Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, collecting 2.8 million more votes than Donald Trump. Her margin of victory was more than five times larger than Al Gore’s, the last candidate to win the popular vote and lose the Electoral College.
Trump, however, has sought to cast doubt on Clinton’s popular vote win, claiming millions of Clinton votes were “illegal.”
In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016
Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California – so why isn't the media reporting on this? Serious bias – big problem!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2016
There is absolutely no evidence supporting Trump’s claim. The source of that claim is the conspiracy site InfoWars, which also promotes the theory that the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre were child actors.
Nevertheless, Trump’s argument is taking hold. In a recent poll, 52% of Republicans believe that Trump won the popular vote. The online poll surveyed more than 1,000 people from December 6–12.
Trump’s misinformation campaign is aided by numerous false reports that have been distributed widely on Facebook. This article by “Right Wing News” that falsely alleges that nearly 7 million votes for Hillary Clinton were illegal has over 30,000 interactions on Facebook.
Another false report from “Gateway Pundit” received nearly 25,000 Facebook engagements.
Facebook has faced criticism for facilitating the spread of “fake news” prior to the election. It’s a problem that appears to be ongoing.