Most Americans know the results of the presidential election. According to a Pew Research survey, a majority of Americans can accurately identify President-elect Donald Trump as the winner of the Electoral College tally and Democratic contender Hillary Clinton as the winner of the the popular vote. Nearly a third of Republicans, however, inexplicably believe Trump won the most individual nationwide votes.
After quizzing voters on the results of the election, Pew Research found that 32 percent of respondents who lean Republican incorrectly named Trump the winner of the popular vote. In comparison, about 8 in 10 Democrats (81 percent) said that Clinton won it.
A lot of factors can explain the knowledge gap between Democrats and Republicans. For one, it might not be a knowledge gap at all. Many Republicans may know that the official tallies indicate Clinton won the nationwide vote, but have adopted a conspiracy theory — pushed by the president-elect himself — that insists that millions of votes were fraudulent, thereby disqualifying Clinton as the winner of the popular vote.
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) Nov. 27, 2016
Republican voters’ media diet may also account for the disparity. In an effort to legitimize Trump’s win, right-wing media has either tried to ignore the popular vote or reduce its significance. When Kellyanne Conway goes on Fox News to say, “This election was not close. It was not a squeaker,” viewers do not get a clear picture as to what actually happened on Election Day.
Meanwhile, it appears that Clinton will match, if not surpass, the number of votes President Barack Obama received in 2012.
It now looks quite possible Clinton will end up w/ more votes than Obama 65.9 million in '12. Now ~400k behind: https://t.co/j58GaxfPmH
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) Dec. 6, 2016