Trump Claims He is Receiving the Most Votes Ever in Republican Primaries

Trump victory speech for Pennsylvania

Donald Trump’s march to the GOP nomination picked up steam last week, with dominant primary victories in the northeast.

After the wins, several news outlets reported that the New York billionaire could break the record for most Republican primary votes in history — if Trump scores big in Indiana, New Jersey and California. Those states have yet to vote.

Trump, apparently not wanting to wait, declared he’s already achieved the voting record.

“In the history of Republican primaries, I’ve gotten the most votes in the history of the Republican party,” Trump said during his speech on Friday, April 29 at the California Republican Party Convention south of San Francisco.

Trump went on to say he’s broken the record without needing to wait for big states like California.

Reality

Donald Trump said he’s already earned the most Republican primary votes in history. However Politifact contacted Eric Ostermeier, a political science professor at the University of Minnesota and founder of the number-crunching blog Smart Politics, has taken a look at the data.

“He is on pace to break the record, but he hasn’t yet,” Ostermeier told PolitiFact California. “I’ve seen no possible configuration of numbers that show he’s already broken it.”

Ostermeier placed Trump’s primary vote total at about 10 million so far. That’s still short of the 10.8 million votes George W. Bush received in the 2000 GOP primaries.

If one counts both primaries and caucuses, Trump would still be short of Bush’s overall tally, the professor said. Bush’s total is considered closer to 12 million if both types of elections are counted, he said.

Ostermeier estimated Trump would likely achieve the primary vote record if he earns a strong win in California’s primary, where he could pick up more than a million additional primary votes. He said Trump’s large vote totals can be attributed to the relatively close match-up he’s had with Cruz late into the primary season.

Several news articles, including by the Washington Post and Politico, used primary vote totals logged by RealClearPolitics.com. Its data show Trump has yet to break the record.

Trump’s campaign did not respond to our request for comment.

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