Can anyone explain this to me? I can’t figure out why some of the numbers I’m seeing are so far off.

The New York Times puts Obama’s popular vote at 62,611,250.

Politico also has 62,211,250. So does Infoplease.

The Federal Election Commission Report puts it at 65,915,795.

The National Archives and Records Administration has 65,446,032.

270towin also has 65,446,032.

I’ve been completely obsessing over the Electoral College for the past week. I compared Obama’s 2012 state totals against Trump’s 2016 totals and found that if I use the 62 million number for Obama, he would just barely lose the Electoral College to Trump, 265 to 273, despite getting over 2 million more votes. (This doesn’t make me like the Electoral College any more than I already didn’t.) Obama would win if I use the 65 million number. If I did the math right, though, despite giving Obama 3 million more votes literally the only states that flip are Ohio and Pennsylvania, but they are worth a combined 38 electoral votes.

Advertisement

Here are a couple of articles about how Hillary’s popular vote lead is likely to keep getting bigger because there are still millions of votes to be counted, but it won’t make a difference because they’re mostly in California and a few other non-swing states.

Once all the votes are counted, maybe our understanding of what exactly went wrong for Hillary will be a little more clear. I thought turnout was down for her significantly compared to Obama. In some swing states, probably yes, but nationwide, maybe not.