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Presidential Election Trivia

February 14, 2012

During the early part of 2012, we gave away copies of our iPad app to the first twitter follower that correctly answered a trivia question. Those queries are summarized here:


February 14: Name the 4 presidents (excluding FDR), with Vice Presidents that served 2 full terms with them, who weren’t subsequently elected President

Answer: James Monroe (Daniel Tompkins), Woodrow Wilson (Thomas Marshall), Bill Clinton (Al Gore), George W. Bush (Dick Cheney).


February 9: Part 1: Name the first President born as an American citizen.  Part 2: Of all the Presidents born as American citizens, name the state that has been the birthplace of the greatest number of them.

Answer: Part 1:  Martin Van Buren    Part 2:   Ohio with 7.     Many of our early presidents were born while the now United States was still under British rule. In fact, each president from Washington to Andrew Jackson was born a British subject.  Martin Van Buren was the first born an American citizen (born 1782 in Kinderhook, New York). Van Buren’s successor, William Henry Harrison was the final president not born as an American citizen.

As for part 2, Virginia is the birthplace of 8 presidents. However, 5 of the 8 Virginians were in the group born as British subjects.  Therefore, Ohio, with 7 presidents born there (all American citizens at birth) is the correct answer to the question asked. For more information, see this Wikipedia article.


February 6: Since 1900, there have been 28 presidential elections. Only 3 states have voted exactly 50% of the time (14 elections each) for the Democrat and Republican nominees. Saturday’s caucus state, Nevada, is one of them. Name the other two.

Answer: Missouri and Virginia, along with Nevada, have voted 50% of the time for the Democrat and Republican nominee since 1900. Related facts on voting since 1900:


February 1: Name the last election year where one candidate won the electoral votes of all states with any territory in the Mountain time zone? 

Answer:  In 1984, Ronald Reagan won all the states in the Mountain time zone. Most of this time zone votes Republican in each election. In fact, 7 states with some territory in that time zone haven’t voted for a Democrat since 1964. (See accompanying screen shot from our iPad app’s map library). The answer would have been 2004, except for the fact that Oregon has a small sliver of territory in the Mountain time zone. Armed with that information, one could use 270toWin Answers to see when the last time a Republican won Oregon.    It was 1984 and, conveniently, all the other Mountain states (and almost the entire map) were red that year.


January 31: After each of last 7 Censuses, 1 state has gained 2+ electoral votes, one has lost 2+. Name both. 

Answer:   Florida (+2 or more) and New York (-2 or more). Coming close were California, Pennsylvania and Texas. California had gained 2 or more in 7 censuses from 1930 through 1990. However, this dropped to +1 in 2000 and no change in 2010. Pennsylvania has lost at least one electoral vote in the last 9 censuses, while Texas has gained at least one in the last 7.


January 30: How many presidential incumbents have won re-election?

Answer:   21 incumbents have won re-election. See the list below. 

  1. Washington, 1792
  2. Jefferson, 1804
  3. Madison, 1812
  4. Monroe, 1820
  5. Jackson, 1832
  6. Lincoln, 1864
  7. Grant, 1872
  8. McKinley, 1900
  9. T. Roosevelt, 1904
  10. Wilson, 1916
  11. Coolidge, 1924
  12. F. Roosevelt, 1936
  13. F. Roosevelt, 1940
  14. F. Roosevelt, 1944
  15. Truman, 1948
  16. Eisenhower, 1956
  17. Johnson, 1964
  18. Nixon, 1972
  19. Reagan, 1984
  20. Clinton, 1996
  21. Bush, 2004
Some related trivia
  • The longest period between incumbent re-elections was between Andrew Jackson in 1832 (7th president) and Lincoln in 1864 (16th president).
  • Of the 19 different presidents in the list above, 12 served two full terms (including F. Roosevelt, who served 3 full terms).
  • Four of the 19 succeeded into office when the president died (T. Roosevelt, Coolidge, Truman and Johnson) and were subsequently re-elected to a full term
  • Three of the 19 were elected to two terms but either died (Lincoln, McKinley) or resigned (Nixon).   F. Roosevelt also died in office; during his 4th term
  • Grover Cleveland was the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms.   Since he was not an incumbent when elected again, he is not on the above list.


January 27: What state has voted Republican in the most presidential elections?

Answer: Although it is a very blue state today, Vermont has voted Republican 33 times, more than any other state. From 1856 to 1960, Vermont voted Republican in 27 consecutive elections. After siding with Johnson in 1964, the state vote Republican from 1968 (Nixon’s first term) through 1988 (George Herbert Walker Bush’s first term).



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