popular vote

Clinton's popular vote lead over Trump exceeds 2 million

Hillary clinton (File) Hillary Clinton

US 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has garnered 64,223,958 tallied votes by Wednesday morning, over two million more votes than President-elect Donald Trump, according to data released by the non-partisan Cook Political Report.

With new votes tallied from New Jersey, Illinois, Maryland and California, Clinton's popular vote lead reached 2,017,563 overnight. Trump so far has won 62,206,395 votes, Xinhua news agency reported.

As many as 7,143,347 votes went to third party, write-ins, or independent candidates, the data revealed.

Since votes in many states are still being counted, it is expected that Clinton's lead in the popular vote, with Michigan's 16 electoral votes still up for grab, will continue to grow.

Clinton will be the fifth presidential nominee to win the popular vote but lose the electoral vote in the US history.

The former Secretary of State's advantage had crossed the one-million mark by November 15 and ballooned to 1.5 million by Sunday.

However, it was Trump who prevailed on the November 8 Election Day by clinching the crucial 270 Electoral College votes, the bare majority required to win the presidency.

As of Wednesday, Trump has 290 votes to Clinton's 232, with Michigan outstanding. Even if Clinton wins there, she still would trail, 290-248.

Among other states where the vote was close, only Florida could flip the election. But she trails there and in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by too many votes to trigger an automatic recount, said Richard Wolf with the USA Today newspaper.

"Three thousand votes are all that separate Clinton and Trump in New Hampshire. The margin is about 12,000 in Michigan, 27,000 in Wisconsin, 68,000 in Pennsylvania and 113,000 in Florida—close, but nothing compared to the 537 votes that separated George W. Bush and Al Gore in Florida 16 years ago," Xinhua news agency quoted Wolf as saying.

Nearly all US states will complete their popular vote counts by December 13, in time for the December 19 meeting of the Electoral College—the 538 individuals who, usually without exception, vote according to the results in each state, Wolf said, adding that in some states, the final count may come even later.

Millions of ballots come in at the last second, or, in states that allow it, several days after the election with the proper postmarks. It takes money, manpower and accurate voting machines to get every vote counted correctly, he explained why the counting takes so long.

California Senator Barbara Boxer, who supported Clinton, introduced legislation last week to abolish the Electoral College, while several electors who will formally cast votes on December 19, are pushing to block Trump from winning a majority of votes, according to local media reports.

However, Boxer's long-shot bid is not expected to clear the current GOP-controlled Congress and those electors' effort is also unlikely to succeed—even if it did, the House of Representatives could simply choose to elect Trump.

Trump said in an interview with the New York Times on Tuesday that he would "rather do the popular vote" and was "never a fan of the Electoral College".

A week after his historic election victory, Trump tweeted: "The Electoral College is actually genius in that it brings all states, including the smaller ones, into play. Campaigning is much different!"

However, four years ago, Trump tweeted: "The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy," in response to President Barack Obama's re-election against Mitt Romney in 2012.

In 2000, the then vice-president Al Gore earned about 500,000 more votes over Republican nominee George W. Bush. At the time, it was the largest advantage in the popular vote for a candidate who lost the Electoral College vote in the US presidential election.

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