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Election News > Go Big or Go Home - Second Term Electoral Votes

Go Big or Go Home - Second Term Electoral Votes

February 21, 2012

An interesting historical fact as we move closer to the 2012 election:

Every president re-elected for a 2nd term*, except Wilson in 1916 won more electoral votes the 2nd time around.

On the other hand, most presidents who run for re-election and lose get beaten soundly in the process. Looking at those occurrences since 1900:

Ford vs. Carter was pretty close, but the rest.. not so much. (An interesting side note -- Ford is the only person to assume the presidency as Vice-President who then lost when running for re-election).


Purely based on history, it would seem a close electoral outcome is unlikely this year. However, as a reminder, with only 56 prior presidential elections, each 4 years apart, these kinds of facts are of very limited predictive value.

*After following that trend, Roosevelt saw a decrease in both his 3rd and 4th terms).


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