Donald Trump may have won the election, but he lost the American people. Trump comes to office with no mandate.
To date, Trump is behind Hillary Clinton in the popular vote by over 2.2 million votes: the worst absolute margin of victory in all of American history. The runner-up? George Bush losing the popular vote by over 500,000 in 2000.
And it’s just as bad for Trump where it really counts, in his percent of the total vote. Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary by 1.63 points (1.63%), and growing. Hillary currently has 47.97% of the vote, while Trump only has 46.34%.
That means Donald Trump won the presidency by the 3rd worst margin in American history. Let that sink in a moment.
Historically, only two presidents fared worse than Trump in the percent difference in the popular vote: Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876 and John Quincy Adams in 1824.
Trump’s abysmal showing in the popular vote is small comfort to Democrats who fear the far-right kleptocracy that is coming to Washington in Trump’s wake. But Trump’s lack of a mandate matters, as it will severely hamper the Republican Party’s efforts to drastically change the country.
Look at the list of elections below. Note that the handful of elections in pink are those in which the winner lost the popular vote. The orange/yellow highlight is Trump v. Clinton. I have ranked the elections according to the percentage difference in the popular vote. You’ll see that in every single election, save two, the winning candidate did better than Donald Trump . (Below the image, further discussion about why this matters.)
As I noted above, our president is picked according to Electoral College rules rather than the popular vote. But, presidents like to claim mandates in order to push their agenda, and you do not win a mandate when you lose the popular vote. And you really don’t win a mandate when you have the third-weakest victory in all of American history.
Quite simply: The American people did not vote for Donald Trump; they voted for Hillary Clinton. Trump’s loss in the popular vote isn’t just indicative that Trump has no mandate, it’s a truly unprecedented rebuke of an incoming president.
Keep these numbers in mind as Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, and Trump’s stand-in as president, the ultra-far-right Mike Pence, try to implement their radical un-American agenda, starting with the abolishment of Medicare.