Statistics of the Day: Politics-Related


This short item on the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election was written by Alex Lockie for Business Insider:

A survey conducted by the research company Qualtrics showed that 52% of Republican voters think that Donald Trump won the popular vote in November’s general election, despite nationwide totals giving Hillary Clinton almost a 3 million-vote edge.

The survey, published Sunday and first reported on by the Washington Post, found that in total, 29% of people surveyed thought Trump won the popular vote.

An earlier Pew Research Center survey pegged that figure at 19%.

Qualtrics found that education played a role in the likelihood of respondents saying Trump won more popular votes, with 60% of Republicans with high-school diplomas saying Trump won, compared to just 37% of college-educated Republicans.

Only 7% of Democrats and 24% of independents said Trump won more popular votes.

Trump, who won a sizeable victory in the Electoral College, has at several points weighed in on the popular vote, challenging its veracity while also seeming to concede he obtained fewer votes.

“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,” Trump tweeted in November, without providing any evidence that voter fraud occurred. 

While official vote totals have put Clinton ahead, less reputable sources have claimed otherwise. Some have even found prominence on the internet’s top search engine, Google, amid a postelection focus on the spread of “fake news.”

In mid-November, Google searches for “final election count”—along with other, similar queries—returned with a link to a WordPress blog that cited sources on Twitter and falsely claimed that Trump handily won the popular vote.


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