Friday, November 02, 2012

A bit more about electoral maps.

Looking at some old election maps it seems clear that Woodrow Wilson would have at best won a squeaker in 1912 if not for the Republican civil war between Taft and Teddy Roosevelt. So he would have likely picked up electoral votes in his 1916 re-election bid in that scenario. (I'm not willing at this time to look at the state-by-state data to back that up!)

That would leave Madison's 1812 election as the only one without a clear gain for the re-elected President. That one cannot be slouched off due to territorial expansion, either. Only one state (Louisiana) was added from 1808 to 1812. Madison's losses mostly came from losing NY and NJ, though he made up a little ground by getting all of NC's electoral votes (he'd only gotten 11/14 in 1808) and picking up LA's three new electoral votes. (I'm ignoring changing due to the 1810 census.) But the war right before the election still counts as exceptional circumstances!

So Obama getting re-elected would be EXTREMELY counter to the nation's history. Doesn't mean it won't happen, but it would be extremely peculiar. If people can't make up their mind on whether or not to keep the current guy at this point in time, they're going to vote against him once in the booth.

Hell, if Obama were a football coach he'd already be gone by now. "I inherited a 1-15 team. Since then we've gone 2-14, 3-13, 3-13, and we're on pace to go 4-12 this year! Stay the course! Forward!" But then football is actually results-oriented with a clear metric for success, while the Presidency is just a marketing campaign.

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