In both 1992 and 2012, incumbent Presidents George HW Bush and Barack Obama both recieved less support in their re-elections than their initial elections in '88 and '08. GHWB lost big, while Obama won a comfortable margin.
But looking at the state and county level results, a question popped into my head: Is there any evidence that some voters who supported the President the first time around still retain some loyalty toward that President, even if they "should" vote against them? Even if the incumbent loses an area the second time, does the first-time loyalty hold up his numbers?
I'm looking specifically at Indiana, North Carolina, and Florida in 2012 where Romney greatly underperformed as a Republican in IN (*only* 54%) and NC (50.4%!) where he won, and Florida which barely went to Obama. I also see this in counties that Obama won in 2008 but narrowly lost to Romney in 2012 (Philly suburbs, northern Illinois, rural Wisconsin, etc.). In 1992, I look again at Florida, the Chicago suburbs, and Texas, but 1992 is tricky because Ross Perot wrecks the numbers.
Whadda y'all think? Is there any of this emotional, first-time loyalty that produces unexpected results in some areas?