Argument: Rarely has the loser of the US popular vote won the electoral college

Issue Report: US electoral college


In 1824 intraparty factionalism and a political deal resulted in the election of John Quincy Adams by the House of Representatives, though Andrew Jackson got 42 percent of the popular vote to Adams’s 32 percent. Voting fraud and Reconstruction-era politics gave the election of 1876 to the Republican Rutherford B. Hayes, though 51 percent of the popular vote went to the Democrat Samuel J. Tilden.
In 1888 the Democrat Grover Cleveland won 92,000 more popular votes than the Republican Benjamin Harrison, but Harrison got 58 percent of the electoral votes. This odd outcome was possible because of Cleveland’s huge but superfluous popular margins in the Democratic South while closely losing the large industrial states of the North.” (President Bush’s 2000 victory constitutes only the second time in American history when the legitimate winner of the electoral college lost the popular vote).