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Because of the electoral college.

The way US Presidential elections work is that the candidate who wins the popular vote in a state receives all the electoral votes of that state (there are a couple of states that do it differently, but most of them are "winner take all").

It doesn't matter if you win in that state by one vote or unanimously, you get all the electoral votes. So if you win the states you win by large margins and lose the states you lose by small margins, it's entirely possible for the overall number of votes to show you as the winner, but for you to lose due to receiving fewer electoral votes than your opponent.

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Q: Why Is it possible for a presidential candidate to receive the majority of the popular votes in the US but still lose the election?
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Related questions

Is it possible for a presidential candidate to receive the majority of the popular votes in the US but still lose the election?

yes


How is it possible for a presidential candidate who gets the most votes not win the election?

Not possible at all


Who decides a presidential election if no one receives a majority of electoral college vote?

If no candidate for President receives an absolute electoral majority of 270 votes out of the 538 possible, then the new House of Representatives is required by law to go into session immediately to vote for President. The election is held on a special way- each state gets one vote.


Which amendment makes it possible bthat a presidential candidate can lose the popular vote but still win the electoral vote and the election?

23rd


How is it a candidate can receive a majority of the popular vote but lose the election?

Such is possible because the election is not by direct popular vote but rather by electors that are chosen state by state on a winner take all basis. Therefore the losing candidate can win some states by a huge majority and pile up huge numbers of popular votes whereas the winning candidates wins a majority of states by slim margins.


How is it possible for a candidate to win the majority of the popular votes cast but still lose in the Electoral College?

they can lose the electoral college vote if the representatives and senators in the electoral college feel that the candidate should not win their state over in the election.


Can a candidate win an election with less than a majority of the votes?

The only thing that matters is who gets the most votes, so a candidate could get 2 votes and win because all the other candidates got 1 vote. The answer to this question depends ENTIRELY on the actual voting system being used for the election in question. See the Related Question below for a summary of the more common election types in the world today. As this question is under US Presidential election, I'll answer it specific to that race's rules (which are archaic and complex). Firstly, if your are referring to the POPULAR vote (i.e. the total vote count of all people in the entire country), then it is entirely possible, and, in fact, common for the eventual winner not to have a majority - about one-third of US Presidents don't receive an absolute majority when elected. It is even possible for a candidate to win the Presidency without a plurality (absolute largest number of vote, regardless of percentage); most recently, this happened in Gore vs. Bush in 2000, where Gore beat Bush by 0.5% of the vote, but Bush became President. Remember that the US Presidential election is an indirect voting system, where popular vote does not determine the winner, but rather selects representatives to the Electoral College to actually vote. The Electoral college vote determines the US Presidential winner. Here, and absolute majority of the E.C. votes must be obtained to win. If the voting has no one winning an absolute majority, then the decision goes to the U.S. House of Representatives. There, only the top three vote getters from the Electoral College election contest. Each U.S. state is assigned one vote, and one candidate must win an absolute majority of these votes. Voting rounds continue until one of these three candidates gets the majority required.


Who elects the president if no candidate wins majority electoral?

If no candidate for president of the United States gets a majority of votes in the Electoral College, then the election will be decided by a vote within the House of Representatives. However, in the House of Representatives, each State gets ONE vote. So it is at least theoretically possible that in a 3-way election where two candidates have split the urban, coastal, big-state votes, that the #3 candidate who did well in the small population midwestern states might decisively win the election in the House and become the President.


Is the president elected by the majority of the popular vote?

No. The voters actual elect delegates (electors to the electoral college) that actually elect the president. Each state has a set number of delegates. During the election, the candidate who gets the most votes in a state gets those delegates. However, the delegates are not bound to vote for the candidate who won the majority of the votes. It is actually possible for a presidential candidate to win the popular vote, but lose the election because the delegates elected the other candidate. The intent of this system was to prevent a few large, highly populated states from electing a president with little or no support in the majority of smaller, less populated states, much like the design of the Congress where the Senate has equal representation of all states, regardless of population and the House where more populated states have more votes.


Who succeeds the Vice President in his position?

If the Vice President remains in office until the end of his/her term, he/she is succeeded by the winner of the Vice Presidential election. The winner of every Vice Presidential election to date (1804-2012) has been the running mate of the winner of the presidential election, but it is possible for someone else to be elected Vice President, especially if no presidential or vice presidential candidate gets enough electoral votes and the House and Senate are controlled by different parties.If the vice presidency is vacated during a term due to the death, resignation or removal from office of either the President or Vice President, the President nominates a new Vice President. A majority vote in favor of the nomination is required from both Houses of Congress before the nominee can take office.


