Tag Archives: Ronald Reagan

This Week’s Memorabilia — John Anderson

This is a button from the John Anderson for President campaign in 1980.  Anderson was a Republican congressman from Illinois who lost to Ronald Reagan in the Republican primaries that year.  He decided to run as an Independent or in some states a National Unity, candidate.  Anderson polled very well in the Summer and early Fall of 1980, but as the campaign inched closer to November, Anderson faltered.  His campaign finished third behind Reagan and President Jimmy Carter.  Why is it difficult for Independent candidates to win the Presidency?  (None have.)

JohnAnderson

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Who Wants To Be Vice President?

Dr. Patrick Cox of the University of Texas at Austin had this to say about former Vice President John Nance Garner regarding the position of Vice President.  “When it comes to commentary about the office of vice president of the United States, no statement is more repeated than John Nance Garner’s observation that the office “is not worth a bucket of warm spit.”  Garner served Franklin D. Roosevelt as Vice President during Roosevelt’s first two terms.  Garner never became President of the United States.  Only 14 Vice Presidents have become President of the United States.  The last being George HW Bush, who served as Vice President under Ronald Reagan (1981-1989).  Bush became President in 1989 and served until 1993.  He lost to Bill Clinton for re-election in 1992.  Clinton’s Vice President, Al Gore, was the last Vice President to unsuccessfully run for President.  Gore lost to then-Governor George W. Bush in 2000.

Why haven’t there been more Vice Presidents who have become President?

 

The Election of 1980

The ad below was run in 1980 by the Ronald Reagan campaign for President.  Reagan, a Republican, ran against the incumbent Democrat, Jimmy Carter in the general election.  Congressman John Anderson, also a Republican, ran as a third party Independent or National Unity Party candidate in that election as well.  The man that you see in the ad is neither Reagan nor Carter.  It is not Anderson for that matter.
The speaker is then-Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy who ran for President in the Democratic primaries against Carter.  Kennedy attempted to capitalize on his name and his left-leaning populism against the unpopular Carter.  Kennedy’s campaign sputtered at the start and the Senator never really mounted a challenge to Carter throughout the primary season.
What Reagan’s campaign did with this ad was to use Kennedy’s words against Carter in the general election.  This is sometimes called a “them on them” ad.  It is where a candidate uses the words of his opponent’s former opponents against him.  In this case, Reagan uses the words of Kennedy against Carter.  Reagan does not have to say a word in the ad.  The goal is to get dissatisfied Democrats to switch parties on Election Day and support the Republican Reagan.
Do you believe that ads of the “them on them” variety are effective?

Incumbent Presidential Vote Totals

President Barack Obama, as of this post, received 60,892,345 popular votes in his Presidential re-election bid.  This was down from the 69 million votes+ he received in 2008.  This is not the first time an incumbent President who was   re-elected for another term received fewer popular votes in his next go around than in his previous election.  The last that this happened was in 1944 when Franklin D. Roosevelt received fewer votes in his fourth bid for the Presidency than in his third.  The last time before that?  Roosevelt once again in 1940.  Here are the victorious incumbent Presidents and their popular vote totals in back to back elections.

Andrew Jackson

1828:  642,533; 1832:  701,780

Abraham Lincoln

1860:  1,855,593; 1864:  2,218,388

Ulysses S. Grant

1868:  3,013,790; 1872:  3,598,235

William McKinley

1896:  7,102,246; 1900:  7,228,864

Woodrow Wilson

1912:  6,296,284; 1916:  9,126,868

Franklin D. Roosevelt

1932:  22,821,277; 1936:  27,752,648; 1940:  27,313,945; 1944:  25,612,916

Dwight D. Eisenhower

1952:  34,075,529; 1956:  35,579,180

Richard Nixon

1968:  31,783,783; 1972:  47,168,710

Ronald Reagan

1980:  43,903,230; 1984:  54,455,472

Bill Clinton

1992:  44,909,806; 1996:  47,400,125

George W. Bush

2000:  50,460,110; 2004:  62,040,610

Barack Obama

2008:  69,498,215; 2012:  60,892,345

What accounts for the drop in Obama’s total from 2012 to 2008?

Electoral College Results Since 1964

There are 538 available Electoral College votes in this year’s Presidential election.  That total has remained the same since 1964.  Below are the Electoral vote totals for each Presidential election since 1964.

1964:  Lyndon Johnson (D) 486, Barry Goldwater (R) 52

1968:  Richard Nixon (R) 301, Hubert Humphrey (D) 197, George Wallace (I) 40

1972:  Nixon (R) 520, George McGovern (D) 17, John Hospers (L) 1

1976:  Jimmy Carter (D) 297, Gerald Ford (R) 240

1980:  Ronald Reagan (R) 489, Carter (D) 49

1984:  Reagan (R) 525, Walter Mondale (D) 13

1988:  George H.W. Bush (R) 429, Michael Dukakis (D) 112

1992:  Bill Clinton (D) 370, Bush (R) 168

1996:  Clinton (D) 387, Bob Dole (R) 151

2000:  George W. Bush (R) 271, Al Gore (D) 266

2004:  Bush (R) 286, John Kerry (D) 251

2008:  Barack Obama (D) 365, John McCain (R) 173

What do you think this year’s Electoral vote total will be for the 2012 Presidential Election?