15 November 2012
How often have losing presidential tickets lost their respective home states?
How have losing presidential tickets fared in the last 100 years? Here is an exact breakdown, from 2012 backwards to 1912. Notice the similarities of sorts between 2012 and 1916. Remember, I am referring to the losing presidential tickets, not the winning tickets.
In 2012 (R), both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan LOST all of their home states (Michigan, Massachusetts and Wisconsin). Not only that, they lost their respective home-towns (Detroit, Jamesville).
As you will see, this is the only time in at least 100 years where the national election was lean (currently: Obama +2.87%, tendency rising) but the losing ticket lost all of it's home states:
In 2008 (R), both John McCain McCain and Palin won their home states (Arizona, Alaska).
In 2004 (D), Kerry won Massachusetts but lost John Edward's home state of North Carolina.
In 2000 (D), Al Gore lost his home state of Tennessee, but won Joe Lieberman's home state of Connecticut.
In 1996 (R), Bob Dole won his home state of Kansas but lost Jack Kemp's home state of New York. Ross Perot (in a reprise of 1992) and his running-mate Pat Choate lost both of their home "states" (Texas, DC), and as in 1992, won absolutely no electors in the EC.,
In 1992 (R), George H.W. Bush and Dan Quayle won both of their home states, Texas and Indiana. BTW, Bush, Sr. was born in Massachusetts and also has a home in Maine, both states that he lost to Bill Clinton in 1992. Ross Perot and James Stockdale (I - Reform Party), though having won a higher percentage of the popular vote than third parties from 1968 and 1948, lost both of their home states (Texas, California) and won no states in the EC.
In 1988 (D), Michael Dukakis won his home state of Massachusetts but lost Lloyd Bentson's home state of Texas.
In 1984, Walter Mondale won his home state of Minnesota but lost Geraldine Ferraro's home state of New York.
In 1980 (D), both Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale won their home states (Georgia, Minnesota).
In 1976 (R), both Gerald Ford and Bob Dole won their home states (Michigan, Kansas).
In 1972 (D), George McGovern and Sargeant Shriver LOST both of their home states (South Dakota, Maryland) - but in a massive landslide to Richard Nixon (California) and Spiro Agnew (Maryland).
In 1968 (D), Hubert Humprey and Edmund Muskie won both of their home states (Minnesota, Maine). And while avowed racist George Wallace (I - American Independent Party) won his home state of Alabama, he lost Curtis LeMay's home states (Ohio, California). Interestingly, enough, the winning ticket did now win both home states: Nixon carried his home state of California but lost Spiro Agnews home state of Maryland.
In 1964 (R), Barry Goldwater won his home state of Arizona but lost William Miller's home state of New York. William Miller is probably the most forgotten Vice Presidential candidate in all of our modern history. This would be a great Jeopardy question!
In 1960 (R), Richard Nixon won his home state of California (by +0.15%) but lost Henry Cabot Lodge's home state of Massachusetts (which was also Kennedy's home state). You think that Florida was the first mis-called state in our electoral history? WRONG. Both Alaska and California were falsely called by the networks for Kennedy in 1960 and then corrected the call for Nixon the next morning:
The call for California comes at 9:17 into the video. Fascinating
At 10:26 into the video, the narrator admits the call error.
In 1956 (D), both Adlai Stevenson and Estes Kefauver LOST their home states (Illinois, Tennessee), but in a landslide loss to Eisenhower.
However, hour years before, in 1952 (D), though Adlai Stevenson also lost his home state of Illinois, he won his running mates (John Sparkman) state of Alabama.
In 1948 (D), Thomas Dewey won his home state of New York but lost Earl Warren's home state of California. Yes, the same Earl Warren who became our 14th Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court under Eisenhower. But (I) Strom Thurmond and Fielding Wright (States Rights Party) won both of their home states (South Carolina, Mississippi).
In 1944 (R), Thomas Dewey lost his home state of New York to FDR, but won John Bricker's home state of Ohio (by +0.30%). This is one of one two times in now 120 years where Ohio did not go for the winner of the General Election (1960 being the other instance). This is also the only one of the four FDR elections where the GOP ticket did not lose both of their home states.
In 1940 (R), Wendell Willkie and Charles McNary LOST both of their home states (New York, Oregon) to FDR in a landslide (+9.95%) third election for FDR.
In 1936 (R), Alf Landon and Frank Knox LOST both of their home states (Kansas, Illinois) to FDR in a landslide (+24.25%) re-election for FDR.
In 1932 (R), Herbert Hoover and Charles Curtis LOST both of their home states (California, Kansas) to FDR in a landslide (+17.76%) first for FDR.
In 1928 (D), Al Smith and Joseph Robison won both of their home states (Massachusetts, Arkansas) in spite of a 17.42% margin loss to Herbert Hoover. This was also only the second time in Massachusett's history since the Civil War that the state was won by a Democrat. Reason: Al Smith was the first Catholic Presidential candidate ever and Massachusetts was and still is a very heavily Catholic state. And so for this reason, in spite of a stunning loss to Hoover, Al Smith was able to carry Massachusetts and also neighboring Rhode Island, the only two states outside of the deepest of the Deep South to go Democratic in that year.
In 1924 (D), John Davis and Charles Bryan (D) LOST both of their home states (West Virginia, Nebraska) to Calvin Coolidge in the second largest (by margin percentage: Coolidge +25.22%) landslide in our history, after 1920. But for third party, the Progressive Party, Robert LaFollette carried his home state of Wisconsin but narrowly lost Burton Wheeler's home state of Montana.
In 1920 (D), James Cox and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (yes, the future President from 1933-1945) LOST both of their home states of Ohio and New York to Warren Harding in the largest (by margin percentage: Harding +26.17%) landslide in our history, ever.
In 1916 (R), the last incumbent election for a second term where the incumbent won by a smaller percentage margin and take of the EC than in his first election (Woodrow Wilson, 1916 over 1912), also the election with the winning margin that is currently the closest to Obama's current +2.87% winning margin, both Charles Hughes and Charles Fairbanks won their home states (Indiana, New York).
In 1912 (R), in a massive three-way election, William Howard Taft and Nicholas Butler LOST both of their homes states (Ohio, New York) in a 14.44% losing margin landslide to Woodrow Wilson. But Theodore Roosevelt, who ran as the Bull-Moose/Progressive third party candidate, though he also lost his home state of New York, won Hiram Johnson's home state of California (by +0.03%, or +174 votes!) and his third party ticket got 80 more electors than the Republicans!
Facit: losing tickets which lost both home-states in the following years since 1912:
1912, 1920, 1924, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1956, 1972 and now, 2012, 9 of 26 cycles (34.62% of the time).
But 1912, 1920, 1924, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1956, 1972 were all landslide wins at the national level. Of those 8 landslides, they are evenly split, 4R, 4D.
2012 is the only election within the last 100 years where the losing ticket lost all of it's home-states (even hometowns!) in a lean national election.