President-elect Donald Trump speaks during an election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in New York. Evan Vucci AP
President-elect Donald Trump speaks during an election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in New York. Evan Vucci AP

Elections

Trump falsely claims he only lost popular vote because ‘millions’ voted illegally

By Greg Hadley

ghadley@mcclatchy.com

November 27, 2016 03:14 PM

UPDATED November 28, 2016 10:15 AM

In a tweet Sunday afternoon, President-elect Donald Trump said he won the popular vote in Nov. 8’s election if “you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016

There has been no evidence of the widespread voter fraud that would have had to taken place to give Clinton millions of illegitimate votes.

While Trump won the presidential election overwhelmingly in the Electoral College, where the Republican collected 306 votes to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 232, the most recent tallies indicate that he lost the popular vote to Clinton by more than 2 million votes, according to NPR.

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The winner of the popular vote has lost in presidential elections four times before, but some of Clinton’s supporters have argued that her large lead and likely victory in the popular vote should force politicians to reconsider the electoral college system. Several petitions asking electors to defy the results of their particular vote and vote for Clinton have garnered millions of signatures, though the likelihood of that happening is almost non-existent according to most political observers.

In the past week, Clinton’s campaign has said it will join in recount efforts in the state of Wisconsin started by Green Party nominee Jill Stein. While Clinton’s campaign said it had uncovered no evidence of voter fraud or illegal hacking, several cybersecurity experts and political advisers have urged the Democrat to challenge the election results in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, according to a New York Magazine report.

Trump, for his part, argued on the campaign trail that the electoral system was “rigged” against him and urged his supporters to take steps to fight voter fraud, including casting multiple ballots or registering as poll watchers on Election Day, leading some to fear there would be incidents of voter intimidation. However, most reports from Election Day indicated that the election proceeded smoothly, though there were a few instances of violence, per Heavy.com.

In two follow-up tweets, Trump also argued that he would have won the popular vote “convincingly” if the Electoral College did not exist.

It would have been much easier for me to win the so-called popular vote than the Electoral College in that I would only campaign in 3 or 4--

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016

states instead of the 15 states that I visited. I would have won even more easily and convincingly (but smaller states are forgotten)!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016

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