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Tied presidential elections

Apropos of this discussion, here’s a list of all the U.S. presidential elections that were decided by less than 1% of the vote:

1880
1884
1888
1960
1968
2000

Funny, huh? Other close ones were 1844 (decided by 1.5% of the vote), 1876 (3%), 1916 (3%), 1976 (2%), 2004 (2.5%).

Four straight close elections in the 1870s-80s, five close elections since 1960, and almost none at any other time.

3 Comments

  1. MD says:

    Allow me to be the first public choice person to point out that none of these were actually "tied"!

  2. landerson says:

    `
    "… here's a list of all the U.S. presidential elections that were decided by less than 1% of the vote: …"

    _____

    Who actually "decided" ?

    The real world margin-of-error in accurately counting/recording/reporting 'the vote' must indeed be at least 1% in large, modern elections… even without any deliberate fraud or mischief.

    That was the fundamental problem in the Bush/Gore election fiasco — the actual vote differential fell within the inherent margin-of-error of the imprecise American popular election system. The focus was on Florida, but there were significant problems in many other states.

    ______

    "The people who vote decide nothing; the people who count the vote decide everything."

    — Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili (Joseph Stalin)

  3. ZBicyclist says:

    These data highlight the importance of keeping the electoral college, or some similar mechanism that breaks the country into units.

    In cases in which the popular vote is close, there's the risk of a national recount, which is probably impossible and definitely expensive. With the current system, you'd only have to recount close states.