Majority of Republicans mistakenly think Trump won the popular vote.

Majority of Republicans Mistakenly Think Trump Won the Popular Vote

Majority of Republicans Mistakenly Think Trump Won the Popular Vote

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Dec. 18 2016 9:04 PM

Majority of Republicans Mistakenly Think Trump Won the Popular Vote

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President-elect Donald Trump waves as he arrives at Trump International Golf Club for a day of meetings on Nov. 20, 2016 in Bedminster Township, New Jersey.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton’s popular vote lead currently stands at almost 2.9 million votes, and is still growing. But if you ask a Republican voter, you’ve got a more than one-in-two chance that he or she will tell you Donald Trump actually won the popular vote. A new Qualtrics poll reveals 52 percent of Republicans think the president-elect won the popular vote as well as the electoral college, according to the Washington Post. Only seven percent of Democrats and 24 percent of independents mistakenly believe more Americans voted for Trump than Clinton.

Why do they hold this mistaken belief? The Post says it illustrates a common pattern in humans: “We choose facts to be consistent with our prior beliefs.” Yet it could also be that Trump himself has claimed he was the real winner of the popular vote, saying Clinton benefited from millions who voted illegally.

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Trump has also characterized his victory in the presidential race as a historic landslide, when it was anything but. When it comes to the Electoral College vote, Trump’s victory ranks 46th out of 58 elections and in the popular vote his victory ranks 47th out of 49 elections (the popular vote was not reported before 1824), reports the New York Times.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.