Donald Trump won with lowest voter turnout in 20 years
President-elect Donald Trump swept a widely unexpected landslide victory in the electoral college on Tuesday, defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton by at least a 290 to 228 margin.
Final results are still being calculated. But it looks as though Trump lost the popular vote, with roughly 60.27 million votes to Clinton's 60.84 million, according to the New York Times. And while Republicans are calling the GOP's victory a mandate for sweeping changes to the way the government operates, CNN reports it looks as though election day turnout may have been the lowest in 20 years.
"While election officials are still tabulating ballots, the 126 million votes already counted means about 55% of voting age citizens cast ballots this year," CNN's Gregory Wallace and Robert Yoon wrote. "... That measure of turnout is the lowest in a presidential election since 1996, when 53.5% of voting-age citizens turned out ... it would take another 18.7 million votes to reach the high point for turnout of 2008, when nearly 64% of voting age citizens cast a ballot."
While overall turnout was down, some crucial battleground states — namely Florida, North Carolina and Michigan, all of which Trump won or is projected to win — saw increased turnout, according to CNN.
Depressed turnout in 2016 likely poses a greater problem for Democrats than Republicans; while Democrats outnumber the GOP, the latter party's voters tend to be more motivated and reliable come election day.
But increasing turnout on its own may not have necessarily solved the Clinton campaign's problems, as "white, working-class defections" to the GOP in battleground states also played a role.
As the Atlantic's Andrew McGill noted on Saturday morning, millions of mainly provisional and absentee ballots have not yet been officially counted, so figures of turnout may eventually rise. Cook Political Report editor Dan Wasserman told the magazine there were roughly 7 million votes left to count, and many of them are from urban, coastal areas Clinton is likely to win, so her eventual popular vote victory may grow to up to 2%.