Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The L Word

Here's a piece with Bill Clinton angry over the election, and so calling others (those who voted against Hillary) angry.  Par for the course, really. At the end, though, he said something interesting.

He also scoffed at the regular claim from Trump and his team that the president-elect's Election Day win represented a "landslide" victory, despite the fact that he lost the popular vote.  "Landslide?  I got something like 370 electoral votes," Clinton said, correctly recalling his 1992 total.  "That was a landslide."

He's right about Trump--no way was the election a landslide. But then, neither was Clinton's.  Trump won the Electoral College 306 to 232*, while Clinton won with 370 and then 379 such votes.  This is not only more than Trump got, but also more than two-termers Obama and George W. Bush got.  But still not that impressive.

"Landslide" is a relative term, of course, but when you consider the huge electoral landslides we saw before Clinton, you can see how paltry modern victories are.

1988:  George H. W. Bush defeats Dukakis 426 to 111
1984:  Reagan defeats Mondale 525 to 13
1980:  Reagan defeats Carter 489 to 49

(After the 1980 election, there were many on the left who insisted it wasn't a landslide.)

Other landslides in the 20th century:

1972:  Nixon defeats McGovern, 520 to 17
1964:  Johnson defeat Goldwater 486 to 52
1956:  Eisenhower defeats Stevenson 457 to 73
1952:  Eisenhower defeats Stevenson 442 to 89

That's far back enough, though you could also throw in four victories by FDR, not to mention Hoover, Harding and Wilson.

I don't know where the cut-off point is, but unless you get 400+ electoral votes, let's not even think of using the L word.

*According to the original voting.  If you figure in the faithless electors, I believe it's 304 to 227.


Anonymous Denver Guy said...

And certainly we haven't seen anything close to a so-called popular vote landslide in decades. Only Obama has gotten even a majority of the total vote since Reagan, I believe. And his wins were in the 4 to 5% range. Clinton won once with just 43% of the popular vote. Face it, we're a very divided electorate.

8:44 AM, December 21, 2016  
Blogger LAGuy said...

George W. Bush won a majority in 2004. His father won a majority in 1988.

You're right that Clinton won in 1992 with 43%, but that was a rollicking affair with Ross Perot getting 19% of the vote. (For a while, Clinton was in third place during that campaign.) He got 49% of the vote in 1996, with Perot only getting 8% that time.

9:58 AM, December 21, 2016  

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