"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
"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 RealClearPolitics.com, 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.
Published: Monday, March 10th, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.
Sources: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
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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
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Rhode Island Board of Elections, 2008 Presidential Preference Primary, Statewide summary
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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
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