We had a number of people inquire about how large former President Trumps margin of defeat really was.  We know the number is near 6.9 million votes in total but because of population growth, that really provides very little context.

So we decided to do some research and here is what we found.

Top 10 Smallest Margins of Victory in a US Presidential Election:


By Popular Vote Percentage:

The most rational way to evaluate how strong a vote is use ‘vote to population’ percentage.  As you can see in the first table, Biden came in as the 14th least supported President in US History but he did better than Trump (2016), Bush (2004), Bush (2000), Carter (1976), Nixon (1968) and Kennedy (1960).

In fact if you consider only the 19 elections after World War II, Bidens support in the general population comes in at very high number 7.  He is in the top 40% of all Presidents in the modern era.

“… Biden Won — Pretty Convincingly In The End

…It’s not a landslide, by any means, but this is a map that almost any Democrat would have been thrilled about if you’d shown it to them a year ago.

…Extrapolating out from current vote totals, I project Biden winning the popular vote by 4.3 percentage points and getting 81.8 million votes to President Trump’s 74.9 million, with a turnout of around 160 million. This is significant because no candidate has ever received 70 million votes in an election — former President Barack Obama came the closest in 2008, with 69.5 million votes — let alone 80 million.” SOURCE


YearCandidatePartyPopular vote Margin % Popular vote Margin Loser
11824John Quincy AdamsD.-R.-10.40%-38,221Andrew Jackson
21876Rutherford HayesRep.-3.00%-252,666Samuel Tilden
32016Donald TrumpRep.-2.10%-2,868,686Hillary Clinton
41888Benjamin HarrisonRep.-0.80%-90,596Grover Cleveland
52000George W. BushRep.-0.50%-543,816Al Gore
61880James GarfieldRep.0.10%1,898Winfield Scott Hancock
71960John F. KennedyDem.0.20%112,827Richard Nixon
81884Grover ClevelandDem.0.60%57,579James Blaine
91968Richard NixonRep.0.70%511,944Hubert Humphrey
101844James PolkDem.1.50%39,413Henry Clay
142020Joe BidenDem.2.90%6,900,000Donald J. Trump


By Popular Vote Total:

By votes, Biden is number 47 out of 59 elections making his popularity far more than average for a winning candidate:

Election #YearCandidatePartyPopular vote %Popular vote Margin %Popular vote MarginLoser
12016Donald J. TrumpRep.46.10%-2.10%-2,868,686Hillary Clinton
22000George W. BushRep.47.90%-0.50%-543,816Al Gore
31876Rutherford HayesRep.47.90%-3.00%-252,666Samuel Tilden
41888Benjamin HarrisonRep.47.80%-0.80%-90,596Grover Cleveland
51824John Quincy AdamsD.-R.30.90%-10.40%-38,221Andrew Jackson
61880James GarfieldRep.48.30%0.10%1,898Winfield Hancock
71796John AdamsFed.53.50%6.90%4,611Thomas Jefferson
81812James MadisonD.-R.50.40%2.70%7,650DeWitt Clinton
91800Thomas JeffersonD.-R.61.40%22.90%15,378Aaron Burr
101792George WashingtonInd.100%100%28,579No candidate
472020Joe BidenDem.50.60%2.90%6,900,000Donald J. Trump

By Electoral College:

Biden’s win over Trump was the 8th smallest win by Electoral College votes:

Smallest Victory CollegeElection #YearCandidatePartyElectoral College VotesElectoral College %Loser
1101824John Quincy AdamsD.-R.84/26132.20%Andrew Jackson
2231876Rutherford HayesRep.185/36950.10%Samuel Tilden
3542000George W. BushRep.271/53850.40%Al Gore
431796John AdamsFed.71/13851.50%Thomas Jefferson
5331916Woodrow WilsonDem.277/53152.20%Charles Hughes
641800Thomas JeffersonD.-R.73/13852.90%Aaron Burr
7552004George W. BushRep.286/53853.20%John Kerry
8592020Joe BidenDem.290/53853.90%Donald J. Trump
9251884Grover ClevelandDem.219/40154.60%James Blaine
10481976Jimmy CarterDem.297/53855.20%Gerald Ford


