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The Popular Vote Does Not Elect the President of the United States


Joe Biden is winning the popular vote but that doesn’t mean he will win the presidency. Both candidates need 270 electoral votes to be elected President.

The Electoral College is the only way someone can become President of the United States. In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote but George W. Bush won the electoral vote. The United States is the only country in the world where the popular vote does not elect the president.

In 2008, Barack Obama earned 69,498,516 votes in the presidential election, the most ever. Now, Obama’s former vice president, Democratic nominee Joe Biden, has surpassed that tally, with a record 69,589,840 votes (50.2 percent), and counting, in the 2020 election.

Biden is currently leading the popular vote against President Donald Trump, who has collected 66,706,923 votes (48.1 percent) as of midday Wednesday. The race for the White House continued to narrow Wednesday, hinging on just a few battleground states that are still too close to call.

The appropriateness of the Electoral College system is a matter of ongoing debate. Supporters argue that it is a fundamental component of American federalism. They maintain the system elected the winner of the nationwide popular vote in over 90% of presidential elections; promote political stability; preserves the Constitutional role of the states in presidential elections; and fosters a broad-based, enduring, and generally moderate political party system.

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