In the middle of an interview with reporters from Reuters last week, President Trump bestowed upon them an unusual souvenir: maps of the results of the 2016 election, apparently just in case they hadn’t yet seen them.
“Here, you can take that, that’s the final map of the numbers,” Trump said as he passed the maps out. “It’s pretty good, right? The red is obviously us.” This was about 170 days after the election had ended, nearly half a year, and it’s extremely safe to assume that the reporters Reuters sent to interview the president were familiar with the manner in which he’d won the position. Yet, there’s Trump. “Pretty good, right?”
It’s hard to know what to make of that. It’s likely that Trump sees his electoral win as validation of the work that he’s done in office, rebutting drooping poll numbers with the ultimate politico rejoinder: The only poll that matters is on Election Day.
What’s also remarkable is that very few people who’ve paid even passing attention to the Trump phenomenon would be surprised to learn that, nearly 100 days into his presidency, he’s still passing out electoral maps. Why? Because he talks about the election results constantly. He tweets about the results; he mentions them during speeches; he mentions them in interviews. According to the site Factba.se, which tracks comments by Trump over the length of his life in the public eye, Trump has uttered the number “306” dozens of times in 2017 — a reference to the number of electoral votes he was assigned (but actually two more than the votes he received, because electors bailed).
Using Factba.se and the always-useful Trump Twitter Archive, we identified every day on which Trump mentioned the election results in some way. Maybe it was the electoral vote tally. Maybe it was disparaging the campaign run by the Democrats and Hillary Clinton. The only thing we left out was mentions to Trump’s campaign promises or, generally, the time period since the election took place.
The result? On 68 of the 176 days since Nov. 8, 2016, Trump has mentioned his campaign win in some way. That’s 38.6 percent of the days. The longest stretch he went without mentioning them was in mid-March. With the 100-day mark of his presidency arriving at the end of April, he mentioned the election results in interviews and on Twitter for seven straight days — a streak that will extend to eight if he mentions them today.
In the interest of showing our work, the mentions are below. It’s extremely possible that we’ve missed examples. If you find one, let us know. Bear in mind, too, that this isn’t a count of how many times he mentioned the election, just how many days the subject was addressed by him. Particularly on days that he was holding his post-campaign campaign rallies, the topic was often raised.
Again, the question is why. Why does the subject hold such sway over Trump? To paraphrase Trump, it appears that he, at least, is never getting tired of winning.
One footnote. On at least two occasions, Trump has declared that the “election is over.” The first was during his speech in the early morning hours of Nov. 9. The second was on Twitter.
Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday. The election is over!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 16, 2017
Six minutes earlier, he tweeted this:
I did what was an almost an impossible thing to do for a Republican-easily won the Electoral College! Now Tax Returns are brought up again?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 16, 2017
Nov. 9. Speech/comments.
“I can only say that while the campaign is over, our work on this movement is now really just beginning.”
Nov. 10. Twitter.
“Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair! “
Nov. 13. Interview.
“You and a few people that asked that question. Obviously, the public didn’t care because I won.the election very easily. So they don’t care. I never thought they did care.”
Nov. 15. Twitter.
“If the election were based on total popular vote I would have campaigned in N.Y. Florida and California and won even bigger and more easily”
Nov. 18. Speech/comments.
“I said, ‘What about me? I won the election.’”
Nov. 23. Interview.
“I think that’s the genius of the Electoral College. I was never a fan of the Electoral College until now.”
Nov. 26. Twitter.
“The Democrats, when they incorrectly thought they were going to win, asked that the election night tabulation be accepted. Not so anymore!”
Nov. 27. Twitter.
” It would have been much easier for me to win the so-called popular vote than the Electoral College in that I would only campaign in 3 or 4-”
Nov. 28. Twitter.
“.@CNN is so embarrassed by their total (100%) support of Hillary Clinton, and yet her loss in a landslide, that they don’t know what to do.”
Nov. 29. Twitter.
” I thought that @CNN would get better after they failed so badly in their support of Hillary Clinton however, since election, they are worse! “
Dec. 9. Speech/comments.
“Until the election came and then, boy did we blast by that 270, right? 306. 306.”
Dec. 12. Twitter.
“Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!”
Dec. 18. Twitter.
“If my many supporters acted and threatened people like those who lost the election are doing, they would be scorned & called terrible names! “
Dec. 19. Twitter.
“We did it! Thank you to all of my great supporters, we just officially won the election (despite all of the distorted and inaccurate media). “
Dec. 20. Twitter.
“Bill Clinton stated that I called him after the election. Wrong, he called me (with a very nice congratulations). He “doesn’t know much””
Dec. 21. Twitter.
