Politics

Trump did not have the ‘biggest electoral college win since’ Reagan, as he claims

President George W. Bush, center, poses with President-elect Barack Obama, and former presidents, from left, George H.W. Bush, left, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, right, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.
President George W. Bush, center, poses with President-elect Barack Obama, and former presidents, from left, George H.W. Bush, left, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, right, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. AP

President Donald Trump won a stunning electoral victory in the 2016 election. But Trump, once again, exaggerated the size of his win during a press conference Thursday.

“I wasn’t supposed to get 222 (electoral votes). They said there’s no way to get 222; 230 is impossible. Two-hundred seventy, which you need – that was laughable. We got 306 because people came out and voted like they have never seen before. So that’s how it goes,” Trump said. “I guess it was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan.”

Trump did win 306 electoral votes in the election against Democrat Hillary Clinton, but it was hardly the largest since Reagan, who won landslide victories in 1980 (489 electoral votes) against sitting President Jimmy Carter and 1984 (525 electoral votes) against Democratic challenger Walter Mondale.

Republican George H.W. Bush won 426 electoral votes in 1988, defeating Democrat Michael Dukakis.

In 1992, Democrat Bill Clinton won 370 electoral votes, defeating Bush. Clinton won re-election in 1996 with 379 electoral votes, topping Republican Bob Dole.

Republican George W. Bush won narrow victories in 2000 (271 electoral votes) against Democrat Al Gore and in 2004 (286 electoral votes) against John Kerry.

Democrat Barack Obama won 365 electoral votes in his 2008 victory against Sen. John McCain. Obama won 332 electoral votes in his 2012 re-election against Mitt Romney.

In Thursday’s press conference, NBC reporter Peter Alexander told Trump that his numbers were incorrect and asked why Americans should trust Trump when he gets a fact like that incorrect.

“I was given that information,” Trump said. “I was given. Actually, I’ve seen that information around. But it was a very substantial victory, do you agree with that?”

Trump lost the popular vote. Clinton collected nearly 3 million more votes than Trump did.

Trump also brought up his electoral vote total in Wednesday’s press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in response to a question about growing anti-Semitic incidents.

ELECTORAL VOTES WON BY PRESIDENTIAL WINNER SINCE 1980

525: Ronald Reagan, 1984

489: Ronald Reagan, 1980

426: George H.W. Bush, 1988

379: Bill Clinton, 1996

370: Bill Clinton, 1992

365: Barack Obama, 2008

332: Barack Obama, 2012

306: Donald Trump, 2016

286: George H.W. Bush, 2004

271: George W. Bush, 2000

— Source: archives.gov

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