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Trump beats out LBJ when it comes to winning number of Missouri votes

Republican president-elect Donald Trump’s victory margin in Missouri appears to have set a state record for a presidential contender, beating out the old one set by Democrat Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

On Nov. 8, Trump captured 523,443 more votes than the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton. In 1964, Johnson defeated Republican Barry Goldwater by 510,809 votes.

Trump's number of Missouri votes – 1.594 million – also appears to set a state record for a presidential candidate.

(Johnson’s percentage victory still holds the state record since 1900 – 64 percent – because the overall number of votes cast in Missouri in 1964 was less than in 2016. Trump’s percentage of the total votes this year was 56.7 percent.)

Such is one of the interesting tidbits gleaned from this fall’s final state election results, certified Monday by Secretary of State Jason Kander.

But for all the Trump hoopla, he was not the top Republican vote-getter in Missouri on Nov. 8. That honor goes to Josh Hawley, set to be the state’s next attorney general. Hawley collected about 13,000 more votes than Trump.

Just over 2.8 million votes cast

Since election night, there has been a slight change in the state’s overall tallies, apparently due, in part, to the addition of provisional ballots that were determined to have been cast by valid Missouri voters. Such changes are standard are major Missouri elections.

Overall, 2,808, 605 Missourians voted for president on Nov. 8. That’s up slightly (about 50,000 votes) from 2012. But it’s down from the 2.925 million Missourians who cast ballots for president in 2008 – a state record.

Outgoing Secretary of State Kander collected the most votes – just over 1.3 million – among this year's Missouri Democratic candidates in his unsuccessful quest for the U.S. Senate. Kander lost to GOP incumbent Roy Blunt, who got fewer votes than any other statewide Republican candidate on the ballot.

Kander collected about 230,000 more votes in Missouri than Clinton. Blunt’s tally of just over 1.37 million was roughly 216,000 lower than Trump’s total.

The upshot was that over 200,000 Missouri voters split their ballots by favoring Trump and Kander.

Clinton, by the way, received about 150,000 fewer votes than President Barack Obama collected in 2012.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.