How can a presidential candidate win the popular vote and not win the electoral college vote?

This is possible because of the "winner take all" feature of the election. If a candidate wins a state by just one popular vote, he wins all of that state's electoral vote. So, a winning candidates can win by small majorities in enough states to with the electoral vote majority and lose really big in the states he loses and finish behind in the popular votes.


How many electoral votes did Lincoln receive in the 1860 election?

In the 1860 US Presidential Election, Abraham Lincoln won 180 of a possible 303 electoral votes. He needed a simple majority, or 152 votes, to win the election. The candidate with the 2nd most electoral votes was John C. Breckinridge, who captured 72 electoral votes. In the 1860 election, Lincoln's primary support base was the Northeast and the Midwest, which accounted for nearly all of his electoral votes. His competitor Breckinridge collected most of the Southern votes.


Is it still possible for Ron Paul to win the presidential election this year?

Absolutly


How can presidential candidates receive the largest number of popular votes but can lose the election?

It is possible that a candidate could win the "national" popular vote total but lose the electoral vote total. However, the electoral vote of every state accurately reflects the popular vote within that state. A candidate could win the electoral votes in a large state such as California winning the state by a huge margin. However, the opposing candidate could win the electoral votes in other states because a majority of the voters in those states vote for the opposing candidate.


What does a person do first to see if it is possible to win a presidential election?

he or she selects an exploratory committee


How is it possible for a candidate to receive the majority of the popular vote and lose the electoral vote?

bob


Is it possible for a candidate who does not receive the majority of the popular vote to become President?

George Bush?


Is it possible to win the presidential election by popularity?

of course not! it's by want your what your wanting to do to become president


What is a common criticism of the electoral college system?

That it's possible for the candidate who did not win the popular election to win.


What group created a unique campaign strategy used by the Republicans in the 1952 presidential election?

The 1952 election was one that the Republicans felt strongly about winning, and with Eisenhower as their candidate it would be possible since President Truman had announced that he would not run. The three major themes put forth were the Korean War, corruption, and a balanced budget.


How does George Bush beat al gore in 2000 election when al gore got more popular votes?

Electoral votes in the Electoral College determine the President of the United States. It is possible that a candidate could win the "national" popular vote total but lose the electoral vote total. However, the electoral vote of every state accurately reflects the popular vote within that state. A candidate could win the electoral votes in a large state such as California winning the state by a huge margin. However, the opposing candidate could win the electoral votes in other states because a majority of the voters in those states vote for the opposing candidate. George W. Bush won the 2000 presidential election defeating Albert Gore, Jr. In the 2000 presidential election George W. Bush received 271 (50.5%) electoral votes and Albert Gore, Jr. received 266 (49.5%) electoral votes. The popular vote totals were Gore 50,996,582 (50.3%) and Bush 50,456,062 (49.7%).


How can a candidate who receives less than a majority of the popular vote be elected through the Electoral College process?

Electors are distributed by states. If more people in a state vote for one candidate than another candidate, then he gets the electoral votes. Thus, it is possible for a candidate to get 51% of the vote in the states with the least population and win the election. When there are 3 candidates, the one with the most votes in a state carries the state. Bill Clinton won the presidency with 40% of the votes.


How many votes are needed to win in the Electoral College?

A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the Presidency. This represents a majority -- one more than half -- of the current 538 electoral votes cast. (535 for the states and 3 by the District of Columbia) (A tie vote of 269 for each of two candidates is possible. If no candidate receives a majority of the electoral votes, the election is sent to the House of Representatives.)


Why why why why oh why did Trump win the 2016 Presidential Election instead of Clinton despite the fact that Clinton won the election?

It is possible that a candidate could win the "national" popular vote total but lose the electoral vote total. However, the electoral vote of every state accurately reflects the popular vote within that state. A candidate could win the electoral votes in a large state such as California winning the state by a huge margin. However, the opposing candidate could win the electoral votes in other states because a majority of the voters in those states vote for the opposing candidate. The President of the United States is the president for the people of all 50 states, not just the President for California, New York and a few of the other large states.


How it is possible that a president can be elected to office without getting the majority of the votes?

Such is possible because of the indirect way in which the president is elected. In most states all of a states electoral votes go to the same candidate . Therefore a candidate can win by a narrow majority in a few large states and lose by a big majority in small states and win the electoral votes with a minority of popular votes.