Politics Again

...This morning, I asked myself, "how close have presidential elections been, historically?" (...I also wondered what Gandhi would have to say about Iraq (or, probably more importantly, North Korea).  But that's speculation, and for another post.)

That is, I was wondering if there were ever a clear leader.  A bona-fide "mandate" from the people.  (I'm talking popular vote, not electoral college bullshit.) 60% would be noteworthy, but wouldn't even override a bill in the Senate.  It's not a significant enough majority.  I'd give it to 2/3rds.  But what I really wanted to see was 75%.

So I decided to go look. ...Nothing breaks the 60% mark after Nixon, where 60.67% went to his re-election. 61.05% to Johnson in '64 (and 90% of the electoral vote, WTF?), and 60.8% to FDR in '36.

It turns out that the most recent clear, overwhelming majority (in fact, the only one to beat the 61% record) was 98.3% to James Monroe in 1820.

While these data are circumstantial, I think something is fucked up.  There seems to be something about our system that is biased toward a roughly even divide of the country.

Frankly, it smells of bullshit to me.


r_b_bergstrom said...

Frankly, it smells of bullshit to me.

Mee too.

r_b_bergstrom said...

typuibf while eatubng

r_b_bergstrom said...

typing while eating. excuse wrong n extra letters, please.

DRockwood said...

Free market economics explain the phenomenon.

The two parties are competing for the same pool of voters. They both aim for the middle hopefully without alienating the radicals on their respective sidelines.
Their strategies are identical and if they miss the mark and fall too far outside the mainstream the system self corrects (via humiliating loss).