Clinton's wins were bigger

With all of the controversy over the presidential election and the popular vote vs. the electoral college vote, I would like to know which states' electoral college votes went against their respective states popular/people's votes.

 —Chris G, Central Point

Chris, the short answer is “None.”

And the long answer, including a quick lesson on the Electoral College, is as follows:

The Electoral College is a group of 538 electors who will vote in December to determine our next president. Each state is allocated a certain number of electoral votes based on the size of its congressional delegation, which is relative its population, as determined by the most recent (in this case, 2010) Census. The number of electoral votes per state ranges from three — seven states and the District of Columbia have three electoral votes — to 55 in California.

Political parties in each state determine who their electors will be and, in every state except Maine and Nebraska, the winning political party gets to send its electors to their state capitol in December to vote.

“The District of Columbia and 48 states have a winner-takes-all rule for the Electoral College,” federal archives read. “In these States, whichever candidate receives a majority of the popular vote, or a plurality of the popular vote (less than 50 percent but more than any other candidate), takes all of the state’s Electoral votes.”

In regard to this election, President-elect Donald Trump’s wins in some states were marginal  compared with Hillary Clinton’s wins in others.

For example, in Texas and Florida, Trump won by 813,774 and 119,770 votes, respectively,  whereas Clinton won the popular vote in California and New York by a landslide. In California, Clinton received 7,057,508 votes (61.5 percent) to Trump’s 3,770,259 votes (32.9 percent), and in New York, she took home 4,143,874 (58.8 percent) to Trump’s 2,640,570 votes (37.5 percent). In other words, those two states alone put her 4,790,553 votes ahead of Trump.

Nevertheless, Trump won the popular vote, however narrowly, in more states, setting him up to receive all those states’ electoral votes come December.

According to federal archives, there have been four other times in U.S. history that the candidate with most popular votes did not win the presidency — John Quincy Adams versus Andrew Jackson in 1824, Rutherford B. Hayes versus Samuel J. Tilden in 1876, Benjamin Harrison versus Grover Cleveland in 1888 and George W. Bush versus Albert Gore Jr. in 2000.

— Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to To see a collection of columns, go to We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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