President Trump Said His Win Was the 'Biggest Since Reagan.' It Wasn't

Feb 16, 2017

President Trump just can't stop talking about the 2016 presidential election. During an hour-plus press conference on Thursday, the president called his November win the “biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan.”

“I put it out before the American people, got 306 Electoral College votes. I wasn't supposed to get 222. They said there's no way to get 222, 230's impossible,” Trump said. “270 which you need, that was laughable. We got 306 because people came out and voted like they've never seen before so that's the way it goes.”

He added, “I guess it was the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan.”

Except, it wasn’t.

In 2016, Trump won 306 Electoral College votes, 36 votes over the 270 needed to win. (He ended up getting only 304, because of two faithless electors.) Given Trump’s loosely organized campaign and controversial statements, the businessman’s win was definitely a surprise—the majority of pundits, pollsters, and politicos predicted he would lose.

But it wasn’t the biggest win since Reagan who won 90.9% of the electoral college votes in 1980, according to data by the New York Times. The Times ranks Trump's electoral win as the 46th biggest of 58 elections.

Trump's wasn’t even the biggest win since Barack Obama. In 2012, Obama received 332 electoral votes. And in 2008, Obama won 365. Both times, Obama managed to win over 60% of the electoral college votes. Obama came close to besting President Bill Clinton, who won 70.4% of the Electoral College votes in 1996.

It was, however, a more substantial win than the last Republican president, President George W. Bush, who just barely received over 50% of the Electoral College vote in both of his elections. In 2000, Bush won 271 Electoral Votes and in 2004, he was reelected with 286 votes. But Trump’s was not a bigger win than fellow Republican President George H.W. Bush, who earned 79.2% of the electoral vote in 1988. At the time Bush 41 did, in fact, have the biggest win since Reagan.

When asked about the false claim during the press conference, Trump said he was just saying what he was told. "I was given that information, I don't know,” said the president.

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