The United States presidential election is held every four years on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November. The president and vice president of the United States are elected by the people through an electoral college system, in which each state is allotted a number of electors based on its population. To win the election, a candidate must receive a majority of the electoral votes.
The results of the most recent United States presidential election were announced on November 7, 2020, and the winner was Joe Biden. He received 306 electoral votes, while the incumbent, Donald Trump, received 232 electoral votes. The popular vote totals were 81,283,098 for Biden and 74,222,958 for Trump.
It is worth noting that these results are subject to legal challenges and potential disputes, and the final outcome of the election may not be determined until all such challenges and disputes have been resolved.
The president and vice president of the United States are formally elected through an electoral college. Members (“electors”) of this electoral college are chosen through the popular vote in each state, and to be elected president a candidate must receive a majority of the electoral votes. If no candidate receives a majority, the president is elected by the House of Representatives, which may choose among the three candidates with the most electoral votes.
U.S. presidential election results
|Year||Candidate||Political Party||Electoral Votes1||Popular Votes2||Popular Percentage3|
|1789||George Washington 4||no formally organized parties||695|
|1792||George Washington 4||Federalist||132|
|Charles Cotesworth Pinckney||Independent-Federalist||1|
|Charles Cotesworth Pinckney||Federalist||64|
|Charles Cotesworth Pinckney||Federalist||14|
|Charles Cotesworth Pinckney||Federalist||47|
|John Quincy Adams||Independent-Republican||1|
|1824||John Quincy Adams||no distinct party designations||847||108,740||30.9|
|William H. Crawford||41||40,856||11.2|
|John Quincy Adams||National Republican||83||508,064||43.6|
|Henry Clay||National Republican||49||530,189||37.4|
|1836||Martin Van Buren||Democratic||170||762,678||50.8|
|William Henry Harrison||Whig||73||550,816||36.6|
|Hugh L. White||Whig||26||146,107||9.7|
|1840||William Henry Harrison||Whig||234||1,275,016||52.9|
|Martin Van Buren||Democratic||60||1,129,102||46.8|
|1844||James K. Polk||Democratic||170||1,337,243||49.5|
|James Gillespie Birney||Liberty||62,103||2.3|
|Martin Van Buren||Free Soil||291,501||10.1|
|John Parker Hale||Free Soil||155,210||4.9|
|John C. Frémont||Republican||114||1,341,264||33.1|
|Millard Fillmore||American (Know-Nothing)||8||873,053||21.5|
|John C. Breckinridge||Southern Democratic||72||847,953||18.1|
|Stephen A. Douglas||Democratic||12||1,380,202||29.5|
|John Bell||Constitutional Union||39||590,901||12.6|
|George B. McClellan||Democratic||21||1,805,237||45.0|
|1868||Ulysses S. Grant||Republican||214||3,012,833||52.7|
|1872||Ulysses S. Grant||Republican||286||3,597,132||55.6|
|Horace Greeley 8||Democratic/Liberal Republican||2,834,125||43.8|
|Thomas A. Hendricks||Independent-Democratic||42|
|B. Gratz Brown||Democratic||18|
|Charles J. Jenkins||Democratic||2|
|1876||Rutherford B. Hayes||Republican||185||4,036,298||48.0|
|Samuel J. Tilden||Democratic||184||4,300,590||51.0|
|1880||James A. Garfield||Republican||214||4,454,416||48.3|
|Winfield Scott Hancock||Democratic||155||4,444,952||48.2|
|James B. Weaver||Greenback||305,997||3.3|
|James G. Blaine||Republican||182||4,851,981||48.3|
|Clinton B. Fisk||Prohibition||249,819||2.2|
|James B. Weaver||People’s (Populist)||22||1,027,329||8.5|
|William Jennings Bryan||Democratic 9||176||6,502,925||46.7|
|William Jennings Bryan||Democratic 9||155||6,358,133||45.5|
|Alton B. Parker||Democratic||140||5,077,911||37.6|
|Eugene V. Debs||Socialist||402,489||3.0|
|1908||William Howard Taft||Republican||321||7,678,908||51.6|
|William Jennings Bryan||Democratic||162||6,409,104||43.0|
|Eugene V. Debs||Socialist||420,380||2.8|
|Theodore Roosevelt||Progressive (Bull Moose)||88||4,119,207||27.4|
|William Howard Taft||Republican||8||3,483,922||23.2|
|Eugene V. Debs||Socialist||900,369||6.0|
|Charles Evans Hughes||Republican||254||8,538,221||46.1|
|Allan L. Benson||Socialist||589,924||3.2|
|1920||Warren G. Harding||Republican||404||16,147,249||60.3|
|James M. Cox||Democratic||127||9,140,864||34.1|
|Eugene V. Debs||Socialist||897,704||3.4|
|John W. Davis||Democratic||136||8,386,503||28.8|
|Robert M. La Follette||Progressive||13||4,822,856||16.6|
|Alfred E. Smith||Democratic||87||15,016,443||40.7|
|1932||Franklin D. Roosevelt||Democratic||472||22,821,857||57.3|
|1936||Franklin D. Roosevelt||Democratic||523||27,476,673||60.2|
|Alfred M. Landon||Republican||8||16,679,583||36.5|
|1940||Franklin D. Roosevelt||Democratic||449||27,243,466||54.7|
|Wendell L. Willkie||Republican||82||22,304,755||44.8|
|1944||Franklin D. Roosevelt||Democratic||432||25,602,505||53.3|
|Thomas E. Dewey||Republican||99||22,006,278||45.8|
