Photo via Lorie Shaull/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)
We all know by now that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, while Donald Trump won the Electoral College—the vote that actually matters in American presidential elections. But a quick look at how close the race really was is sure to raise some pro-Clinton hackles.
Clinton currently leads Trump in the national vote count by more than 1.75 million votes, according to a detailed tally compiled and updated by David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report.
That number alone has caused many Clinton supporters to call for the abolition of the Electoral College, which awards 538 total electoral votes between presidential candidates based on the winner of each state, or for electors to vote for Clinton regardless of whether their state fell to Trump.
The votes in most states are still coming in, and Michigan remains too close to call, with Trump currently leading by just over 11,600 votes out of nearly 4.8 million votes cast—a margin of just 0.2 percent.
Not including Michigan, Clinton earned 232 electoral votes to Trump's 290, with 270 needed to win the electoral vote. With Clinton so far ahead of Trump in the popular vote, we decided to look at how many of those voters would need to live in swing states for the election to have gone the other way. You know, just for fun.If roughly 125,000 of the 1.75 million Clinton voters—7 percent—had lived in Florida and Michigan, Clinton would have beat Trump with 277 electoral votes.
The numbers are even tighter if you look at Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, where Trump leads Clinton by no more than 68,000 votes in any of those three states. (His lead in Pennsylvania is currently 67,952, and he leads by just 27,267 in Wisconsin.) In that scenario, fewer than 107,000 Clinton voters would have had to live in those states for Clinton to have triumphed over Trump, with 278 electoral votes.
In the off chance that Clinton breaks ahead in Michigan and wins the state, the margin drops to just over 95,000 votes.
Of course, all of this is hypothetical—even if Clinton manages to eke out a win in Michigan, she would still need Florida or another two states to snatch away Trump's victory. And without an unprecedented revolt by electors, that ain't gonna happen.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the percentage of votes in Pennsylvania Clinton would need to surpass Trump. The correct number is 7 percent.