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Author Topic: Popular vote since 1992  (Read 1964 times)
old timey villain
cope1989
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« on: March 15, 2012, 10:43:26 pm »
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Here's one of those obvious political facts that sometimes hits you like a ton of bricks: Since 1992, the GOP presidential candidate has only won the popular vote one time. So, out of five consecutive elections, the Democratic candidate won the popular vote 4 times, and the GOP candidate won it once.

Isn't that crazy? No wonder people turned on Bush. He won by a technicality in 2000, only won by 3 million votes in 2004, yet he governed like he was given a Reaganesque mandate.

Do you think, in the near future, the Republicans will ever have a significant enough victory to win back states like California, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts or Minnesota? And if so, what do they have to do.
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Nagas
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2012, 11:04:24 pm »
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Minnesota shows trends of drifting to the right. While I love that it has voted Dem every time since 1976, I fear that those days will end soon enough.

A social moderate, latino Republican could probably make Califoria swing.
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Tidewater_Wave
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2012, 11:37:34 pm »
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Minnesota shows trends of drifting to the right. While I love that it has voted Dem every time since 1976, I fear that those days will end soon enough.

A social moderate, latino Republican could probably make Califoria swing.

You think Rubio could swing CA?
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realisticidealist
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2012, 11:51:06 pm »
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Minnesota shows trends of drifting to the right. While I love that it has voted Dem every time since 1976, I fear that those days will end soon enough.

A social moderate, latino Republican could probably make Califoria swing.

You think Rubio could swing CA?

lol no. He's Cuban, not Mexican for one. Plus, he's not moderate at all.
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Nichlemn
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2012, 08:10:10 am »
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Yawn, cherrypick starting dates and you can conclude anything. Start from 1968 and it's Republicans who have the upper hand... or go back to 1960 to make it Democrats again... or 1952 for Republicans again... or 1932 for Democrats again... and so on.
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politicus
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2012, 10:50:40 am »
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Going further back would be pointless. The interesting thing is the present. 1992-2012 is a long sequence. Obviously you will need an Obama PV victory this time (which is likely) and a 2016 Democrat PV victory to make it really significant.
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old timey villain
cope1989
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2012, 01:32:18 pm »
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Yawn, cherrypick starting dates and you can conclude anything. Start from 1968 and it's Republicans who have the upper hand... or go back to 1960 to make it Democrats again... or 1952 for Republicans again... or 1932 for Democrats again... and so on.

I am aware that dates can be used to draw one's own conclusion. If you looked at the three presidential elections in the 1980's you'd think that the Democratic party didn't exist.

Still, political eras are a real thing, and most political scientists can look back and determine periods of time when one party had the upper hand.

1) fifth party system: FDR's election created the new deal coalition. From 1932 to 1967 the Republicans only won 2 presidential elections.

2) sixth party system: There is debate as to when it ended, or if it has ended at all, but most agree it started in 1968 with the election of Richard Nixon. I personally believe that this era ended in 1992. Between 1969 and 1991, the Republicans won five presidential elections out of six. That's definitely a trend.

3) I don't know if you can call this a new era or a transition period, but since 1992, it's become increasingly more difficult for Republicans to win presidential elections, while it's become easier to win control of congress.

-since 1992, the democratic candidate's electoral vote total has never fallen below 251, while the republicans electoral total has never risen above 300. The GOP actually received less than 200 EV's in three out of the last 5 elections. That is most certainly a trend.

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Nagas
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2012, 01:37:17 pm »
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If 1992 or 2000 are any indication of an alignment, it's that Republicans have a low ceiling and Democrats have a high floor.
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RG Fritz
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2012, 02:22:14 pm »
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This depends upon your definition of "winning" the popular vote.  If we define winning as a MAJORITY, Bill Clinton did not have that in 1992 or 1996.
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Nichlemn
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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2012, 05:23:03 pm »
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Yawn, cherrypick starting dates and you can conclude anything. Start from 1968 and it's Republicans who have the upper hand... or go back to 1960 to make it Democrats again... or 1952 for Republicans again... or 1932 for Democrats again... and so on.

I am aware that dates can be used to draw one's own conclusion. If you looked at the three presidential elections in the 1980's you'd think that the Democratic party didn't exist.

Still, political eras are a real thing, and most political scientists can look back and determine periods of time when one party had the upper hand.
 

1) fifth party system: FDR's election created the new deal coalition. From 1932 to 1967 the Republicans only won 2 presidential elections.

2) sixth party system: There is debate as to when it ended, or if it has ended at all, but most agree it started in 1968 with the election of Richard Nixon. I personally believe that this era ended in 1992. Between 1969 and 1991, the Republicans won five presidential elections out of six. That's definitely a trend.

3) I don't know if you can call this a new era or a transition period, but since 1992, it's become increasingly more difficult for Republicans to win presidential elections, while it's become easier to win control of congress.

-since 1992, the democratic candidate's electoral vote total has never fallen below 251, while the republicans electoral total has never risen above 300. The GOP actually received less than 200 EV's in three out of the last 5 elections. That is most certainly a trend.



