Data | Biden's 306 electoral votes the 5th lowest among Democratic winners since 1900

A comparison of the president-elect's performance with previous elections

November 17, 2020 07:55 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 10:32 pm IST

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden. File

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden. File

On November 7, Joe Biden was elected the 46th president of the United States with 306 electoral college votes defeating incumbent Donald Trump, who secured 232 votes. With more than 98% of votes counted in most States, Biden has secured 50.8% of the popular votes, about 3.4% points more than Trump’s. A look at how these numbers compare with past results.

Electoral college votes

The 306 electoral college votes secured by Biden are the 10th lowest among winners in the country’s last 31 elections since the 1900s. It was the fifth-lowest when only Democratic wins are considered in this period.

It was also considerably lower than the four recent Democratic wins. On the other hand, the 232 electoral college votes secured by Donald Trump are the fifth-highest among losers in the considered period. Republican George W. Bush’s win in 2000 with 271 electoral college votes against Democrat Al Gore was the closest.


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Margin %

By winning 50.8% of the popular vote, Biden did better than Bill Clinton (in 1992 & 1996) but Barack Obama garnered more in 2008 and 2012. The 2020 margin of 3.4% points secured by Biden is lower than both Clinton’s and Obama’s margins of victory. George Bush in 2000 and Trump in 2016 were the only elected Presidents to have not won the popular vote since 1900.


Source:,, NYT

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