The total eligible voter population for the 2016 presidential election was 231.5 million. But only 131.7 million voted, leaving just shy of 100 million people who didn't vote.
This lower voter turnout seems to have been a major factor in election of Donald Trump to the presidency.
According to NPR’s Domenico Montanaro, President Barack Obama’s 2012 vote count was 65.9 million votes. Hillary Clinton, in 2016, only received 59.1 million -- a drop of 6.8 million votes. By comparison, Republican nominee Mitt Romney received 60.9 million votes in 2012, and Trump received 59 million -- a drop of only a 1.9 million. “You tell me what happened,” Montanaro tweeted, reports Heavy.
A look back at the 2008 election displays an even higher disparity. In 2008, Obama captured 65.4 million votes -- over 6 million more than Clinton in 2016. Republican candidate Sen. John McCain captured 59.9 million votes -- on par with Trump’s 59.0 million in 2016.
“A quick look at turnout data: It seems 2016 was nothing special for the Rep-candidate,” D. Yanagizawa-Drott, a professor at the University of Zurich, wrote on Twitter. “It's the Dem-candidate that didn't get the vote out.”
For all of the Clinton campaign’s attempts to recreate the Obama coalition, she failed in the end to muster the same numbers Obama motivated in his two campaigns.
“Clinton underperformed Obama in key counties with heavy black population,” Montanaro added in a tweet, reports Heavy. “Was whole margin in Wisconsin and Michigan.”
Obama himself joined Clinton and her campaign to get out the vote.
"If we let this thing slip and I've got a situation where my last two months in office are preparing for a transition to Donald Trump, whose staff people have said that their primary agenda is to have him in the first couple of weeks sitting in the Oval Office and reverse every single thing that we've done," Obama said days before the election, notes CNN.