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Which US President Won the Most Number of Electoral Votes?

If you do not live in the United States, the system of voting may confuse you. In this article we will explain the details on what happens in the US election, and how Presidents are chosen.

In the 1984 Presidential election Ronald Reagan won in 49 out of the 50 states, and garnered a total of 525 electoral votes. Thus making him the president who had the most number of electoral votes in the entire history of the United States.

How Does the US Election System Work?

Being a country that banks on democracy, you’d like to think that the Presidential candidate is elected directly by the citizens of the United States. Sadly, this isn’t the case.

Candidates are chosen by electors though the process of Electoral College. This process is based on the US Constitution that was made to be a compromise between a vote issued in Congress and a popular vote by the citizens. (Source: USA Gov)

How Does the Electoral College Work?

The process of the Electoral College starts with the selection of the electors. There are a total of 538 electors, and a majority vote of 270 is required in order for a candidate to be declared as president. (Source: USA Gov)

How to Qualify as an Elector?

To be qualified as an elector, the US Constitution states that no Senator or Representative or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States of America shall be appointed as an elector. This provision has been set in place to avoid the kerfuffle back in the Civil War era. The selection of the electors go through a two-part process before a decision is made. (Source: USA Gov)

If the Electors Vote for President, Why Should You Vote in the General Election?

Voting in the general election is still important. During the general election, your vote helps determine who your State elector shall be. When you cast your vote for the Presidential candidate, you aren’t actually voting for the President. Rather, you are telling your state which candidate you support. The state in turn, uses the data from the general election to appoint the electors. (Source: US Gov)

How Did Reagan Win in the 1984 Elections?

Ronald Reagan won a second term as the President of the United States in November 6, 1984. He was able to defeat Walter Mondale in 49 out of the 50 states. He also won the popular vote by 59 percent. Making his victory a landslide win, quite a historical one at that. (Source: NY Times)

Reagan ran unopposed in the Republican Party. Whereas Jesse Jackson, an African American preacher announced his candidacy for the Democratic Party in 1983.

Jackson was contested by incumbent senators and former governors which led to Walter Mondale representing the Democratic Party instead. Mondale’s downfall started when he stated that he would raise taxes. The Democrats waited for Reagan to make a mistake, but he never did. More controversy was spilled which didn’t really paint a good picture for Mondale and his running mate Geraldine Ferraro. (Source: Britannica)

9 thoughts on “Which US President Won the Most Number of Electoral Votes?”

  1. Sirhc978

    Related fun facts:

    FDR is in second with 523 electoral votes, but there were only 531 total votes to win. There were 538 total for Reagan to win.

    Nixon is in 3rd place with 520 votes

  2. suzukigun4life

    Mondale’s campaign was such a disaster. He openly called for raising taxes on millions of voters openly during the election. He alienated a lot of party members by doing so. He spent over $3 million on television advertising in California, where he had no chance of winning.

  3. ksiyoto

    Interesting note: After the first debate, there were some questions voiced about whether or not Reagan was going senile – even the Wall Street Journal talked about it. In the second debate, there was this moment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoPu1UIBkBc

    Mondale later remarked that at that moment, he knew Reagan was going to win.

  4. cuidado-jones

    Ronald Reagan? The ACTOR?!

  5. dkl415

    Washington won unanimous victories in the electoral college in both 1788 and 1792. Fewer total votes since there were fewer states, but a clean sweep.

  6. BeepBlipBlapBloop

    And the one state he lost, he lost by less than four thousand votes. It was very nearly a clean sweep.

  7. indigo-a-a

    Mondale only won Minnesota, his home state.

  8. Aonberg

    Is something like this possible ever again? I highly doubt it.

  9. bserum

    Seeing this statistic in a vaccuum, one could be forgiven for thinking that 98% of America supported Reagan in 1984.

    And while he totally dominated within America’s electoral college system, looking a little deeper suggests a nation as divided as it has ever been…

    58% of the popular vote went to Reagan

    31% of eligible voters voted for Reagan (53.3% voter turnout)

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