearly three million ballots, according to the final count.

This margin won't change the fact that Trump will become president on Jan. 20. He won a clear majority of 304 electoral votes, as certified this week, while Clinton received only 227, and the electoral vote determines the winner.

But the sheer margin of Clinton's popular-vote victory is sure to intensify Democratic arguments that Trump has no mandate and really isn't the president preferred by most Americans.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report found that Clinton received 65,844,610 votes or 48.2 percent and Trump received 62,979,636 or 46.1 percent: a difference of 2,864,974. There were also 7,804,213 votes or 5.7 percent for other candidates.

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Trump's percentage of the popular vote was the third worst among winning candidates since 1824, when the popular vote was first officially recorded, according to the New York Times.

Trump has said that if he had focused on the popular vote he would have campaigned differently to run up his totals in areas where he had strong support. Instead, he focused on swing states that decided the outcome in the Electoral College.

Former President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton's husband, tried to minimize Trump's win in a conversation with shoppers at a bookstore near their home in Chappaqua, N.Y., recently. Trump "doesn't know much," Clinton said. "One thing he does know is how to get angry, white men to vote for him."

Clinton said Trump's electoral-vote margin was not a landslide, as Trump has claimed. "Landslide? I got something like 370 electoral votes" in 1992, Clinton said. "That was a landslide."

Trump fired back in a tweet on Tuesday. He mocked Hillary Clinton's campaign for failing to concentrate on the swing states. "They focused on [the] wrong states," Trump wrote.