Top Ten Closest U.S. Presidential Elections
Updated November 9, 2020 | Infoplease Staff
Throughout U.S. history, there have been several close presidential races. This top ten closest U.S. presidential elections list is based on the combination of popular vote, electoral vote, and states carried by each candidate. Note about 2016: ironically, despite the mismatched results, neither the Popular Vote nor the Electoral Vote were particularly close. Clinton carried the popular vote by a full 2%, while Trump carried the Electoral College by a wide margin. The 2020 election, despite its very drawn out process, also ended up not being very close, as Biden carried the popular vote by a full 3% and is likely to carry the Electoral Vote 306 - 229.
|Rank||Year||Candidates||Popular Vote||Electoral Vote||States Carried|
|1.||1960||John F. Kennedy over Richard Nixon||34,220,984 - 34,108,157||303 - 219||23 - 27|
|2.||2000||George W. Bush over Al Gore||50,456,002 - 50,999,897||271 - 266||30 - 20+DC|
|3.||1976||Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford||40,831,881 - 39,148,634||297 - 240||23+DC - 27|
|4.||1876||Rutherford B. Hayes over Samuel Tilden||4,034,311 - 4,288,546||185 - 184||21 - 17|
|5.||1880||James Garfield over Winfield Hancock||4,446,158 - 4,444,260||214 - 155||19 - 19|
|6.||1888||Benjamin Harrison over Grover Cleveland||5,443,892 - 5,534,488||233 - 168||20 - 18|
|7.||1884||Grover Cleveland over James G. Blaine||4,914,482 - 4,856,905||219 - 182||20 - 18|
|8.||1844||James K. Polk over Henry Clay||1,339,494 - 1,300,004||170 - 105||15 - 11|
|9.||1824||John Quincy Adams over Andrew Jackson||113,122 - 151,271||84 - 99||7 - 12|
|10.||2016||Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton||62,984,828 - 65,844,610||304 - 227||30 - 20|
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