5 closest US elections ever

President George W. Bush visits Pentagon

After the uproar over the 2016 election - where Trump 'won' despite not winning the popular vote - we look at the closest Presidential elections ever.

1960 - Kennedy vs. Nixon

In 1960, Democrat John F. Kennedy won the popular vote by 0.2% against Republican Richard Nixon. It was not until the afternoon of the next day that Nixon conceded that he had lost the election. In California, we can see a good example of just how close the election was - where Kennedy appeared to have carried the state by 37,000 votes. However, when the absentee ballots were counted around a week later, Nixon actually won the state by 36,000 votes. Kennedy carried 11 States with a win of less than one percentage point.

1880 - Garfield vs. Hancock

Incumbent President George Rutherford Hayes decided not to seek reelection, leaving James Abram Garfield and civil war veteran Scott Hancock to fight it out. Despite capturing fewer than 2,000 more popular votes Garfield was elected - though he only actually received 0.1% of the popular vote - less than Kennedy vs. Nixon.

1888 - Harrison vs. Cleveland

Harrison vs. Cleveland went in much the same way as Trump vs. Clinton. President Grover Cleveland received a greater share of the popular vote, but challenger Benjamin Harrison received 233 electoral votes - ousting Cleveland from the White House after the outgoing President received only 168. The next time this scenario were to be played out would be the 2000 election - Bush vs. Gore

1844 - Polk vs. Clay

The election of 1844 saw Democrat James Knox Polk defeat Whig candidate Henry Clay in a close contest that was won by only 1.4% of the popular vote. The key issue of the election is said to have been foreign policy - as Polk favoured annexing Texas, but Clay disagreed.

2000 - Bush vs. Gore

Al Gore, then Vice-President, took on Republican W. Bush in the election of 2000. The election was filled with controversy - namely Gore losing despite winning over half a million more popular votes. Fthere was huge debate about who would win Florida's 25 electoral college votes - and so the Presidency. There is much debate in contemporary politics about the difference in recent US policy had Gore beaten Bush.