Electoral College Map: Obama May Lose the Popular Vote, But Will Still Win the Presidency

Even before Hurricane Sandy swept the East Coast, it was being reported that polls were close enough to show Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney winning the popular vote, but President Barack Obama winning the electoral college ... and therefore Obama being re-elected for a second term. 

Now with devastating effects of Sandy being felt in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, it could cost President Obama over 300,000 votes. And yet, he would still capture the Electoral College votes in those states (a total of 50 votes). 

If the election is as close as polls are reporting, coupled with the lack of voter turnout and other complications due to Sandy, Romney could see a clear victory in the popular vote and never become president. 

The effects of a popular vote loss for Barack Obama would make for a very difficult second term: The public would lack confidence in a non-popularly elected incumbent, likely costing the president negotiating power in a Republican-majority House of Representatives. 

This is obviously not the first time that an elected president did not win the popular vote. Other presidents in American history that have lost the popular vote but won the job are John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, and, of course, George W. Bush. 

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Alexandra Zimmerman

Alexandra works as a Program Coordinator on women's business leadership at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. She previously worked at the Wilson Center, a leading non-partisan think tank in Washington, DC and at the Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Bangladesh, where she was taught courses entitled "20th Century Political History of the Middle East" and "Religion and Identity." She received an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in Religion concentrating in Islamic studies from the George Washington University. She loves to cook and travel and is a huge fan of the NY Giants and NY Mets.

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