I am curious about the popular vote for the House of Representatives over time. What was the closest popular vote in terms of percentage points in a House election nationally? For context, the closest popular vote for president was 1880 which was won along with the electoral vote by James Garfield.

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    I keep seeing things like “popular vote for Congress” and “popular vote for governor” on this board. What does that even mean? It is 435 individual elections for 435 different pairs of people. Actually many are more than 2 people and some are only 1 person, but no person is in more than one of the 435 elections. And the districts are different sizes. How do you count the unopposed districts? President also is 51 different elections, but at least the same pair of major party candidates is usually in all 51 so the concept of popular vote makes at least a little bit of sense. – Damila Jul 19 '20 at 20:30
  • @Damila There's a current fascination, for certain orange-colored reasons, with how the US subverts and denies the expressed will of the people via its federal system. Hence a whole slew of questions of how badly it has done so, or narrowly it failed to do so, etc. And I think the bigger problem is that the parties vary within themselves across the country. Republicans in Texas and California tend to have notable differences, so lumping them all together is a bit confused. – zibadawa timmy Jul 21 '20 at 0:01
  • @zibadawatimmy Thanks. The latter part of your comment is my point. Although I think it oversimplifies things, for the orange one’s current post the conversation makes at least some sense. Not for Congress and even less so for governors. – Damila Jul 21 '20 at 0:50

It appears to have been the 1996 election. Democrats won the popular vote by 0.06 percentage points. Due to previous results, this one appears to be the closest ever.

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