56 Interesting Facts About the 2016 Election

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s victory was definitely THE most interesting thing that happened in the 2016 election, but it certainly wasn’t the only interesting thing. In keeping with our end-of-cycle tradition, we found 56 more interesting things to tide you over during the holidays as we take a well-earned break. The weekly update will return on Friday, January 12, 2017. Happy Holidays!


1. Effectively 77,759 votes in three states (WI/PA/MI) determined the Presidency: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump won by:

  • 22,748 votes in WI, 0.7 of a point (3rd party candidates received: 188,330)
  • 44,307 votes in PA, 0.7 of a point, (3rd party candidates received: 218,228)
  • 10,704 votes in MI, 0.2 of a point (3rd party candidates received: 250,902 votes)

2. Just three counties – Macomb County, MI; York County, PA and Waukesha County, WI – elected Donald Trump. If those three counties had cast zero votes, Trump would have lost all three states and the election. By the same logic, just three counties re-elected President Obama in 2012: Miami-Dade County, FL; Cuyahoga County, OH and Philadelphia, PA.

3. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton carried the popular vote by more than 2.8 million votes, and 2.1 percentage points. But while she narrowly improved on President Obama’s margin in non-swing states (4.1% vs. 4.0%), she vastly underperformed in the 13 swing states that actually mattered: Obama’s 3.6-percent margin in those states morphed into a 1.8-percent Trump lead.

4. There have been 58 presidential elections in the United States. The popular vote and the Electoral College have gone in the same direction in 54 of them. These are the exceptions.

  • 1824: Andrew Jackson won the popular vote and a plurality of the Electoral College vote, throwing the election to the House of Representatives where John Quincy Adams beat Jackson.
  • 1876: Samuel Tilden won popular vote, but Rutherford B. Hayes won the Electoral College
  • 1888: Grover Cleveland won popular vote, and Benjamin Harrison won the Electoral College
  • 2000: Al Gore won popular vote, but George W. Bush won the Electoral College.

5. Trump won the White House by winning 76 percent of counties with a Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and 22 percent of counties with a Whole Foods Market. This 54-percent gap is the widest ever recorded. When Bill Clinton was elected in 1992, it was 19 percent; when George W. Bush was elected in 2000, it was 31 percent; and when Barack Obama was elected in 2008, it was 43 percent.

6. The state with the largest increase in total votes cast for president versus 2012 was Texas (12.2%), while the state with the sharpest decrease was Mississippi (-6.7%). The state with the largest pro-Republican margin shift versus 2012 was North Dakota (16.1%), while the state with the largest pro-Democratic margin shift was Utah (30.0%).



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