In the 2018 congressional elections, the winning candidate’s margin of victory in 102 races was less than 10%. It was 5% or less in 50 races.
Twelve of those close 2018 midterm elections were for the U.S. Senate, while 90 were elections for the House of Representatives.
The Republican candidate won 53 of these elections, while the Democratic candidate won 49.
A more recent example is the final results after a recount in the Republican primary runoff for Texas’ 23rd Congressional District. Tony Gonzales defeated Raul Reyes Jr. by a margin of 39 votes out of more than 24,000 cast. The final vote tally was 12,346 to 12,339 votes.
The runoff was held on July 14. On July 31, the Republican Party of Texas certified Gonzales as the winner of the primary, with unofficial vote totals showing him leading by 45 votes. Reyes filed a request for a recount on Aug. 3 and abandoned the recount on Aug. 21.
Gonzales will face Gina Ortiz Jones (D) and two others in the Nov. 3 general election.
In the 2016 presidential election, an estimated 22 million citizens took part in early voting. Mainstream media exit polls continued to predict Hillary Clinton as the likely winner over Donald J. Trump. In retrospect, some analysts decided current media polling is not a reliable indicator.
Others theorized media bias was so out of hand, it prompted many undecided voters to show up on election day.
Ultimately it is the electoral votes that matter, with voting critical to local (state) outcomes deciding those electorial delegates.
In 1876, Rutherford B. Hayes defeated Samuel J. Tilden. It was only after four states had their electoral votes disputed, and Congress deferred to the Electoral Commission that Hayes was named president with a 185 to 184 result. Tilden actually won the popular vote, 4,288,191 to Hayes’s 4,033,497.
It was just 20 years ago that in a 271 to 266 electoral decision, George W. Bush became president. Al Gore won the popular, with 50,992,335 votes to 50,455,156 over Bush. The nation watched intensely at the televised recount in Florida for its 25 electoral votes. The state’s high court weighed in, followed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Eventually Gore was forced to concede to Bush, who would go on to serve two terms as president.
All legitimate votes matter.