Saturday, June 23, 2018
Opinion

Margin of victory through U.S. history

You might think the 2012 presidential election had an incredibly close popular vote, but in historical terms it was not especially so. President Barack Obama won by a margin of 2.5 percent (about 3 million votes). Eleven other presidents won by a smaller percentage, including four who didn't carry the popular vote at all. In order, we list races each president won by the least — a margin of victory at or under 3 percent. A note: Four times, most recently in 2000, the winner lost the popular vote but won the election either in the Electoral College or, in the case of John Quincy Adams, the House of Representatives. The closest presidential race in history? James Garfield's 1,898-vote victory over Winfield Scott Hancock in 1880. At the bottom of the page, we list the races where the margin was 20 percent or more. Who knew that it wasn't LBJ or FDR or Nixon with the biggest blowout victories, but rather Warren G. Harding followed by Calvin Coolidge?

     
                               
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