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Author Topic: The historical trend I  (Read 1872 times)
CARLHAYDEN
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« on: July 13, 2012, 04:04:55 pm »
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Since World War 2, every person elected President and subsequently reelected to that office has achieved a higher percentage of the vote than in the initial election whereas every President initially elected to that office and subsequently renominated and defeated has achieved a smaller percentage of the popular vote than in the initial election.  Here are some examples:

Candidate   Election        Reelection        Difference
                        Percentage

Bush II           47.87           50.73                  2.86
Clinton           43.01           49.23                  6.22
Reagan          50.75           58.77                  8.02
Nixon             43.42           60.67                17.25
Eisenhower   55.18           57.37                  2.19

Bush I           53.37           37.45               - 15.92   
Carter           50.08           41.01               -   9.07

So, will Obama receive a higher percentage of the vote in 2012 than in 2008?

Will Obama somehow win reelection with a reduced percentage of the popular vote, thereby bucking the history?
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 04:13:22 pm by CARLHAYDEN »Logged

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homelycooking
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2012, 04:33:08 pm »
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You do recognize that the three largest differences between popular vote percentages among reelected presidents cited in your table were largely caused by the presence of third party candidacies which did much to depress the vote percentage in the initial election, right?
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CARLHAYDEN
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2012, 04:45:54 pm »
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You do recognize that the three largest differences between popular vote percentages among reelected presidents cited in your table were largely caused by the presence of third party candidacies which did much to depress the vote percentage in the initial election, right?

So, everything is explained by third party candidates?

Hmm.
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homelycooking
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2012, 04:50:13 pm »
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You do recognize that the three largest differences between popular vote percentages among reelected presidents cited in your table were largely caused by the presence of third party candidacies which did much to depress the vote percentage in the initial election, right?

So, everything is explained by third party candidates?

Hmm.

Everything? Not at all.

But do you believe that those candidates (Wallace: 13.5%, Anderson 6.6%, Perot 18.9%) had no effect on the popular vote percentages of the Democrats and Republicans running in those elections?
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2012, 05:15:04 pm »
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every President initially elected to that office and subsequently renominated and defeated has achieved a smaller percentage of the popular vote than in the initial election.

It would be kind of hard to be defeated for reelection with a higher percentage of the vote than the one that elected you, unless you were initially elected with a low plurality.
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CARLHAYDEN
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2012, 08:03:45 pm »
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You do recognize that the three largest differences between popular vote percentages among reelected presidents cited in your table were largely caused by the presence of third party candidacies which did much to depress the vote percentage in the initial election, right?

So, everything is explained by third party candidates?

Hmm.

Everything? Not at all.

But do you believe that those candidates (Wallace: 13.5%, Anderson 6.6%, Perot 18.9%) had no effect on the popular vote percentages of the Democrats and Republicans running in those elections?

Well, lets stop and look at you examples.

First, let us suppose that ALL of the vote received by Wallace in 1968 had gone for Nixon.  In that case his 1972 vote (which does not include third party votes) would still be 60.67% whereas his 1968 vote would be approximately 57%, which would be an increase in my math.  Oh, and I do not think that had Wallace not have run, that Nixon would have gotten all the votes received by Wallace.

Second, let us turn to look at the 1980 vote.  In 1984 Reagan received 58.77% of the vote while in 1980 he received 50.75. Now if you combined ALL of Andersonís 1980 vote with Reagan's 1980 vote, it would still amount to a slightly smaller percentage than Reagan actually received in 1984.  Further, the idea that Reagan would receive a majority, much less all of the Anderson 1980 vote seems a little preposterous to me.

Third, it is a little difficult to deal with the Perot vote (either in 1992 or 1996).  Studies that have been done that tend to indicate that in 1992 and/or 1996, had Perot not been a candidate, the two party vote would have been slightly more favorable for the Republicans than was actually the case, but, no major change would have occurred

So, while there may be some degree of impact by third parties, they do NOT impact the direction of the results.  The reelected Presidents would have won by a larger majority without the third party impact.  The Clinton/Perot example is arguable, but, not conclusive, whereas the other two examples ARE conclusive.

Yes, the third party candidates had some impact, but they did NOT deny my assertion.