As Sean Trende points out, if elections were decided by coin flip, we should expect runs of consecutive wins in pretty much exactly the same way as they have turned out.

If these relationships mean anything, they should have some predictive power. I haven't done anything fancy, but just a quick correlation exercise in Excel shows that past election results had no correlation with the average results of the past five elections (or any other number). Just think about it intuitively by going back through the elections and comparing it with the preceding five elections.
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politicus
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« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2012, 07:35:12 am »
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Given that the US is approaching a minority-majority society and Republicans are having a hard time increasing their minority support it seeems likely that the Democrats will win the PV in future presidential elections except for unusual situations.

Congress is a different matter with lower voter turnout and widespread gerrymandering which slows the process down.
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"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."

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"While I am a great believer in the free enterprise system and all that it entails, I am an even stronger believer in the right of our people to live in a clean and pollution-free environment."

Barry Goldwater

The way 90% of Atlas threads end up:
Ready For Hoover '28!
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« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2012, 10:11:02 am »
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Going back to the observations about the "presidential eras": It should be noted that in the strongly Republican Presidential era (1968-1992) there was only one Democratic President.  However, Democrats controlled the US House during that entire period (occasionally having over 60% power) and were in the Senate minority (1981-1987) for only six of those years.

On the flip side, we have this most recent "era" from 1992-present where the Democrats have won the popular vote four out of five times but have had control of Congress for only six years total out of a nearly twenty year period.  In the US Senate they've done a little better, holding the US Senate from 1993-1995, 2001-2003, and then from 2007-present (about ten years)  Republicans have had periods of full congressional control from 1995-2001 (six years), 2003-2007 (four years), and periods of dominance in the House of Representatives from 1995-2007 (12 years) and now from 2011-present (2 years come November).  This means that half of the time the GOP has had full Congressional control (both houses) and has held the US House for 70% of the time since 1993.  The Democrats have only had full Congressional control for 30% of the time and have held one house of congress (the US Senate) for half the time.

It seems that it is becoming easier for Republicans to win Congressional Elections now days while it is becoming easy for Democrats to win presidential elections.  As a result, American politics probably won't see any enormous political shift from what it has seen in the past decade and a half (since most party members seem to be "believers" now days instead of merely "members").
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Nichlemn
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« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2012, 01:23:45 pm »
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Here are the results (represented by 0s and 1s for the winners, broken up into political eras) from a country's elections, can you tell which one?

0   0   0   0    
1   1   0   1   1   
0   0   0   0   0   0   
1   1   1   0   1   1   1   1   1   0   1   1   0   0   1   1   1   
0   1   0   1   0   1   0   1   0   0   1   0   1   
0   0   0   1   0   0   0   1   0   1   0

The first political era lasted until election 4, where Party 0 won every election. Then, from election 5-9, Party 1 emerged on the scene, winning 4/5 elections, only to collapse in election 10 and usher in an era of uninterrupted dominance by Party 0. (Some historians consider these first three periods as one era of Party 0 dominance interrupted by a brief Party 1 period, as Party 0 won 11/15 of these elections). In the next era, lasting from election 17 to 32, Party 1 was the dominant party, winning 13/17 elections. The next era (starting at election 33 and continuing until election 46) was unique as the "anti-incumbent era": the incumbent party was defeated in all but one election. The 46th election marked the beginning of a Party 0 reign that continues to this day, winning 8/11 elections and never losing office for more than one term.

Source: 56 coinflips, random.org
« Last Edit: March 23, 2012, 01:29:38 pm by Nichlemn »Logged
Nagas
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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2012, 04:25:08 pm »
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Except American elections aren't decided by coin flips and are determined by national factors.

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Nichlemn
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« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2012, 05:07:48 pm »
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Except American elections aren't decided by coin flips and are determined by national factors.


Obviously they're not, my point is that if the results of a series of coinflips can produce a number of "eras" of "one party dominance", it calls into question the theory that similar periods of actual one party dominance indicated that one party was actually stronger rather mostly benefiting from good luck. Furthermore, previous elections may have little or no predictive power.  
« Last Edit: March 23, 2012, 05:11:07 pm by Nichlemn »Logged
Antonio V
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« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2012, 05:09:18 am »
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The problem with your simulation, Nichelm, is that the "eras" you isolate are extremely different in their duration. Of course if you make the right cuts it might look like a pattern, but what's also interesting with American political eras (at least as I understand them) is that they last for roughly the same amount of time, that is, between 35 and 50 years.
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Nichlemn
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« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2012, 06:42:45 am »
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The problem with your simulation, Nichelm, is that the "eras" you isolate are extremely different in their duration. Of course if you make the right cuts it might look like a pattern, but what's also interesting with American political eras (at least as I understand them) is that they last for roughly the same amount of time, that is, between 35 and 50 years.

Turn the first three eras into one and then they're pretty much the same.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2012, 08:34:09 am »
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Until Obama won the Democratic party had only managed a PV majority twice since FDR's death.
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