The defeated Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton could end up with as many votes as president Barack Obama received when he won the US election in 2012.

Clinton is currently leading Donald Trump by 2.7 million ballots in the popular vote, and is just 400,000 votes from achieving the 65.9 million votes won by Obama four years ago, The Indepedent reported.

Votes are continuing to be counted in states including California, as a result of postal ballots and absentee votes being counted late, while challenges to the result have been entered in other states such as Michigan and Florida, where some voters are suing for a recount.

But several of the recount challenges in states where a Clinton win could have made a difference to the electoral vote, including in Michigan, have been dismissed, meaning the Electoral College is set to confirm Trump as president when it meets on 19 December.

In Wisconsin, where a recount is currently taking place, Fox 6 Now reported that with 70% of the vote recounting complete, Clinton has cut into Trump's lead by just 82 votes, giving the Republican a comfortable 22,177-vote lead on his former rival.

Regardless of how many popular votes Clinton wins by the time counting in states where ballots are continuing to be added up is over, Trump has taken the electoral vote, making him the winner of the 8 November presidential election.

Without a voter recount taking place and returning a Clinton win in a several battleground states, which at this stage is highly unlikely, voters will have to accept the Trump win as it stands, with the president-elect set for inauguration on 20 January.