US Election popular vote record: Could Biden BEAT Obama’s popular vote total?

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Donald Trump and Joe Biden have concluded their respective presidential campaigns in the US, and now await postal results from several remaining swing states. The US has one path to the presidency but two ways of measuring it; the popular and Electoral College votes. Despite the basic principle of voting, the popular vote does not determine the winner, but it shows who most Americans favoured for the White House.

Who won the popular vote?

Vote counting continues in the US, with final totals on the popular vote likely not available until the end of the week, when Pennsylvania counts its remaining ballots.

But this hasn’t stopped candidates breaking records, as Joe Biden allegedly holds the lead.

Poll aggregator account US Politics Polls, which posts results on Twitter, found Mr Biden’s margin surpassed his former running mate.

They wrote: “Joe Biden has surpassed Barack Obama’s 2008 popular vote total, breaking the record for most votes ever received by a candidate at a US Presidential Election.”

The news doesn’t mean Mr Biden has won the popular vote, but it is promising news for the candidate.

By the end of the counting phase of the election, analysts believe the vote margin could expand exponentially.

Nate Silver, editor-in-chief of poll aggregating platform FiveThirtyEight, said Mr Biden would finish with more than 50 percent of the popular vote.

His greatest gains would come from states he has already won, he said, where he is on track for millions more potential votes.

Mr Silver wrote on Twitter: “There are a LOT of uncounted votes in CA, NY, MD, MA, NJ and IL.

“Biden’s popular vote margin is going to expand quite a bit.

“Maybe 11-12m outstanding votes between these states, which might be +25 percent-ish for Biden.”

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“Also a few more in CT, WA and OR. Not much outstanding vote left in red states.

“It probably works out to Biden getting 52-ish percent of the popular vote on a turnout of 155 million-ish votes, which would be around 80 million.

“Trump might get say 73-75 million. Likely the top two popular vote totals in US history, both surpassing Obama ’08.”

Although encouraging, the popular vote does not translate to a photo finish for either candidate.

Presidential candidates have to compete for votes in the Electoral College, where state values vary.

To win, they need 270 of the 538 available votes, most of which come from large states with comparatively few voters.

For example, California is the college’s most valuable, with a total of 55 available electors up for grabs representing 746,415.

But Wyoming, which only has one elector, represents 577,737, meaning a candidate could win a significant number of low-value states and gain the popular vote but lose the Electoral College and overall race.

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