|1948||Harry S. Truman||Democratic||303||24,105,695||49.4|
|Thomas E. Dewey||Republican||189||21,969,170||45.0|
|Strom Thurmond||States’ Rights Democratic (Dixiecrat)||39||1,169,021||2.4|
|Henry A. Wallace||Progressive||1,156,103||2.4|
|1952||Dwight D. Eisenhower||Republican||442||33,778,963||54.9|
|Adlai E. Stevenson||Democratic||89||27,314,992||44.4|
|1956||Dwight D. Eisenhower||Republican||457||35,581,003||57.4|
|Adlai E. Stevenson||Democratic||73||25,738,765||42.0|
|Walter Jones||not a candidate||1|
|1960||John F. Kennedy||Democratic||303||34,227,096||49.7|
|Richard M. Nixon||Republican||219||34,107,646||49.5|
|Harry F. Byrd||not a candidate||15|
|1964||Lyndon B. Johnson||Democratic||486||42,825,463||61.1|
|Barry M. Goldwater||Republican||52||27,146,969||38.5|
|1968||Richard M. Nixon||Republican||301||31,710,470||43.4|
|Hubert H. Humphrey||Democratic||191||30,898,055||42.7|
|George C. Wallace||American Independent||46||9,906,473||13.5|
|1972||Richard M. Nixon||Republican||520||46,740,323||60.7|
|George S. McGovern||Democratic||17||28,901,598||37.5|
|Gerald R. Ford||Republican||240||39,147,770||48.0|
|Ronald W. Reagan||not a candidate||1|
|1980||Ronald W. Reagan||Republican||489||43,642,639||50.4|
|John B. Anderson||Independent||5,719,437||6.6|
|1984||Ronald W. Reagan||Republican||525||54,455,075||58.8|
|Walter F. Mondale||Democratic||13||37,577,185||40.6|
|1988||George H.W. Bush||Republican||426||48,886,097||53.4|
|Michael S. Dukakis||Democratic||111||41,809,074||45.7|
|Lloyd Bentsen||not a candidate||1|
|2000||George W. Bush||Republican||271||50,456,002||47.9|
|2004||George W. Bush||Republican||286||62,028,285||50.7|
|John Edwards||not a candidate||1|
|Colin Powell||not a candidate||3|
|Bernie Sanders||not a candidate||1|
|John Kasich||not a candidate||1|
|Ron Paul||not a candidate||1|
|Faith Spotted Eagle||not a candidate||1|
1In elections from 1789 to 1804, each elector voted for two individuals without indicating which was to be president and which was to be vice president.
2In early elections, electors were chosen by legislatures, not by popular vote, in many states.
3Candidates winning no electoral votes and less than 2 percent of the popular vote are excluded; percentages may not add up to 100 percent because of rounding.
4Washington was unopposed for president in 1789 and 1792.
5Because the two houses of the New York legislature could not agree on electors, the state did not cast its electoral votes. North Carolina and Rhode Island had not yet ratified the Constitution.
6As both Jefferson and Burr received the same number of electoral votes, the decision was referred to the House of Representatives. The Twelfth Amendment (1804) provided that electors cast separate ballots for president and vice president.
7As no candidate received a majority of the electoral votes, the decision was made by the House of Representatives.
8Greeley died shortly after the election in November. Three electors pledged to Greeley cast their votes for him, but they were not counted; the others cast their votes for the other candidates listed.
9Includes a variety of joint tickets with People’s Party electors committed to Bryan.
10One Gore elector from Washington, D.C., abstained from casting an electoral vote. Sources: Electoral and popular vote totals based on data from the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives; the United States Office of the Federal Register; the Federal Election Commission; Congressional Quarterly’s Guide to U.S. Elections, 4th ed. (2001); and the official certified state vote totals.
Presidents’ Day United States holiday
Presidents’ Day is celebrated on the third Monday in the month of February in the United States.
The origin of Presidents’ Day lies in the 1880s when the birthday of Washington—commander of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and the first president of the United States—was first celebrated as a federal holiday. In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill, which moved a number of federal holidays to Mondays. The change was designed to schedule certain holidays so that workers had a number of long weekends throughout the year, but it has been opposed by those who believe that those holidays should be celebrated on the dates they actually commemorate. During debate on the bill, it was proposed that Washington’s Birthday be renamed Presidents’ Day to honour the birthdays of both Washington (February 22) and Lincoln (February 12); although Lincoln’s birthday was celebrated in many states, it was never an official federal holiday. Following much discussion, Congress rejected the name change. After the bill went into effect in 1971, however, Presidents’ Day became the commonly accepted name, due in part to retailers’ use of that name to promote sales and the holiday’s proximity to Lincoln’s birthday. Presidents’ Day is usually marked by public ceremonies in Washington, D.C., and throughout the country.