June 21, 2012
Might We See a Landslide?
We have grown unaccustomed to presidential landslides. The three most lopsided presidential races since 1988 fell short of the conventional definition of a landslide, which would be a ten-point difference in the popular vote between the winner of the election and the next-closest candidate. Obama in 2008 beat McCain by seven points and carried 28 states. Clinton in 1996 beat Dole by eight points (although Clinton did not even get a majority of the popular vote) and carried 31 states. George H. Bush had a seven-point advantage over Dukakis in 1988 and carried 40 states. A quick perusal of the electoral maps in each race shows a closely divided nation and no real mandate for the victorious candidate. But that landslide drought could end this November. Economic conditions produce landslides -- prosperity propelled Reagan and Eisenhower, for example, to huge re-election wins in 1984 and 1956. Economic distress affects voters even more. Only once...(Read Full Article)