Plurality is the number of votes that entitled a candidate to claim victory. If there are two candidates, the plurality is the majority or greater than 50% of the votes. If there are three or more candidates, plurality is the highest number of votes received by a candidate.
During a US presidential election, there are two types of votes. The first is the popular vote. The second is the Electoral College vote.
In the popular vote, there are typically more than two candidates running for president on state ballots, including Republican, Democrat, and often Libertarian and Green Party candidates. In the popular vote, plurality is the highest vote count, not necessarily a majority. Mr. Trump’s plurality was a majority in 23 states. Mrs. Clinton’s plurality was a majority in 13 states. Overall, Mrs. Clinton won a plurality with voters, topping Mr. Trump’s count by over 2.2 million votes.
The presidential election, however, is not decided by popular vote, but by the Electoral College. The plurality for a presidential election victory must be a majority. There are 538 available electoral votes. 270 votes (one vote greater than 50%) are required for victory. Mr. Trump received 306 Electoral College votes.
From Reuters: “Overall, a plurality of Americans believe(s) Trump will be helpful for businesses and corporations.”
From NY Times: “…she (Mrs. Clinton) won a majority of voters over all, harvesting the country’s growing and densely packed big cities and a plurality of the suburbs.”
If you are a winner, enjoy the plurality.