Donald Trump passes Romney’s popular vote total, likely to break GOP record
With his five blowout wins Tuesday night, Donald Trump has passed Mitt Romney’s popular vote total from four years ago and is on a trajectory that could land him more Republican votes than any presidential candidate in modern history – by a lot.
Trump surged to more than 10 million votes, according to totals that include Tuesday’s preliminary results across the Northeast. That’s already about 250,000 more than Romney earned in the entire 2012 primary season and 153,000 more than John McCain earned in 2008.
More significantly, Trump is positioned to easily pass the modern record-holder, George W. Bush, who collected 10.8 million votes in 2000.
In an email to POLITICO, University of Minnesota political science professor (and Smart Politics blogger) Eric Ostermeier noted that only eight candidates have won more than 7.5 million Republican primary votes since the advent of the modern primary and caucus system. Ronald Reagan won about 7.7 million votes in 1980, the fewest other than George W. Bush’s 7.6 million in 2004, when he didn’t face a primary challenge.
George H. W. Bush clocked in at 8.2 million votes in 1988 and 9.2 million in 1992, while Bob Dole earned 8.4 million in 1996.