Least Voter Support For a US President Since WWII

#YearCandidatePartyElectoral College %Popular vote %Popular vote Margin %Popular vote MarginLoser
12016Donald TrumpRep.56.50%46.10%-2.10%-2868686Hillary Clinton
22000George W. BushRep.50.40%47.90%-0.50%-543816Al Gore
31960John F. KennedyDem.56.40%49.70%0.20%112827Richard Nixon
41968Richard NixonRep.56.00%43.40%0.70%511944Hubert Humphrey
51976Jimmy CarterDem.55.20%50.10%2.10%1683247Gerald Ford
62004George W. BushRep.53.20%50.70%2.50%3012171John Kerry
72020Joe BidenDem.53.90%50.60%2.90%6900000Donald J. Trump
82012Barack ObamaDem.61.70%51.10%3.90%4982291Mitt Romney
91948Harry TrumanDem.57.10%49.60%4.50%2188055Thomas Dewey
101992Bill ClintonDem.68.80%43.00%5.60%5805256George H. W. Bush
112008Barack ObamaDem.67.80%52.90%7.30%9550193John McCain
121988George H. W. BushRep.79.20%53.40%7.70%7077121Michael Dukakis
131996Bill ClintonDem.70.50%49.20%8.50%8201370Bob Dole
141980Ronald ReaganRep.90.90%50.80%9.70%8423115Jimmy Carter
151952Dwight EisenhowerRep.83.20%55.20%10.90%6700439Adlai Stevenson
161956Dwight EisenhowerRep.86.10%57.40%15.40%9551152Adlai Stevenson
171984Ronald ReaganRep.97.60%58.80%18.20%16878120Walter Mondale
181964Lyndon JohnsonDem.90.30%61.10%22.60%15951287Barry Goldwater
191972Richard NixonRep.96.70%60.70%23.20%17995488George McGovern

Number of Vice Presidents that became US Presidents:

For those who think President Biden is likely to have Vice President Kamala Harris replace him at some point this short 90 second clip does a great job of explaining the history of VP’s becoming POTUS’:


List of Presidents that Refused To Concede Defeat

While we think that it is very unlikely President Trump will leave office as badly as some pundits are predicting.  However he is currently making it clear that he will not concede and if he does not, he will be first President in US History to do so:

#YearCandidatePartyVoter TurnoutElectoral College VotesElectoral College %Popular vote %Popular vote Margin %Popular vote VotesPopular vote MarginLoser
1592020Joe BidenDem.66.9%290/53853.9%50.6%2.9%                  81,800,0006,900,000Donald J. Trump


Complete List of US Presidential Election Results:

In case you wanted some additional detail, here is the list of results for all US Presidential elections:

