Has No Presidential Candidate ‘Won Both Ohio and Florida and Lost’?

There's no law that requires a candidate to win both Ohio and Florida in order to become president of the United States.

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Image via Gage Skidmore

Claim

U.S. President Donald Trump was the first candidate to lose a presidential election despite winning in Ohio and Florida.

Rating

Origin

Voting in the 2020 U.S. Election may be over, but the misinformation keeps on ticking. Never stop fact-checking. Follow our post-election coverage here.

In December 2020, as states certified their election results and confirmed that Democratic candidate Joe Biden had won the U.S. presidential election, President Donald Trump continued to push baseless claims that the election was “rigged,” “stolen,” or marred with widespread voter fraud. On Dec. 9, Trump furthered this false narrative by claiming on social media that his election loss was an historic oddity:

This claim is factually inaccurate and this argument is moot. 

Precedent exists for a candidate losing an election while winning both Florida and Ohio. In 1960, Republican candidate Richard Nixon received more votes than his Democratic opponent, John F. Kennedy, in both Ohio and Florida, but still ended up losing the election. 

Nixon only managed to secure a total of 219 electoral college votes, while Kennedy won the election with 303 electoral college votes.

Here’s the electoral college map from the 1960 election:

Winning in both Ohio and Florida may increase a person’s chances of winning a presidential election, but it is in no way required to do so. In order to secure the presidency, a candidate must win 270 electoral college votes. 

Like Nixon, Trump won both Florida and Ohio during the 2020 election, but he fell short of the 270 electoral college votes required to secure the presidency. Trump’s electoral college results were slightly better than Nixon’s at 232 electoral college votes, but they simply weren’t enough compared to Biden’s 306.