Former Vice President Joe Biden boasted on Wednesday that although the 2020 White House contest remains too close to call, his team is confident of victory for a bevy of reasons, including the fact that Democrats appear poised to win the popular vote.
Speaking at a press conference in Wilmington, Delaware, with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) by his side, Biden told those in attendance that it was likely he had secured the “270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.” Running through the projection of states the Democrat ticket was likely to carry, including Wisconsin and Michigan, and those where it was hopeful of victory – Pennsylvania and Arizona – the former vice president added that while time would make those results, one factor was already evident.
“Of special significance, to me, is that we’ve won the majority of the American people,” Biden said. “And every indication is that majority will grow.” He went on:
We have a popular vote lead of nearly three million votes and every indication is that will grow as well. Indeed, Senator Harris and I are on track to win more votes than any ticket in the history of this country that ever won the presidency or vice presidency. Over 70 million votes.
Despite Biden’s boasts of winning a “majority” of registered voters, it does not necessarily mean the former vice president will achieve an outright victory. In at least five prior presidential elections, the winner of the popular vote did not end up ascending to the White House because they failed to put together a 270 majority in the Electoral College. This was infamously the case in 2016, where Trump lost the popular vote to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by nearly three million ballots, but secured the presidency by 304 to 227 electoral votes.
Given the potential for such results, some Democrats, including Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), have expressed an openness to scrapping the Electoral College in favor of just the popular vote.
“I mean, there’s no question that the popular vote has been diminished in terms of making the final decision about who’s the president of the United States and we need to deal with that,” Harris said during an appearance on late-nite television in March 2019.