#YearCandidatePartyVoter TurnoutElectoral College VotesElectoral College %Popular vote %Popular vote Margin % Popular vote Votes  Popular vote Margin Loser
11788George WashingtonInd.11.6%69/69100.0%100.0%100.0%             43,782             43,782No candidate
21792George WashingtonInd.6.3%132/132100.0%100.0%100.0%             28,579             28,579No candidate
31796John AdamsFed.20.1%71/13851.5%53.5%6.9%             35,726                4,611Thomas Jefferson
41800Thomas JeffersonD.-R.32.3%73/13852.9%61.4%22.9%             41,330             15,378Aaron Burr
51804Thomas JeffersonD.-R.23.8%162/17692.1%72.8%45.6%           104,110             65,191Charles C. Pinckney
61808James MadisonD.-R.36.8%122/17569.7%64.7%32.3%           124,732             62,301Charles C. Pinckney
71812James MadisonD.-R.40.4%128/21759.0%50.4%2.7%           140,431                7,650DeWitt Clinton
81816James MonroeD.-R.23.5%183/21784.3%68.2%37.2%             76,592             41,852Rufus King
91820James MonroeD.-R.10.1%231/23299.6%80.6%64.7%             87,343             69,878John Quincy Adams
101824John Quincy AdamsD.-R.26.9%84/26132.2%30.9%-10.4%           113,142–            38,221Andrew Jackson
111828Andrew JacksonDem.57.3%178/26168.2%55.9%12.3%           642,806           140,839John Quincy Adams
121832Andrew JacksonDem.57.0%219/28676.6%54.7%17.8%           702,735           228,628Henry Clay
131836Martin Van BurenDem.56.5%170/29457.8%50.8%14.2%           763,291           213,384William Henry Harrison
141840William Henry HarrisonWhig80.3%234/29479.6%52.9%6.1%       1,275,583           145,938Martin Van Buren
151844James PolkDem.79.2%170/27561.8%49.5%1.5%       1,339,570             39,413Henry Clay
161848Zachary TaylorWhig72.8%163/29056.2%47.3%4.8%       1,360,235           137,882Lewis Cass
171852Franklin PierceDem.69.5%254/29685.8%50.8%7.0%       1,605,943           219,525Winfield Scott
181856James BuchananDem.79.4%174/29658.8%45.3%12.2%       1,835,140           494,472John Frémont
191860Abraham LincolnRep.81.8%180/30359.4%39.7%10.1%       1,855,993           474,049John Breckinridge
201864Abraham LincolnRep.76.3%212/23391.0%55.0%10.1%       2,211,317           405,090George McClellan
211868Ulysses GrantRep.80.9%214/29472.8%52.7%5.3%       3,013,790           304,810Horatio Seymour
221872Ulysses GrantRep.72.1%286/35281.3%55.6%11.8%       3,597,439           763,729Thomas Hendricks
231876Rutherford HayesRep.82.6%185/36950.1%47.9%-3.0%       4,034,142–         252,666Samuel Tilden
241880James GarfieldRep.80.5%214/36958.0%48.3%0.1%       4,453,337                1,898Winfield Scott Hancock
251884Grover ClevelandDem.78.2%219/40154.6%48.9%0.6%       4,914,482             57,579James Blaine
261888Benjamin HarrisonRep.80.5%233/40158.1%47.8%-0.8%       5,443,892–            90,596Grover Cleveland
271892Grover ClevelandDem.75.8%277/44462.4%46.0%3.0%       5,553,898           363,099Benjamin Harrison
281896William McKinleyRep.79.6%271/44760.6%51.0%4.3%       7,112,138           601,331William Jennings Bryan
291900William McKinleyRep.73.7%292/44765.2%51.6%6.1%       7,228,864           857,932William Jennings Bryan
301904Theodore RooseveltRep.65.5%336/47670.6%56.4%18.8%       7,630,557       2,546,677Alton Brooks Parker
311908William TaftRep.65.7%321/48366.5%51.6%8.5%       7,678,335       1,269,356William Jennings Bryan
321912Woodrow WilsonDem.59.0%435/53181.9%41.8%14.4%       6,296,284       2,173,563Theodore Roosevelt
331916Woodrow WilsonDem.61.8%277/53152.2%49.2%3.1%       9,126,868           578,140Charles Evans Hughes
341920Warren HardingRep.49.2%404/53176.1%60.3%26.2%     16,144,093       7,004,432James Cox
351924Calvin CoolidgeRep.48.9%382/53171.9%54.0%25.2%     15,723,789       7,337,547John Davis
361928Herbert HooverRep.56.9%444/53183.6%58.2%17.4%     21,427,123       6,411,659Al Smith
371932Franklin RooseveltDem.56.9%472/53188.9%57.4%17.8%     22,821,277       7,060,023Herbert Hoover
381936Franklin RooseveltDem.61.0%523/53198.5%60.8%24.3%     27,752,648     11,070,786Alf Landon
391940Franklin RooseveltDem.62.4%449/53184.6%54.7%10.0%     27,313,945       4,966,201Wendell Willkie
401944Franklin RooseveltDem.55.9%432/53181.4%53.4%7.5%     25,612,916       3,594,987Thomas Dewey
411948Harry TrumanDem.52.2%303/53157.1%49.6%4.5%     24,179,347       2,188,055Thomas Dewey
421952Dwight EisenhowerRep.62.3%442/53183.2%55.2%10.9%     34,075,529       6,700,439Adlai Stevenson
431956Dwight EisenhowerRep.60.2%457/53186.1%57.4%15.4%     35,579,180       9,551,152Adlai Stevenson
441960John F. KennedyDem.63.8%303/53756.4%49.7%0.2%     34,220,984           112,827Richard Nixon
451964Lyndon JohnsonDem.62.8%486/53890.3%61.1%22.6%     43,127,041     15,951,287Barry Goldwater
461968Richard NixonRep.62.5%301/53856.0%43.4%0.7%     31,783,783           511,944Hubert Humphrey
471972Richard NixonRep.56.2%520/53896.7%60.7%23.2%     47,168,710     17,995,488George McGovern
481976Jimmy CarterDem.54.8%297/53855.2%50.1%2.1%     40,831,881       1,683,247Gerald Ford
491980Ronald ReaganRep.54.2%489/53890.9%50.8%9.7%     43,903,230       8,423,115Jimmy Carter
501984Ronald ReaganRep.55.2%525/53897.6%58.8%18.2%     54,455,472     16,878,120Walter Mondale
511988George H. W. BushRep.52.8%426/53879.2%53.4%7.7%     48,886,597       7,077,121Michael Dukakis
521992Bill ClintonDem.58.1%370/53868.8%43.0%5.6%     44,909,806       5,805,256George H. W. Bush
531996Bill ClintonDem.51.7%379/53870.5%49.2%8.5%     47,400,125       8,201,370Bob Dole
542000George W. BushRep.54.2%271/53850.4%47.9%-0.5%     50,460,110–         543,816Al Gore
552004George W. BushRep.60.1%286/53853.2%50.7%2.5%     62,040,610       3,012,171John Kerry
562008Barack ObamaDem.61.6%365/53867.8%52.9%7.3%     69,498,516       9,550,193John McCain
572012Barack ObamaDem.58.6%332/53861.7%51.1%3.9%     65,915,795       4,982,291Mitt Romney
582016Donald TrumpRep.60.2%304/53856.5%46.1%-2.1%     62,984,828–      2,868,686Hillary Clinton
592020Joe BidenDem.66.9%290/53853.9%50.6%2.9%     75,250,0006,900,000Donald J. Trump


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *