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*-- Hillary Clinton tops Donald Trump by nearly 3M in final popular vote --*

WASHINGTON - Hillary Clinton received nearly 3 million more votes than Donald Trump in the final popular vote count for the 2016 presidential election, analysts said.

To be precise, the difference was 2,864,974 votes, according to the independent, non-partisan Cook Political Report. The Democratic nominee received 65,844,610 votes (48.2 percent), compared to Donald Trump's 62,979,636 (46.1 percent). The other candidates received 7,804,213 (5.7 percent).

The total number of votes cast was 136,628,459 compared with 129,075,630 in 2012 when President Barack Obama won by 3.9 percentage points compared with Clinton's 2.1 percentage points.

In the final UPI/CVoter daily presidential tracking poll released one day before the Nov. 8 election, Clinton had a 2.58 percentage point lead.

But what counts is the Electoral College. On Monday, Trump received 304 votes compared with 227 for Clinton with 270 needed to win the presidency. Two Republicans and five Democratic selectors defected.

Four other presidents have won the presidency without capturing the popular vote: George W. Bush, John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes and Benjamin Harrison.

But in a recent survey by Qualtrics, 52 percent of the Republicans said they thought Trump won the popular vote. In all, 29 percent of the 1,011 polled thought the Republican had the most votes.

In the raw vote, Trump won with 48.3 percent in the 13 swing states compared with 46.6 percent for Trump. The Republican captured eight of the swing states.

The closest vote was in Michigan, won by Trump by 0.2 percentage points or 10,704 votes among 4,799,284 cast. The other close votes won by Trump were in Wisconsin by 0.8 percentages or 22,728 votes and in Pennsylvania by 0.7 percent or 44,292 votes. If Clinton had won those states, she would have won the presidency.

Trump, in two Twitter posts Wednesday, said, "Campaigning to win the Electoral College is much more difficult & sophisticated than the popular vote. Hillary focused on the wrong states! I would have done even better in the election, if that is possible, if the winner was based on popular vote -- but would campaign differently."

Clinton amassed huge leads in two big states -- 30.1 percentage points in California (55 Electoral College votes) and 22.5 percentage points in New York (29 Electoral College votes).

Trump won the two other states with massive Electoral College votes -- Texas by 9 percentage points with 38 Electoral College and Florida by 1.2 percentage points with 29.


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