The Most Votes Ever Against A Candidate For President

President Bush’s re-election was greeted by competing claims from the right and the left. The initial claim from Bush supporter was that George Bush received more votes for President than any other candidate in history. A quick check of the records indicates that the claim is accurate. Of course a 3% margin of victory hardly compares to any of the many election blowouts (15% or greater) in US history.

Next up was the competing claim from the left that more people voted against President Bush than any candidate in history. Ignoring for the moment that it is not possible to vote against a candidate (there are only two options in an election – you can vote for a candidate or not vote for a candidate), this particular claim is not true.

              Total Votes  Votes For (%)     Votes For Others (%)
Clinton 1992 104,425,014 44,909,326 (43%) 59,515,688 (57%)
Bush 2004 116,077,697 59,770,096 (51%) 56,307,601 (48%)

Of course the fact that 56,307,601 people didn’t vote for Bush (i.e. voted against) is about as informative as the fact that 59,515,688 didn’t vote for Bill Clinton – neither statistic really matters when it comes to the election results. In 1992 third party candidate Ross Perot garnered nearly 20 million votes and Bush (41) nearly 40 million votes, yet Bill Clinton won the Electoral College by a wide margin.

Both men won their respective elections because they received the most votes where it matters – in the Electoral College. Interestingly both won the popular vote by nearly the same percentage margin and total vote differential with the second place candidate.

Update: I wasn’t happy with the initial wording I used in this post… I’ve updated the text to be clearer…

Update 2: As noted in the comments, the new record holder for most votes against him in a Presidential election (more accurately votes for other candidates – or “not for” the record holder) is actually now John Kerry, who has topped even Bubba’s mark.

Sarah, smile!
The 10 Spot - Celebrity Gossip Edition

30 Comments

  1. Joni November 10, 2004
  2. Henry November 10, 2004
  3. Austin mls November 10, 2004
  4. Rodney Dill November 10, 2004
  5. Jim November 10, 2004
  6. Boyd November 10, 2004
  7. Rick DeMent November 10, 2004
  8. Steve L. November 10, 2004
  9. julie November 10, 2004
  10. Rodney Dill November 10, 2004
  11. jb November 10, 2004
  12. Frank November 10, 2004
  13. Headzero November 10, 2004
  14. CrzyDJM November 10, 2004
  15. Rodney Dill November 10, 2004
  16. Henry November 10, 2004
  17. Steve L. November 10, 2004
  18. Rodney Dill November 10, 2004
  19. Henry November 10, 2004
  20. Rodney Dill November 10, 2004
  21. CrzyDJM November 10, 2004
  22. moseby November 10, 2004
  23. brotherStefan November 10, 2004
  24. Rodney Dill November 10, 2004
  25. Henry November 10, 2004
  26. brotherStefan November 10, 2004
  27. Roo November 10, 2004
  28. Henry November 11, 2004
  29. jcrue November 11, 2004
  30. roger November 11, 2004