“Campaigning to win the Electoral College is much more difficult & sophisticated than the popular vote. Hillary focused on the wrong states!”
Dec. 27. Twitter.
” President Obama campaigned hard (and personally) in the very important swing states, and lost.The voters wanted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
Jan. 2. Twitter.
“Various media outlets and pundits say that I thought I was going to lose the election. Wrong, it all came together in the last week and…..”
Jan. 7. Twitter.
“Intelligence stated very strongly there was absolutely no evidence that hacking affected the election results. Voting machines not touched!”
Jan. 11. Twitter.
“I win an election easily, a great “movement” is verified, and crooked opponents try to belittle our victory with FAKE NEWS. A sorry state!”
Jan. 13. Twitter.
“have been allowed to run — guilty as hell. They were VERY nice to her. She lost because she campaigned in the wrong states — no enthusiasm!”
Jan. 14. Twitter.
“mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk — no action or results. Sad!”
Jan. 16. Interview.
“I had the biggest crowds anybody’s ever had for a presidential election and that’s tough and when I was fighting with Jeb Bush, ya know “low energy” Jeb, he would say, ‘Donald Trump is not a conservative’, so I’d go in front of 25,000 people and, like in Michigan, where there’s massive — 32,000 people — and I’m screaming, ‘Jeb Bush says I’m not a conservative’, they’re screaming, ‘Who cares?’”
Jan. 17. Twitter.
“The same people who did the phony election polls, and were so wrong, are now doing approval rating polls. They are rigged just like before. “
Jan. 19. Speech/comments.
“we all knew that last month of the campaign. I think a lot of us knew the first week of the campaign, but that last month of the campaign we knew that something special was happening”
Jan. 21. Speech/comments.
“We were unbelievably successful in the election with getting the vote of the military. And probably almost everybody in this room voted for me, but I will not ask you to raise your hands if you did.”
Jan. 22. Twitter.
“Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn’t these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly.”
Jan. 25. Interview.
“I would’ve won the popular vote if I was campaigning for the popular vote. I would’ve gone to California, where I didn’t go at all. I would’ve gone to New York, where I didn’t campaign at all.”
Jan. 26. Interview.
“So we have George Washington, Honest Abe Lincoln, we have Andrew Jackson who they say was the most like my campaign because his was a vicious campaign.”
Jan. 28. Twitter.
“The failing @nytimes has been wrong about me from the very beginning. Said I would lose the primaries, then the general election. FAKE NEWS!”
Feb. 4. Twitter.
“After being forced to apologize for its bad and inaccurate coverage of me after winning the election, the FAKE NEWS @nytimes is still lost!”
Feb. 5. Interview.
“Now, we had a rough campaign. He was fighting better for Hillary than she did. He was vicious during the campaign toward me, and I was vicious toward him. We said horrible things about each other. And then we hopped into the car and we drive down Pennsylvania Avenue together.”
Feb. 6. Twitter.
“The failing @nytimes was forced to apologize to its subscribers for the poor reporting it did on my election win. Now they are worse!”
Feb. 13. Speech/comments.
“I’m just doing what I said I would do when we won by a very, very large Electoral College vote.”
Feb. 15. Twitter.
“This Russian connection non-sense is merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign.”
Feb. 16. Twitter.
“The Democrats had to come up with a story as to why they lost the election, and so badly (306), so they made up a story — RUSSIA. Fake news!”
Feb. 17. Speech/comments.
“We are going to rebuild this country and ensure that every forgotten community has the bright future it deserves. And by the way, those communities are forgotten no longer. The election took care of that. “
Feb. 18. Speech/comments.
“They stood up for us in this last election. We got numbers that nobody believed were possible from law enforcement and from military. Basically people they wear uniforms like us. Isn’t that nice.”
Feb. 24. Speech/comments.
“They’re largely — many of them are the side that lost, you know they lost the election. It’s like, how many elections do we have to have? They lost the election.”
Feb. 26. Twitter.
“Russia talk is FAKE NEWS put out by the Dems, and played up by the media, in order to mask the big election defeat and the illegal leaks!”
Feb. 27. Interview.
“The fact is, I did pretty well, much better than past people in the Republican Party in the recent electionhaving to do with Hispanics. Having to do with African-Americans. I did pretty well or I wouldn’t be sitting here.”
Mar. 2. Twitter.
“…to win. The Democrats are overplaying their hand. They lost the election, and now they have lost their grip on reality. The real story..”
Mar. 4. Twitter.
“How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”
Mar. 15. Speech/comments.
