Hillary Clinton lost the election but is winning the popular vote

Posted at 2:30 PM, Nov 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-09 14:30:10-05

Donald Trump may have scored an astonishing upset presidential victory, but Hillary Clinton could still receive more votes.

As of Wednesday afternoon, hours after Clinton called Trump to concede, the former secretary of state clung to a narrow lead in the popular vote, 47.7%-47.5%.

She had 59,626,695 votes, according to CNN’s tally, with 92% of the expected vote counted. Trump had 59,428,493. That difference of almost 200,000 is razor-thin considering the nearly 120 million votes counted so far. The totals will continue to change as absentee votes trickle in.

If Clinton hangs on, she would become the first presidential candidate since Al Gore in 2000 to win the popular vote but lose the election. Trump, who clinched the nomination by securing 270 Electoral College votes, currently leads Clinton 289-218, though Michigan, New Hampshire and Minnesota have yet to be called.

Prior to Gore’s defeat to George W. Bush in 2000, three other candidates — Andrew Jackson, Samuel Tilden and Grover Cleveland, all in the 19th century — had won the popular vote and lost the election.

Entering Tuesday, with most polls showing Clinton with marginal but steady leads, Trump’s chances of victory were seen as remote. The Electoral College map was considered favorable to Clinton, who was said to have several paths to the winning threshold of 270 electoral votes.

But Trump obliterated Clinton’s firewall, picking off unexpected wins in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, as well as sweeping swing states like North Carolina, Florida and Ohio.