Nov 08, 2016 - 2:45pm

5 Races Where Every Vote Mattered

We hear it all the time – what difference does my one vote make? Turns out, quite a bit. And the results could have impacts for decades.

After reading these close elections, head over to to know when and where to cast your ballot. It’ll be too close to leave up to chance.

.07%, 161 VOTES (ARIZONA HOUSE, 2014)

In 2014, Martha McSally beat incumbent Ron Barber by a margin of 161 total votes in one of the most hotly contested House races of the cycle. It was an important win that locked down her district – just two years later she’s leading her opponent by 15 points and receiving glowing endorsements from local papers.

.018%, 312 VOTES (MINNESOTA SENATE, 2008)

On Election Day, it looked like Norm Coleman edged out Al Franken by a slim 215 votes, but after a protracted and controversial legal battle and recount, Al Franken won the state by just over 300 voters. Franken went on to win re-election in 2014 and still serves in the United States Senate.


Lyndon Johnson is remembered in the history books for his Great Society programs and a bonanza of federal spending as President, but those chapter likely would never be written save for 87 Texas voters 15 years before he became President. Johnson won his Senate primary race in Texas by less than .01% of the vote, and went on to impact our national politics for decades.


To win the Presidency, a candidate needs to muster 270 electoral votes. Florida put George W. Bush across the finish line in 2000 by a total of 537 votes. A statewide recount confirmed Bush’s victory, who went on to serve as President for the next eight years.


The top executive of our 13th most populous state was decided by 133 votes in 2004. That’s crazy. Christine Gregoire defeated Dino Rossi with fewer people than have been to space, in a race where 2.8 million voters cast their ballot.

The average Facebook user has 338 friends. You and just your friends on Facebook would have amounted to the decisive votes in 4 out of these 5 races profiled, not to mention the hundreds of local races that produce even closer results.

These tight races should make it pretty clear: every vote matters. Maybe not in every contest on the ballot, but there are enough tight races across the country, that could have impacts for decades to come, that demand you vote.

Go to to find out where to vote. Then tell a friend or family member who’s not a regular voter to go to the polls.

Note: This was originally published at Friends of the U.S. Chamber.

About the Author

About the Author