The Truth-O-Meter Says:

"We've won twice as many states. We've won a greater share of the popular vote."

Barack Obama on Wednesday, March 5th, 2008 in an interview on the Today Show.

A slight lead in popular vote

After losing the Texas and Ohio primaries March 4, 2008, Sen. Barack Obama tried to downplay the losses by emphasizing that he leads Sen. Hillary Clinton in delegates and the popular vote.

"The bottom line is, we've won twice as many states. We've won a greater share of the popular vote," he said.

The first part is easy to assess. At the point when he made this comment, Obama had won primaries or caucuses in 25 states (including the District of Columbia), while Clinton had won 14 states (not counting Florida and Michigan). Obama's math is off, but he's in the ballpark. Still, he would have been more accurate if he said he had won nearly twice as many states.

The second part is a little trickier because some states that held caucuses — Iowa, Nevada, Washington and Maine — have not released popular vote totals. They've only released the percentage of the vote and the number of delegates won.

Also, the election results from Florida and Michigan are in limbo because the Democratic National Committee has not recognized the results from those states because they defied the DNC schedule. It's further complicated by the fact that Obama was not on the ballot in Michigan.

Adding up vote totals from the other contests, PolitiFact finds Obama to be ahead (as of March 7, 2008) by 13,002,527 to 12,413,052 if Michigan and Florida are not counted. He's also ahead by 13,578,741 to 13,284,038 if Florida is included but Michigan is not.

The only scenario in which Clinton is ahead is if Michigan is also included. She has 13,612,347 to Obama's 13,578,741.

We have to give thanks to, which tracks popular vote totals and provides links to results on state Web sites. We went to those individual sites and tallied the numbers on a spreadsheet.

Keep in mind, some states are still adding up votes and these numbers will change. Also, we completed these calculations before the March 8, 2008, Wyoming caucus, so those results are not included.

Back to Obama's claim: We find he has it mostly right. On the first part, he'd be better off hedging his claim on winning twice as many states as Clinton. But on the matter of popular vote, Obama is accurate. Though, to be fail-safe, he should have specified that he was excluding Michigan. Overall, we find his claim to be Mostly True.

About this statement:

Published: Monday, March 10th, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.

Subjects: Elections


Real Clear Politics, 2008 Democratic Popular Vote

Alabama Secretary of State, Presidential preference primary, unofficial results, 67 of 67 counties reporting

Alaska Democratic Party, Obama wins 75% of Alaska delegates

Arizona Secretary of State, 2008 Presidential preference election, unofficial results

Arkansas Secretary of State, 2008 Presidential preferential primary election, statewide results

California Secretary of State, President Democratic, statewide results

Colorado Democratic Party, Caucus results, Feb. 5, 2008

Connecticut Secretary of State, Connectict Democratic Presidential Primary, Feb. 5, 2008

State of Delaware, Presidential Primary Election, official results

District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics, DC Presidential preference primary, certified election results

Georgia Secretary of State, Georgia Election Results, Feb. 5, 2008

New York Times, Hawaii caucus results

Idaho State Democratic Party, Final caucus results, Feb. 5, 2008

Illinois State Board of Elections, Vote totals, general primary, president, Feb. 5, 2008

New York Times, Kansas caucus results

Louisiana Secretary of State, Official election results, Feb. 9, 2008

Maryland State Board of Elections, Unofficial 2008 Primary Election results for President of the United States

New York Times, Massachusetts Primary Results

Minnesota Secretary of State, Unofficial results presidential preference ballot

Missouri Secretary of State, Presidential Preference Primary, Feb. 5, 2008

Nebraska Democratic Party, 2008 Presidential Caucus Results

New Hampshire Secretary of State, Presidential Primary Election, Jan. 8, 2008

State of New Jersey, February 2008 primary election

Democratic Party of New Mexico, Final Results of 2008 Democratic Caucus

New York state, Presidential primary, Feb. 5, 2008, North Dakota Results: Democratic caucuses

Ohio Secretary of State, Statewide Presidential Results for Congressional Districts

Oklahoma State Election Board, Presidential Preferential Primary Election, summary results

Rhode Island Board of Elections, 2008 Presidential Preference Primary, Statewide summary

State of South Carolina, South Carolina Official Results, Democratic Presidential Preference Primary, Jan. 26, 2008

State of Tennessee, Democratic Primary Presidential Preference, unofficial results

Texas Secretary of State, 2008 Democratic Party Primary Election, unofficial results

State of Utah, President Of The US (D) , Election results

New York Times, Vermont primary results

Virginia State Board of Elections, 2008 February Democratic Presidential Primary Unofficial Results

Wisconsin State Election Board, Results of President Primary Election, Feb. 19, 2008

Democrats Abroad, Global presidential primary, results report

Written by: Bill Adair
Researched by: Bill Adair
Edited by: Amy Hollyfield

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