07 November 2012

Some facts about the 2012 presidential election

Now that President Obama has been re-elected, some facts.

Assuming that President Obama serves out his second-term to its end (and this is a logical assumption), then we will have seen three two-term presidents in a row for the first time in 188 years. Yes, 188 years.

Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)
James Madison (1809-1817)
James Monroe (1817-1828)


Bill Clinton (1993-2001)
George W. Bush, Jr. (2001-2009)
Barack Obama (2009-2017)

Span between Jefferson and Clinton: 188 years
Span between Madison and Bush, Jr.: 188 years
Span between Monroe and Obama: 188 years

However, if Vice President Joe Biden also serves out his second-term to it's end (and this is a logical assumption), then this would be the first time EVER in our history to have three back-to-back two-term administrations without change of personnel, for Thomas Jefferson had two Vice-Presidents (Aaron Burr, George Clinton) and James Madison's Vice-President, the same George Clinton who served under Jefferson's second term in office, died in office and was not replaced.

So, in context of that, we are looking at - politically and historically speaking - the most stabile period in our history:

Bill Clinton / Al Gore (1993-2001)
George W. Bush, Jr. / Dick Cheney (2001-2009)
Barack Obama / Joe Biden (2009-2017)

2012 was also the first time that a black president was re-elected, a catholic vice-president was re-elected, that two catholic vice-presidential candidates sat across from and debated each other (Joe Biden, Paul Ryan) and for the first time in our history, a mormon was a presidential nominee.

Those are all facts that have nothing in the world to do with partisanship. And I think they are indeed interesting facts.

It also goes without saying that this was the most expensive and longest run presidential election in our history. The cost for the presidential election alone will go well above 2 billion USD.

On a partisan level, it is a remarkable achievement that Obama retained at least 6 of the 9 pick-ups from 2008: OH, IA, VA, NM, CO and NV. Florida is still uncalled.

The two states that Obama lost to Romney, IN and NC, were the two states with the most Republican DNA of the nine.

This is the first time since 1916  that a president won his SECOND election with a lesser margin than in his first election (Woodrow Wilson, 1916). But Wilson went from three-man race in 1912 to the standard two-man race in 1916. It is true that FDR won in 1940 with a lesser margin than in 1936, but that was his THIRD election, which cannot be compared to any other presidents as FDR was the only president in our history to serve more than two terms.

So, the fact that the national race was so very close and yet, Obama was able to retain most of his electoral coalition from 2008, is indeed an impressive fact.

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