In yet another very strong sign that our Republic may be going through a second "Gilded Age", where generally, a number of tight elections followed each other, let's take a look at Mitt Romney's current standing:
|USA||DEM||GOP||IND||Total||DEM %||GOP %||IND %||Margin||Mar %|
Dave Leip at USelectionAtlas has him 0.01% lower, at 47.82% (Leip uses a reverse color-scheme - RED = DEM, BLUE = GOP):
And compared to 1876-1896 (the so-called "Gilded Age"):
(written comparison of these two 6-cycle periods at the end of the report).
Now, back to Gov. Romney:
Mitt Romney's current raw vote total is around 1.1 million less votes than John McCain garnered in 2008. His current percentage, however, is higher than McCain's from 2008.
Mitt Romney's current raw vote total is around 200,000 less votes than John Kerry garnered in 2004. His current percentage is is also lower than Kerry's, by 0.44% or 0.45%. It is very, very unlikely that, based on the votes left out to count, and more importantly, from where they will be coming, that Romney is going to surpass Kerry's losing percentage from 2004. But in the raw vote total, it is very conceivable that at least 200,000 more votes will come in for the Governor, so I suspect that 1/2 of this statistic is going to change by January 2013.
But here is the real kicker: George W. Bush, Jr., as we all know, actually lost in the PV in 2000, and currently, Romney's percentage is also less than Bush's, by 0.05%.
Of course, Romney's statistic is better than Bob Dole's from 1996 and George HW Bush's from 1992 -but those were both three-way elections and really hard to compare to two-way elections.
So, Mitt Romney's current standing is - overall - the worst standing for the Republicans in the NPV over the last 12 years.
It is also interesting to note, that since the advent of the "Clinton Revolution" of 1992, which transformed the NE and the West Coast, followed by the "Bush Revolution" of 2000, which completed the Reagan transformation of the South and solidly sealed most all of the South for the Republicans, the Republicans have not been able to come over 286 EV. The Democrats, on the other hand, have gone over 300 in all four elections where they won in both the NPV and the EC: Clinton with 370 and 379 EV, respectively, and Obama with 365 and 332, respectively.
Were we to average these six elections in the EC, then the following statistic appears:
6 cycle-average (1992-2012)
DEM: 327.3 EV (60.84%)
GOP: 210.5 EV (39.13%)
abstained: 0.2 EV (0.03%)
6 cycle margin: DEM +116.8 EV (+21.70%)
-vs- the EC statistic for 2012:
General Election 2012
Obama: 332 EV (61.70%)
Romney: 206 EV (38.30%)
6 cycle margin: DEM +126 EV (+23.40%)
Difference between Obama's EC win in 2012 and the 6-cycle average:
Obama: +4.7 EV over the average (+0.86%)
Romney: -4.5 EV under the average (-0.83%)
Margin: Obama +9.2 EV over the 6-cycle margin (+1.70%)
Please notice how close Obama's EC win from 2012 comes to this six cycle average. Each man's take of the EC is less than one percent away from the 6-cycle average. That is pretty damned close!
Of course, elections and ruling parties are not based on the average of many cycles.
Nonetheless, from a historical perspective, it is statistically proven that what will become 24 years, from 1993-2017, were years of Democratic majority rule in the White House, the National Popular Vote, in the Electoral College, and for the most part, in Congress.
Ok, now to the fun part! Take a look at these six cycles and compare them to 1876-1896 (the so-called "Gilded Age"):
Look at the losing percentages:
Hayes (R) with 47.92% in 1876 - "electoral backfire", Hayes won in the EC.
Hancock (D) with 48.22% in 1880. The closest NPV election in our history. Closer than Nixon vs. Kennedy in 1960!
Blaine (R) with 48.28% in 1884. Grover Cleveland wins his first term, the first Democrat since 1856.
Harrison (R) with 47.80% in 1888 - the second "electoral backfire" within 12 years. Harrison wins in the EC, Cleveland is swept out of office.
Harrison (R) with 46.02% in 1892. Cleveland makes a comeback and defeats Harrison in the popular vote again, but this time also in the EC and become the only president in our history to serve two non-consecutive terms, as both the 22nd and 24th President.
Bryan (D) with 46.71% in 1896. Massive EC landslide for McKinley.
Clinton/Bush Revolutions, 1992-2012:
Bush 41 (R) with 37.45% in 1992- in a three man race against Ross Perot.
Dole (R) with 40.75% in 1996 - in a three man race against Ross Perot.
Bush 43 (R) with 47.87% in 2000 - electoral backfire, Bush 43 won in the EC.
Kerry (D) with 48.27% in 2004 - highest losing percentage ever against a sitting incumbent.
McCain (R) with 45.60% in 2008. Worst Republican percentage in a two-man race since 1964.
Romney (R) with -currently - 47.82%. Better percentage than McCain, less total votes.
-in both sets of 6-cycles, the losing percentage was very close to 48% at least three times (1876, 1880, 1884, 1888 / 2000, 2004, 2008)
-in both sets of 6-cycles, all winning margins are single digit margins. In the Golden Age, they are ALL low-single-digit margins, whereas from 1992-2012, 3 of them are low-single-digit margin wins (2000, 2004, 2012).
-in both sets of 6-cycles, the DEMS won in the the majority of those 6 times in the PV.
-in both sets of 6-cycles, there was at least one electoral backfire - each time to the benefit of the GOP. And there was serious talk of the possibility of an electoral backfire happening in 2012, which fortunately, did not happen.
-in the Gilded Age, the winner came over 50% only 2 times. From 1992-2012, the winner came over 50% three times.
So, in both cases, we see an electorate that essentially locked within about a +2.5 to +3% margin range, from around 47.5-48.0% to 50.5%. That is a truly landlocked electorate, in both cases, and a striking similarity.
If you reduce the field of 6 cycles down to just four: 1880-1892, 2000-2012, then the similarities are even stronger.
BTW, in 1900, which would have been the 7th cycle, had I included it, that election was also a single digit win, but a massive EC landslide for incumbent McKinley, who campaigned from the front porch of his home in Warren, Ohio. If history is our guide, then 2016 is very likely to be yet another single-digit margin election.
I am now convinced that we are in "Gilded Age II" and would not be surprised if historians start calling this period of time exact that within the next 20 years of our lives.
How has this played out on the electoral map over the last ten cycles will be the subject of the next report, called ELECTORAL COLUMNS, 1980-2012.