Former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has expressed her gratitude to her supporters in an email forwarded during the holiday season. In her message, she pointedly referred to her popular vote total, a metric where she defeated President-elect Donald Trump by a margin of 2 percent.
On Dec. 26, Clinton sent a message to her subscribed supporters via email, thanking them for their votes toward her ultimately unsuccessful presidential campaign, ABC News reports.
"Before this year ends, I want to thank you again for your support of our campaign," Clinton wrote. "While we didn't achieve the outcome we sought, I'm proud of the vision and values we fought for and the nearly 66 million people who voted for them."
Clinton added that it is her and her supporters' "responsibility to keep doing our part to build a better, stronger, and fairer future for our country and the world ... I wish you and your family health, happiness, and continued strength for the New Year and the work ahead."
In addition to the email message, the former secretary of state took to social media to comment on the holiday season.
"The holidays are a time to be thankful for our blessings," Clinton tweeted out. "Let's rejoice in this season & look forward with renewed hope & determination."
Clinton's email message had referenced her vote total, which certified final election results have found to be 65,844,954, according to CNN.
Overall, Clinton won roughly 2.9 million more raw votes than Trump, capturing a 2.1 percent edge in the popular vote. U.S. presidential elections are not decided by the popular vote but by the Electoral College, which Trump captured handily with narrow victories in crucial battleground states.
Of the presidential candidates who have lost the general election, Clinton has the third highest ranking margin of the popular vote in U.S. history. Only Andrew Jackson in 1824 and Samuel Tilden in 1876 scored a higher percentage of the popular vote while losing out on the White House.
Trump has repeatedly blasted Clinton's edge in the popular vote, suggesting he would have campaigned and won on that metric if it had decided the election or outright dismissing the legitimacy of millions of votes.
"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," Trump tweeted on Nov. 27.
No one has yet produced evidence of widespread voter fraud to back up the president-elect's assertion.
While Clinton had won more raw votes in a contest that she ultimately lost, the majority of Republicans still believe their candidate won more votes. On Dec. 18, a national online survey conducted by Qualtrics found that an overall 52 percent of self-identifying Republicans believed that Trump had won the popular vote while only 24 percent of Independents and 7 percent of Democrats agreed, The Washington Post reports.
While Clinton's overall haul in the vote will be a heated source of discussion going forward, Trump's victory in the Electoral College means it still amounts to a loss.