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New York county proposes museum dedicated to Electoral College losers who won the popular vote

If you think that presidential candidates who lost despite winning the popular vote ought to be commemorated, you may be excited about the possible “Almost presidential museum/library” being proposed by the town supervisor of Greenburgh, New York.

“I would like to recommend that a Westchester County college establish an almost president museum at one of our colleges to recognize the contributions of Hillary Clinton, the first woman Presidential nominee of a major political party who received the most popular votes in the nation,” explained Paul Feiner in a statement. “I suggest that this museum also highlight the stories of the four other presidential candidates who almost became president — winning the popular vote but losing the Electoral College votes.”

The library, which would be privately funded, is intended to boost tourism and host forums on elections. It doesn’t hurt that both Hillary Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, both reside in Westchester County, where Greenburgh is located.

Technically speaking, not all of the presidential candidates who lost despite winning the popular vote “almost became president.” One such candidate, Andrew Jackson in 1824, ran again and won in 1828 and was subsequently reelected in 1832. Another candidate, Grover Cleveland in 1888, was actually the incumbent president when he lost despite winning the popular vote, and managed to get reelected to a second term anyway in 1892. Only Samuel Tilden in 1876, Albert Gore in 2000, and Hillary Clinton in 2016 have the distinction of actually winning the popular vote without ever becoming president, although Gore and Clinton are still alive and could theoretically run again.

Nevertheless, all five candidates — four Democrats and a Democratic-Republican who later founded the Democratic Party — all won more votes than their opponents despite losing in the Electoral College. Jackson beat Adams in the popular vote by 151,363 to 113,142 (41.4 percent to 31.0 percent), Tilden beat Hayes in the popular vote by 4,286,808 to 4,034,142 (50.9 percent to 47.9 percent), Cleveland beat Harrison in the popular vote by 5,538,163 to 5,443,633 (48.6 percent to 47.8 percent), Gore beat Bush in the popular vote by 51,009,810 to 50,462,412 (48.4 percent to 47.9 percent), and Clinton beat Trump in the popular vote by 65,844,954 to 62,979,879 (48.0 percent to 46.0 percent).

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and his work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

Matthew Rozsa.

Source: Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture > Politics

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