In 2008, Barack Obama won the presidency with a record-setting 69.5 million votes—a number he didn't manage to reach in 2012, nor one that Donald Trump hit in 2016. Joe Biden got there in 2020, and didn't just break that record—he quashed it. USA Today cites the nonpartisan Cook Political Report's vote tracker, which as of Wednesday morning puts Biden's count at 80,086,825 votes. President Trump bested Obama's top figure, too, with 73,902,604. Forbes points out that means Trump is the first Republican to have crossed the 70 million mark.
The New York Times does provide one asterisk: The population has grown from 304 million at the time of Obama's 2008 win to more than 330 million. Biden's ballot count represents 51% of the popular vote, which The Week points out is significant as well: It marks the first time since Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 1932 win over Herbert Hoover that a candidate beat the incumbent by more than 51%; Ronald Reagan came closest in 1980, with 50.7%. (Read more President-elect Biden stories.)