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Hillary Clinton joins list of presidential losers who won popular vote

Posted at 11:33 AM, Nov 09, 2016

Hillary Clinton will likely join a list of candidates who found out the hard way that the presidential election is not a popularity contest.

Since 1824 — the first election year that a nationwide popular vote was tabulated — only four presidential candidates have lost the election despite earning more total votes than their competitor.

After Tuesday's election, popular vote tallies show Clinton got 59.8 million votes while Donald Trump got 59.6 million votes, with some ballots still left to be counted. If that lead holds up, Clinton will become the fifth person to lose strictly as a result of the Electoral College.

Listed below are the four previous times such an occurrence has happened.

  • In 1824, Andrew Jackson lost the election to John Quincy Adams despite beating Adams by 38,221 votes nationwide.
  • In 1876, Samuel Tilden lost to Rutherford Hayes despite beating Hayes by 252,666 votes nationwide.
  • In 1888, Grover Cleveland lost to Benjamin Harrison despite beating Harrison by 94,530 votes nationwide.
  • In 2000, Al Gore lost to George W. Bush despite beating Bush by 543,816 votes nationwide.

The Electoral College has been the nation's deciding factor of every presidential election since 1804. Research shows that because of the Electoral College, a presidential candidate could become president while only earning 23 percent of the popular vote.

Of those previous popular vote winners who lost the big race, Jackson and Cleveland would go on to be elected president. They each won the office in the next election following their tough losses. Tilden and Gore did not run for office again following their losses.

Clint Davis covers entertainment and trending news topics for the Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.