The "popular vote" is only a point of interest, not a valid qualifier in a Presidential election. No government election authority can utilize it.
IOW, there is no such thing as a national election.
26 states plus the District of Columbia have laws which require electors to vote for the candidate who wins a majority of that state’s popular vote. 24 states have no such restriction.
So it’s not IF a candidate wins the popular vote, it’s WHERE a candidate wins the popular vote. Saying that the popular vote is only a point of interest is a bit of an over-statement. It is determinative in 26 states plus the District of Columbia.
Saying that Barry Obama won two “landslide” victories with 67% of the Electors in 2008 and 62% of the Electors in 2012 greatly inflates the reality of his narrow popular vote victories. I’m not giving him that kind of a mandate.