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Question: Least polarizing, least relevant, most boring election?
1976   -8 (25%)
1988   -7 (21.9%)
other/both/neither   -17 (53.1%)
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Total Voters: 32

Author Topic: Least polarizing, least relevant, most boring election?  (Read 627 times)
mathstatman
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« on: August 08, 2017, 06:35:41 am »
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I realize 1976 is a popular choice, but I'm going to go with 1988.

Ironically, both elections were rather polarized, in terms of party identification and voting.

1976 is of course notable for its (from today's perspective) bizarre regional voting patters, but 1988 actually had less state-to-state variation: in 1988, every state gave Bush between 44% (RI) and 66% (UT) of the vote-- perhaps the smallest difference for any major candidate ever. Even DC (14.3%) trended and swung R in '88.

Both years, it was hard to find counties or urban districts (except Black areas), or subgroups of the population, in which "almost everyone voted for ....." (and even the Black areas were a bit less Dem these years than in other years).

The level (quality) of discussion in 1988 was also much lower than in 1976. But what takes the cake for 1988 is that, after that election, the GOP thought they had a "lock" on the EC (and probably on the PV as well): since then, the GOP has only won a plurality in 1 of 7 elections. The fact that CA went for Bush in '88, alone, drives it up several points for irrelevancy.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 06:37:22 am by mathstatman »Logged
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2017, 08:45:12 am »
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Least Polarizing - 1976 and 1988 like you mentioned.

Least Revelant - 1872 - 1892 Elections, 1936-44 elections, 1956, 1972, 1996.

Most Boring -  1956 and 1996
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twenty42
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2017, 09:32:53 am »
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I think 2012 will take its place alongside 1956 and 1996 as years go by. It's relatively fresh in our minds now, but I think that history will judge it as pretty boring and anti-climactic in retrospect. It was one of the most static elections in American history with only two states flipping, there weren't any hot-button issues, and the challenger was rather boring and non-descript.


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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2017, 10:38:09 am »
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I think 2012 will take its place alongside 1956 and 1996 as years go by. It's relatively fresh in our minds now, but I think that history will judge it as pretty boring and anti-climactic in retrospect. It was one of the most static elections in American history with only two states flipping, there weren't any hot-button issues, and the challenger was rather boring and non-descript.

2004 was pretty static, too. Most re-elections tend to be relatively static.
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2017, 11:53:52 am »
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Other. 1996
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2017, 12:15:46 pm »
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1996
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2017, 12:49:23 pm »
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1988 was very polarizing. It was 2016 pretty much: If Faux News, Breitbart and CNN didn't exist to keep dragging down the obvious choice, even if said obvious choice campaigned on nothing but cultural wars and moral panics to hide their own insider status.


No, the answer is 2000, which was a slog that only went anywhere because of Florida.

@twenty: And yet the two states went the other way and the incumbent lost some votes rather than gained.
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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2017, 12:50:55 pm »
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I think 2012 will take its place alongside 1956 and 1996 as years go by. It's relatively fresh in our minds now, but I think that history will judge it as pretty boring and anti-climactic in retrospect. It was one of the most static elections in American history with only two states flipping, there weren't any hot-button issues, and the challenger was rather boring and non-descript.



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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2017, 01:17:03 pm »
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1996 in least polarizing and most boring


In Least Relevant - 1972
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2017, 04:15:45 pm »
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It should be noted that Ford vs. Carter gave the appearance of two old coalitions being reformed...
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« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2017, 07:02:49 pm »
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1996 was incredibly boring. Most news outlets called it relatively early in the evening, and Ross Perot seemed more like a teenager desperate for attention than a candidate who was going to win a serious chunk of the popular vote (though he did still manage to hold Clinton under 50%).

I agree with the poster above that history will judge 2012 as boring, especially considering it is now sandwiched between 2008 and 2016. If anything, it will be seen primarily as the second election cycle in a row that Mitch McConnell should have become Senate majority leader but didn't because of the nomination and implosion of disastrous candidates in key races. The reelection of Barack Obama all but assured the candidacy of Donald Trump, so it may be remembered by historians in that sense as well.
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« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2017, 07:06:57 am »
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1924, 1996
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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2017, 05:14:53 pm »
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I understand the OP's points about 1988, but I think 1988 has some relevance for today:

- Dukakis' views were to the left of GHWB, and his voters were to that left of GHWB's. and states/counties where Dukakis won were to the left of states/counties GHWB won. All of this is more true than for Carter and Ford. The biggest indicators of Carter/Ford states/counties were partisanship rather than ideology.
- Dukakis' states correlate with the states where Obama carried the white vote in 2008/2012.
- The 1988 PVI map matches up pretty well with states that are economically liberal or conservative, at least for the time.
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« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2017, 06:39:56 pm »
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I disagree that 2012 was all that boring, solely because of the Republican primary. That primary was one of the most dramatic and impactful that I can think of in terms of effects on interparty dynamics and factionalism.

The most boring election was likely 1904.
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« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2017, 09:54:38 pm »
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1996.
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