As I write, Mitt Romney has 57.4 million votes. John McCain ended up with 59.9 million. It’s a little noticed fact that in two weeks following every presidential election, votes continue to be reported…by the millions. As I recall, Barack Obama got something like four million more votes in the weeks after election day, while John McCain got two or three million. It’s likely that by Thanksgiving, the final vote tally will show Romney very close to or even slightly exceeding McCain’s total.
I have more confidence in Mr. Podhoretz's memory than I do in my own. However, trust but verify!
Wikipedia gives McCain's 2008 final vote total as 59.9 million.
However, this cool NY Times graphic had McCain at 58.3 million as of Dec. 9, 2008.
CNN had McCain at 58.3 million as of Nov 17. However!
Yahoo preserved a Q&A from right after the election, with an answer that linked to the CNN site above:
Obama : 64,639,738
Given the Electoral totals I infer that North Carolina had not yet been called for Obama nor Missouri for McCain. Each man received about 2.1 million votes in NC, so McCain's total of 56.9 million must include some North Carolina votes (or else it would have jumped by 2.1 million to 59 million after N Car was called.)
So, if current reporting has Romney with 57.4 million popular votes, he is running a bit better than McCain's immediate post-election total. Wave the hangmen away from the Romney GOTV effort!