Meanwhile, let me take this moment to announce a contest. I'd like to redo the masthead at the top of the blog. If anyone wants to submit a design, that would be awesome. The best design gets used. Maybe.
But for now, let's celebrate.
*No one actually said that.
**Well, I could have, but it wouldn't have been as fun.
im on the redesign. love the blog cuz - dare i say i'm bummed when you dont post for a couple of days.
a questin for ya - what is yer prediction of the 1972 presidential election if mcgovern picked someone without a history of nervous breakdowns? would nixon still have won? do war time incumbents always win? and does it behoove obama to keep the war going so he gets relected 2012? that is of course if the world doesnt end like the mayans predicted...
The problem with the McGovern campaign wasn't the VP choice. VP candidates have very little effect on elections. McGovern's loss was one of the biggest blowouts in presidential history. It would have been roughly the same if his running mate were Ted Kennedy, Isaac Hayes, or Marcia Brady. (I'm trying to think of who was cool in '72.)
Do wartime incumbents always win? It depends how we define our terms. LBJ stepped down in '68 because he would have lost, largely because of the war. Harry Truman was eligible to run in '52, but declined to do so because his Korean-war-related unpopularity was killing him. In both those cases, the wartime president's party lost the election.
The war in Afghanistan may well be going on in 2012, but I don't think Obama is either cynical or stupid enough to prolong it in the hopes it will save his presidency.
So, to refine the question (although we don't have a big enough data set): in the modern era, do wartime Republican incumbents ever lose?
Also, I predictably love the animated gif here. Perhaps you could use that for the masthead, and we could all die of epilepsy?
The only modern "wartime Republican incumbents" we have are Nixon and Bush II, both of whom won. Arguably, Nixon's Democratic predecessor took much of the blame for the war, so he had that going for him. Things might have been different had Nixon faced a real challenger.
The war took a toll on Bush, who got reelected by the narrowest margin in presidential election history. But that wasn't enough to defeat him.
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