Biden Becomes First Candidate In US Presidential History To Net 80 Million Votes

Even if we didn't have constant reminders in the weeks since the results have come in, it would still be hard to forget how tumultuous the 2020 presidential election has been to live through.

Although the reality of the pandemic added its own weight of anxiety to the proceedings, fears of violence and constitutional concerns in the divisive run-up to the final votes and the counting that followed made it clear that many Americans considered this the most important election in their lifetimes.

And that urgent perception is likely the major reason why this election shattered multiple records for voter participation.

As of November 24, Joe Biden has broken the record for the most votes received by a presidential candidate.

As Newsweek reported, this is due to the fact that a staggering 80 million people cast their votes for him.

And the way these votes were spread out also puts him on track to win 306 electoral college votes.

Oddly enough, Biden was present for a previous instance when this record was set because it used to belong to his former running mate, Barack Obama.

As Forbes reported, this record-setting run saw Obama receive 69.4 million votes in the 2008 election.

In addition to the raw numbers Biden achieved, it's worth noting that his run also brought him 51% of the popular vote.

That may not sound like such a large percentage but Forbes reported that a presidential challenger hasn't secured over 50% of the popular vote while running against an incumbent president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover in 1932.

But Biden wasn't the only person to beat Obama's record of votes received this year.

As Newsweek reported, President Donald Trump has received over 74 million votes by the time of this writing, which has set records for both the most votes attained by a losing candidate and the most votes gained by a sitting president.

Trump's political career has also resulted in a historically significant landmark with an even farther-flung history.

As Forbes reported, Trump has now become the first president to lose the popular vote in back-to-back election cycles since Benjamin Harrison set that record in 1892.

So how did both Biden and Trump receive such a staggering number of votes at once?

According to Newsweek, it appears we can put that down to an unusually engaged electorate as 66.5% of eligible voters cast their ballots in 2020.

Although it's unclear when voter turnout was last that high, this is nonetheless a percentage we haven't seen in decades.

No wonder it was so nail-biting to experience.

h/t: Newsweek, Forbes