President-elect Donald Trump and his former campaign manager have claimed in recent days that they defeated Hillary Clinton in a “landslide.”
But if you look at history, that’s not even close to true.
In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016
306. Landslide. Blowout. Historic. https://t.co/ObYZDo8cBq— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) November 28, 2016
First off, it’s hard for Trump to claim a landslide when he lost the popular vote to Clinton by at least 2 million votes. But leaving that aside, Trump didn’t win in a landslide in Electoral College votes either.
Claremont McKenna College professor John J. Pitney Jr. ranked all 58 presidential races in national history by the percentage of Electoral College votes that the victor had won. Using this metric, George Washington’s two unopposed wins top the list by receiving 100 percent of the votes in the Electoral College. (John Quincy Adams ranked last with 32 percent — a draw that went to the US House)
Trump’s win of 306 electoral votes? He ranks 46th out of 58 presidential elections in US history. Trump won 56.88 percent of the votes in the Electoral College.
What’s more, Trump’s standing does not improve when you compare his victory with other presidents in modern history. There have been 14 presidential elections since 1964, when the Electoral College reached its current total of 538 votes.
Among that group, Trump had the 10th best finish.
Was Trump’s victory among the most surprising in history? Yes.
Is Trump the first person elected to be president without any military or government experience? Yes.
Is Trump the richest person to enter the White House? Yes.
Did he win in a landslide? Not at all.James Pindell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jamespindell, or subscribe to his Ground Game newsletter on politics: www.bostonglobe.com/groundgame.