Since you gave the Perot example, could you please tell me just how you would break out what would have happened in 1992 and/1996 had Perot NOT run.
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2012, 08:29:14 pm »
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Having a substantial third-party candidacy introduces a great deal of uncertainty to the statistical measure you lay out in your original post. (All of the values therein are written out to two decimal places despite this.) You have a significant uncontrolled variable that I thought was worth pointing out, that's all.
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CARLHAYDEN
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2012, 08:46:58 pm »
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Having a substantial third-party candidacy introduces a great deal of uncertainty to the statistical measure you lay out in your original post. (All of the values therein are written out to two decimal places despite this.) You have a significant uncontrolled variable that I thought was worth pointing out, that's all.

So. is it "uncertain" that 60.67% of the vote is more than 56.95%, or that 58.77% of the vote is more than 57.36%? 

Now, I freely admit that I cannot provide definitive evidence of how the Perot vote in 1992 or 1996 would have been cast had he not been a President.
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2012, 09:05:55 pm »
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I started a thread on this a few days ago. The trend actually goes back much farther than WWII. Somebody was saying that it actually goes back to the early 1800s, although I'm too tired to find the specific president.

So it's a pretty strong trend, but the polling looks like Obama will break it. He's polling ahead of Romney but not at the level he was in 2008. Of course a lot can happen in 4 months.

Before 2008 we had a pretty long streak of not electing people of color to the presidency. So maybe Obama will buck two trends.
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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2012, 10:09:27 am »
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Only two presidents won re-election with a lower EV-percentage than in their 1st election, that were James Madison in 1812 and Woodrow Wilson in 1916. So it looks like this happens every hundred years ...
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« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2012, 11:06:23 am »
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Only two presidents won re-election with a lower EV-percentage than in their 1st election, that were James Madison in 1812 and Woodrow Wilson in 1916. So it looks like this happens every hundred years ...

Of note, Madison still had a greater total of electoral votes in 1812 than in 1808, and Wilson actually improved his popular vote percentages in 1916, it just happened he didn't have the advantage of the huge split that 1912 was that gave him states like Massachusetts, New York, and Wisconsin.
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« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2012, 01:51:29 pm »
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Of note, Madison still had a greater total of electoral votes in 1812 than in 1808

The simply reason for this is the increase of the population in these times
with a growth rate of about 15 % in 4 years.
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Ernest
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« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2012, 04:47:23 pm »

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Of note, Madison still had a greater total of electoral votes in 1812 than in 1808

The simple reason for this is the increase of the population in these times
with a growth rate of about 15 % in 4 years.


More like the growth over 10 years.  The 1808 election used the apportionment for the 1800 Census and the 1812 election used the apportionment for the 1810 Census.  For 1802-10, Representatives were apportioned on the basis of 1 per 33,000 while for 1812-20 Representatives were apportioned on the basis of 1 per 35,000.  The 1810 Census increased the number of Representatives by 39.  (1812 had 42 more electors than 1808 because the admission of Louisiana as a State added 1 Representative and 2 Senators.)
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« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2012, 05:08:54 pm »
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Only two presidents won re-election with a lower EV-percentage than in their 1st election, that were James Madison in 1812 and Woodrow Wilson in 1916. So it looks like this happens every hundred years ...

That said, I wouldn't be surprised if Obama wins by a lower margin (EV or PV) than in 2008. Obama benefitted from W. Bush's unpopularity that year. If it was Obama vs. McCain in a neutral political climate, Obama would probably still have won, but by a lower margin than in real life.
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Ernest
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« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2012, 06:45:22 pm »

As I mentioned in the other thread, the Presidents who ran and lost their reelection all had a smaller margin of victory in their first election than Obama did.
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CARLHAYDEN
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« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2012, 12:35:29 pm »
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As I mentioned in the other thread, the Presidents who ran and lost their reelection all had a smaller margin of victory in their first election than Obama did.

So, how do you explain the case of Bush I, who received 53.37% of the popular vote in 1988, but was defeated in 1992, while Obama received 52.87% of the popular vote in 2008?

Hmm...
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Ernest
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« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2012, 02:06:39 pm »

As I mentioned in the other thread, the Presidents who ran and lost their reelection all had a smaller margin of victory in their first election than Obama did.

So, how do you explain the case of Bush I, who received 53.37% of the popular vote in 1988, but was defeated in 1992, while Obama received 52.87% of the popular vote in 2008?

Hmm...


Perot.  Factor him out of the race and H.W. at a minimum ekes out a narrow victory in a close contest. 



Bush/Quayle: 273
Clinton/Gore: 265

Obama won't be taking fire from two major opponents as H.W. did.  Further, to the degree third parties have an effect this year, it's more likely going to be Romney than Obama who is hurt.  Not that Obama can't lose, but it won't be unexpected if he wins.
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« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2012, 02:23:39 pm »
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As I mentioned in the other thread, the Presidents who ran and lost their reelection all had a smaller margin of victory in their first election than Obama did.

