Days of Change

Three Strikes and You’re Out | November 12, 2016

Somewhere, Ann Coulter is crowing that she was right about Donald Trump becoming president all along. Of course, she was wrong about Chris Christie in 2012 and the Romney ticket as well. Four years ago, she attributed her mistake as forgetting that incumbents usually win reelection. Let’s look at some statistics.

The largest presidential anomaly in American history was the 4-term reign of FDR between 1932 and 1946, part of which occurred after he was term limited by God. Then Harry Truman won in a squeaker to perennial Republican loser Thomas Dewey. Skipping past that and looking at the last 60 years of elections, here’s some interesting trends.

Incumbent presidents in the last 60 years who ran for a second term have won about 67% of the time. However, a party that has been in power for two terms trying for a “three-peat” has an abysmal 12% chance of holding on to the White House. Basically, it was George H. W. Bush, who had the advantage of being the running mate to the man who won the largest number of Electoral votes in US history. He also was one of the few who lost a reelection bid.

This election was as much of a “change” election as 2008, 2000, 1992 or 1980. Statistically, Trump could probably win again in 2020 and the Republicans would lose in 2024. Better get ready.

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