“Today, I will be visiting the home of Andrew Jackson on the 250th anniversary of his birth. And they say my election was most similar to his — 1828. That’s a long time ago. Usually they go back like to this one, or that one, 12 years ago, 16. I mean, 1828, that’s a long way. “
Mar. 17. Speech/comments.
“I think we have a very unified party. I think actually more unified than even the election. You see when they talk about me, I seem to be very popular, at least this week within the party.”
Mar. 20. Twitter.
“The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign. Big advantage in Electoral College & lost! “
Mar. 21. Speech/comments.
“We have so much potential. I see it now even more than I saw it in this great campaign, which turned out to be a movement, a movement like the world has never seen before actually”
Mar. 22. Interview.
“Remember they said there was no way to get to 270? Well I ended up at 306. I had election night, 306. But there was no way to get to, in fact I went to Maine four times, four times I went to Maine, because I had to get one vote, because there was no way to get to 270, but I ended up getting to 306.”
Mar. 24. Speech/comments.
“Charter’s announcement follows a number of American businesses — from Exxon to Intel to Lockheed to Boeing to many others — that have recently announced billions of dollars in investment and thousands of jobs coming into the United States following my election victory.”
Mar. 28. Speech/comments.
“I want to thank your entire leadership team, including your national president, Chuck Canterbury. I also want to thank you for your support during the election. I guess you probably know, the numbers were extremely lopsided, right? I’m just trying to figure out who were the few people that voted the other way. “
Mar. 29. Twitter.
“Remember when the failing @nytimes apologized to its subscribers, right after the election, because their coverage was so wrong. Now worse!”
Mar. 31. Twitter.
“Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!”
Apr. 3. Twitter.
“Did Hillary Clinton ever apologize for receiving the answers to the debate? Just asking!”
Apr. 4. Speech/comments.
“Remember they said — because the Electoral College is a very, very hard, they say, almost impossible for a Republican to win. The odds are stacked.”
Apr. 5. Interview.
“They thought they were going to win. You know, winning the Electoral College is, for a Republican, is close to impossible and I won it quite easily. And I think they are still recovering from that, but they are recovering now.”
Apr. 12. Interview.
“We have never ever had the optimism that we have now over the last 90 days or since the Trump election. “
Apr. 16. Twitter.
“I did what was an almost an impossible thing to do for a Republican-easily won the Electoral College! Now Tax Returns are brought up again?”
Apr. 17. Twitter.
” The Fake Media (not Real Media) has gotten even worse since the election. Every story is badly slanted. We have to hold them to the truth!”
Apr. 19. Speech/comments.
““Just a quick story about the coach. So I had won the primaries, and I’m now in this rather heated election that a few of you have read about. And he wrote me this beautiful letter after the primaries. ‘Congratulations,’ he said all sorts of things that were really good.”
Apr. 21. Interview.
“The Democrats, they have a big advantage in the electoral college. Big, big, big advantage. I’ve always said the popular vote would be a lot easier than the electoral college. The electoral college — but it’s a whole different campaign (unintelligible). The electoral college is very difficult for a Republican to win, and I will tell you, the people want to see it.”
Apr. 23. Twitter.
“…popular vote. ABC News/Washington Post Poll (wrong big on election) said almost all stand by their vote on me & 53% said strong leader.”
Apr. 26. Interview.
“Democrats are using that faux — or fake — Russia story in order to make themselves feel better for losing an election that’s very hard for a Democrat to lose.”
Apr. 27. Interview.
“Here, you can take that, that’s the final map of the numbers. It’s pretty good, right? The red is obviously us.”
Apr. 28. Speech/comments.
“But it was in the middle of a historic political year, and in the middle of a truly historic election. What fun that was — November 8. Wasn’t that a great evening?”
Apr. 29. Speech/comments.
“They are incompetent, dishonest people who after the election, had to apologize because they covered it, us me, so badly that they felt they were forced to apologize because their predictions were so bad.”
Apr. 30. Interview.
“And by the way, even my enemies on your show said, “We haven’t found anything that the Trump campaign did wrong.””
May. 1. Interview.
“The picture of Andrew Jackson I put up because they said his campaign and my campaign tended to mirror each other.”
May. 2. Twitter.
“…Trump/Russia story was an excuse used by the Democrats as justification for losing the election. Perhaps Trump just ran a great campaign?”
Update: On Wednesday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer added an ironic angle to this story.
"It's somewhat sad," WH spokesman Sean Spicer says that we are still talking about the November election.
— Phil Elliott (@Philip_Elliott) May 3, 2017