Carry vs win the election


I have some questions on usage of “carry”.

He carried the election by a whisker.
He won the election by a whisker.

It seems to me that “win” is more used when it comes to elections. However, carry is used like this: “Can Trump carry Michigan again in the 2020 election?”

  1. Is it natural to say, “He carried the election by a whisker?”
  2. Can I use a party as a subject like, “The democratic party carried the election by a whisker.”

What do you think of them? Please share your answers.

Thank you in advance,


As a resident of the US, I think “carry” only makes sense when talking about parts of an electorate, like states or specific districts or areas. So “carry the election” does not really work, but “carry the midwestern states” or “carry the urban districts” or “carry the suburban areas” sound fine.


Thank you Luschen. Then, can I say like “The party carried the urban districts by a large majority.”? Thank you in advance!


‘Carry’ in this context means that you have the support of certain voters. You would use ‘win’ for the whole process, the actual election.