The 538 members of the Electoral College are set on Monday to make President-elect Donald Trump’s victory official.
In all 50 state capitals and the District of Columbia, electors — chosen by the state parties of the candidate who carried their state, Trump or Hillary Clinton — will meet to cast their ballots. The gatherings will remove the last bit of drama from 2016’s unprecedented election season — and post-election efforts to persuade Republican electors to vote against Trump, in some cases in violation of state laws requiring electors to support the victor.
Heightening the tension in recent weeks: Clinton actually won the popular vote by about 3 million — making Trump the worst-performing winner in the popular vote since 1876.
Trump’s victory is not, as he has described it, a landslide. He is expected to garner just 56.9% of the electoral vote, assuming all electors vote according to their states’ results. That will give Trump the 44th-largest share of the electoral vote out of 54 presidential elections since the modern system started in 1804.
It’s a better performance, though, than President George W. Bush’s razor-tight victories in 2000 and 2004.
Bush, though, bested Trump in the popular vote — as has every other president aside from Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876 and John Quincy Adams in 1824, an election that featured four candidates and was decided by the House of Representatives.
Clinton won 48.2% of the vote to Trump’s 46.2% — a lead of more than 2.8 million votes and more than 2% as of Friday, with that lead expected to grow as the final ballots are tallied.