Trump only lost winning the electoral college by 70,000 votes in key states: analysis
President Donald Trump delivers an update on the COVID-19 vaccine development on Nov. 13, 2020, in the Rose Garden of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

On Tuesday, as New York began recording more results from New York City, President Donald Trump's share of the U.S. vote dropped below 47 percent — a barrier he also failed to crack in 2016, although in that election he had stronger third-party candidates that may well have siphoned votes from him.


Indeed, President-elect Joe Biden is on track to win the highest percent of eligible voters in half a century, and the highest portion of the total vote since Franklin Roosevelt's first win in 1932.

And yet, as NBC News reporter Sahil Kapur noted, the electoral college was much closer than the popular vote. Biden carried the "tipping points" — the closest states and districts that would have given Trump the election had they gone the other way — by a grand total of 70,000 votes.

The upshot is that although Biden's victory was overwhelming, the electoral college was heavily tilted towards Republicans — and it would have taken only a trivial shift in the the nationwide popular vote for Trump to have won a second term.