Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton finds herself on the wrong end of an electoral split, moving ahead in the popular vote but losing to President-elect Donald Trump in the electoral college, according to the latest numbers emerging Wednesday.
As of 7:20 a.m. ET, Clinton had amassed 59,059,121 votes nationally, to Trump’s 58,935,231 — a margin of 123,890 that puts Clinton on track to become the fifth U.S. presidential candidate to win the popular vote but lose the election.
“Trump crossed the 270 electoral vote threshold at 2:31 a.m. ET with a victory in Wisconsin,” NPR’s Carrie Johnson reports.
If the final tally follows the current trend, the result would mark the second time in the past 16 years that a Democrat has lost a national election while winning the popular vote. In 2000, Al Gore narrowly won the popular vote against George Bush, but he lost the presidency by five electoral votes in a hotly contested result.
Because of how the electoral college works, it’s theoretically possible for a candidate to win the White House with less than 30 percent of the popular vote, as NPR’s Danielle Kurtzleben recently reported.
Discussing the 2000 election, Danielle noted that despite the split outcome, that race “also has the electoral-vote margin that most closely reflects the popular-vote margin.”
Danielle added, “In that sense, one could call it one of the ‘fairest’ elections in modern politics.”