Well, the votes are in, they've been counted, and the race is finally over. Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States and will be inaugurated come Jan. 20. But beyond the matter of who wins and loses, the margin of victory is significant, too. A blowout win means a candidate can theoretically carry more political capital into the start of their first term, with talk of a national mandate enabling them to take some bold steps in terms of their policy proposals. So, did Donald Trump win the popular vote — and, if so, by how much?
As a reminder, the popular vote doesn't impact who actually wins the presidency. That's dictated by the outcome of the Electoral College, and which candidate crosses the crucial 270 electoral vote threshold to claim an outright majority. At least one time in recent years, a candidate even won the popular vote while losing the electoral college ― that was Al Gore in 2000, when he lost an excruciatingly close race after the Supreme Court shut down the recounts in Florida.
But in terms of taking the temperature of the country and determining who had the true majority behind them, it's still a very significant number. So, did Donald Trump have a winning margin?
Luckily, the numbers are pretty straightforward. En route to claiming the electoral vote lead, and with it the 45th presidency, Trump claimed 59,441,779 votes, while Clinton actually received more popular votes at the time of this writing: 59,649,308. These numbers were accurate as of Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. ET, with the majority of popular votes reported, but are subject to change as the rest are counted.
Of course, in this case, it's entirely possible that Trump's congressional opposition will put up a unified front no mater how much national momentum and support they seem to have on the heels of the election. That's because political polarization and obstructionism has more or less become the status quo in Washington, D.C. over the last eight years, thanks for the most part to a previously unprecedented strategy of intractability on the part of the GOP. As such, you're likely to see a rollicking fight no matter what policies Trump tries to put out there early in his first term, so you may as well gear up for all the tumult right now.