2000 All Over Again? Popular Vote Still Up in the Air

As the remaining ballots cast in Tuesday's presidential election are counted Wednesday, there's the possibility Hillary Clinton will win the popular vote after having lost the electoral college to Donald Trump.

As of 10:12 a.m. Wednesday, Clinton held a lead of more than 170,000 votes nationally, NBC News reported. She conceded the race, however, early Wednesday morning after Trump took Wisconsin, putting the electoral college out of her reach. 

If Clinton wins the popular vote after losing the electoral college, it would be the second time in 16 years a Democratic nominee has done so. 

In 2000, Al Gore lost the electoral college to George W. Bush, but won the popular vote by more than 500,000 votes.

Three other nominees have taken the presidency without winning the national vote, all in the 19th century.

In 1888, Benjamin Harrison defeated Grover Cleveland without carrying the popular vote. Just 11 years prior, Rutherford B. Hayes defeated Samuel J. Tilden by one electoral vote, but lost the popular vote, according to factcheck.org

And in the 1824 election, John Quincy Adams defeated Andrew Jackson without winning the electoral college or the popular vote. Jackson carried a majority of the popular vote in the election, but neither he nor Adams won a majority of electoral votes. 

The election was sent to the House of Representatives, which chose Adams as president. 

The electoral college was established in the Constitution. In the system, electors appointed by the winning party cast votes for their nominee based on the popular vote in the state. Each elector is granted one vote for president and one vote for vice president. 

Most states require all electoral votes go to the winner of the popular vote, except for Maine and Nebraska, which use a "district system." 

In the district system, two electors vote based on the popular vote, and another elector casts a ballot based on each congressional district's popular vote. 

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