Top 7 biggest Republican presidential wins – what about Donald Trump?

US presidential elections are won and lost in the electoral college battleground. Here are the Republican party’s biggest wins.

7th – Dwight Eisenhower in 1952

Eisenhower was a successful World War Two general before being convinced to run in what became known as the draft Eisenhower movement. Over the post-war years, both Republicans and Democrats tried to woo him, but he ultimately ran for the Republican nomination in 1952 and won. He then faced the Democrats’ Adlai Stevenson, the Governor of Illinois, in the November contest and won a colossal landslide, securing 457 electoral college votes the 531 available at the time, meaning he won 86% of the electoral college, as well as 55% of the popular vote. He lost just nine states including Georgia, North Carolina and Mississippi.

6thHerbert Hoover in 1928

Even though this Republican only ended up serving one term, being defeated by the Great Depression and then F.D.R. in 1932, Hoover’s first and only victory in 1928 was a stunning feat. He secured 58% of the popular vote, well ahead of the 40% won by his Democratic opponent Al Smith.

He secured 83.6% of the electoral college votes (444/531), and won all but eight states available.

5th – Dwight Eisenhower in 1956

Eisenhower is generally ranked as a popular president, and the 1956 election showed that he had become more popular since the last vote. In a bruising rematch, Adlai Stevenson was defeated for a second time by Eisenhower, this time winning just seven states. Dwight secured 457/531 electoral college votes (86%), and won 57% of the popular vote.

4thRonald Reagan in 1980

Reagan re-energised the Republican party in the primaries and went on to defeat incumbent President Jimmy Carter in the 1980 US presidential election. In this spectacular victory, this actor-turned-governor-turned-presidential-candidate won all but six state states on 50.7% of the popular vote. He therefore won 489/538 electoral college votes – a whopping 90.89% of those available.

3rdAbraham Lincoln in 1864

Held near the end of the US Civil War, Abraham Lincoln secured a second presidential term at this election on a National Union platform. This Republican picked Democrat Andrew Johnson as his running in a sign of national unity during the war. Despite his intention to bring unity, Lincoln won just 55% of the popular vote, however, he 212/233 (91%) of the electoral college votes available. While this was a big victory, it is important to note the context that it was helped by the fact that a handful of the southern states had formed the confederate states at this point so did not contest the election.

2ndRichard Nixon in 1972

Nixon is now almost always synonymous with the Watergate scandal that rocked the American political establishment during the 1970s so it is easy to forget that Nixon secured one of America’s greatest ever presidential wins.

Nixon beat Hubert Humphrey in 1968 with just 43.4% of the popular vote, but came back four years later to secure a phenomenal victory against left-wing George McGovern. Nixon won 60.7% of the popular vote and all states bar Massachusetts (and D.C.). This meant that he won 520/538 electoral college votes – almost 97% of those available.

Four years later, his replacement Gerald Ford lost to Democrat Jimmy Carter.

The biggest Republican presidential landslide ever: Ronald Reagan in 1984

Four years after this Republican’s first victory in 1984, Reagan came out fighting to secure a second term. His hard-fought campaign paid-off, with 525 out of 538 electoral college votes (97.58% of those available) backing his low-tax, trickle-down economics platform.

Ronald Reagan won every state bar Minnesota (and reliably Democratic-voting D.C) to make his place in the history books. Only one presidential candidate has ever won a higher share of the electoral college vote than Reagan, and that was Franklin Roosevelt in 1936.

Where does Donald Trump fit in?

As for Donald Trump's 2016 victory, his was the 20th biggest victory in terms of electoral college vote share. America's incumbent president lost the popular vote but secured 304/538 electoral college votes (56.5% available) to become the country's 45th president.

All figures are based off those included in this list of presidential election victories.

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