So, how do you explain the case of Bush I, who received 53.37% of the popular vote in 1988, but was defeated in 1992, while Obama received 52.87% of the popular vote in 2008?

Hmm...


Perot.  Factor him out of the race and H.W. at a minimum ekes out a narrow victory in a close contest. 



Bush/Quayle: 273
Clinton/Gore: 265

How in the world does a president with a sub-40% approval rating eke out a win over a relatively strong Democratic ticket? How does he win two states that Dukakis won in '88? Winning CT and ME is also a little far-fetched, considering how hard New England was hit by the recession and the fact that Bush actually finished third in ME. 
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Ernest
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« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2012, 07:39:15 pm »

Without Perot's attacks, Bush would not have been sub-40% in approvals.  Before Perot jumped into the race, Bush was leading Clinton in the polls, and without having to deal with Perot, his campaign could have maintained its focus on Clinton.  Instead, when Perot jumped in and led the race for a while with Clinton trailing in third, then for obvious reasons the Bush campaign had to pivot and focus on Perot and give Clinton the breathing space he needed to regroup.  Perot's peculiar personal charges against Bush also helped to ensure that when he lost support, his ex-supporters tended to go to Clinton instead of Bush.
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« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2012, 09:06:14 pm »
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Check the numbers here - Bush was at 39% in mid-February, before Perot was really a factor. A month later, an ABC/WAPO poll had Bush losing to both Clinton and Tsongas - again before Perot had really caught fire. He had a very mild rebound later in the spring, at the same time Clinton was struggling in the primaries, but that petered out after the LA riots and some bad economic news (the June '92 unemployment rate increased to 7.8%). Perot's success was really a byproduct of Bush's unpopularity (and doubts about Clinton) rather than the driver of it. 
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Ernest
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« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2012, 09:14:54 pm »

I still maintain that if Perot had not entered the race, Bush could have kept those doubts about Clinton uppermost in the public mind.
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« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2012, 09:23:17 pm »
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I still maintain that if Perot had not entered the race, Bush could have kept those doubts about Clinton uppermost in the public mind.

Ok, but the fact that you have to give him states that Dukakis won with 51% and 55% just to barely nudge him past 270 shows how difficult a case this is to make.
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Ernest
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« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2012, 11:36:47 pm »

I still maintain that if Perot had not entered the race, Bush could have kept those doubts about Clinton uppermost in the public mind.

Ok, but the fact that you have to give him states that Dukakis won with 51% and 55% just to barely nudge him past 270 shows how difficult a case this is to make.

Would it make you happier if I swapped out Michigan which Bush won in 1988 with 54% for Iowa and Wisconsin?  It wouldn't affect the EV total at all from the quick-and-dirty map I prepared using a uniform split of the Perot vote to get a rough tie in the PV for Bush and Clinton.  Plus there are several other States I gave to Clinton for which a case could be made that Bush would have kept from 1988 if Perot had not entered the race.
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CARLHAYDEN
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« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2012, 12:07:51 pm »
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I still maintain that if Perot had not entered the race, Bush could have kept those doubts about Clinton uppermost in the public mind.

Ok, but the fact that you have to give him states that Dukakis won with 51% and 55% just to barely nudge him past 270 shows how difficult a case this is to make.

Your point is well made.

What you fail to understand is that Ernest automatically disagrees with any point I make.
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« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2012, 01:32:03 pm »
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As I mentioned in the other thread, the Presidents who ran and lost their reelection all had a smaller margin of victory in their first election than Obama did.

So, how do you explain the case of Bush I, who received 53.37% of the popular vote in 1988, but was defeated in 1992, while Obama received 52.87% of the popular vote in 2008?

Hmm...


Perot.  Factor him out of the race and H.W. at a minimum ekes out a narrow victory in a close contest. 



Bush/Quayle: 273
Clinton/Gore: 265

How in the world does a president with a sub-40% approval rating eke out a win over a relatively strong Democratic ticket? How does he win two states that Dukakis won in '88? Winning CT and ME is also a little far-fetched, considering how hard New England was hit by the recession and the fact that Bush actually finished third in ME. 

People who speculate that Bush would have won without Perot, or that it might have even been close, are delusional in my opinion. If you factor in his historically low approval ratings and the fact that Republicans had occupied the presidency for 12 years, you have to come to the conclusion that he would have lost in almost any situation.
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