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Obama First POTUS Since Eisenhower To Get 51% Of The Vote Twice

According to the latest tally of the election results, President Obama accomplished a feat unseen since Dwight Eisenhower was President: 

Eight weeks after the Nov. 6 presidential election, a revised vote count in New York shows that Barack Obama is the first president in more than five decades to win at least 51 percent of the vote twice.

State election officials submitted a final tally Dec. 31 that added about 400,000 votes, most of them from provisional ballots in the Democratic-stronghold of New York City that were counted late in part because of complications caused by superstorm Sandy.

Obama nationally won 65.9 million votes — or 51.1 percent of the vote — against Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who took 60.9 million votes and 47.2 percent of the total, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Obama is the first president to achieve that level of support in two elections since Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 and the first Democrat to do so since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944.

The president won the popular vote in 26 states and the District of Columbia, totaling 332 electoral votes, or 62 more than the 270 needed to win the presidency. Romney won 24 states with 206 electoral votes. Obama won 365 electoral votes in 2008.

The 2012 numbers are slightly below what Obama got in 2008, but not disastrously so. One wonders if we’ll see this the next time we have a two-term President, or if our increased polarization will lead to ever closer election results.

 

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. An Interested Party says:

    Who knew that there were so many moochers and takers in this country…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  2. edmondo says:

    You can’t fool all the people all of the time but apparently you can fool 51% of America twice.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 34

  3. Kylopod says:

    I actually think polarization can increase the chances of solid majorities. What kept Clinton, Reagan, and Nixon beneath the 51% threshold at least once wasn’t polarization but the presence of third-party candidates. Since 2004, probably in part due to the Nader fiasco in 2000, the influence of third-party candidates has greatly waned, and this makes bigger majorities more likely, not less.

    I remember Republicans at the end of 2004 boasting about how Bush won the first popular majority in 16 years. Ironically, I think this was a sign that the Democratic Party had become stronger, since most former Naderites had come back into the fold. That’s what a lot of people don’t understand about third-party candidacies: they don’t just hurt one of the major-party candidates (usually the one who’s ideologically closer to the third party), they tend to lower the percentages of both of the major-party contenders. That’s why Reagan got less than 51% in 1980, even though Anderson drew more votes from Carter than from Reagan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  4. Alex Knapp says:

    Fun fact: Obama is also the first POTUS since Eisenhower to cut Federal spending in absolute terms. Average inflation-adjusted rate of growth in the Federal budget under Obama’s administration is -0.1%. Under Ike it was -0.5%. All other POTUS’s saw positive growth in Federal spending.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 0

  5. scott says:

    @Alex Knapp: More fuel to the idea that Obama is really an Eisenhower Republican.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  6. swearyanthony says:

    Man, Zombie ACORN are incredible effective at their work.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  7. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Misery loves company.

    Obama also is the first Prez since FDR in the 40’s to be reelected with a lower percentage of the national vote than that with which he was elected. Ditto for a smaller number of electoral votes. And since FDR started out in the 30’s with such a crushing landslide and won four terms even that analogy falls short. But obviously none of that fits in with the narrative.

    A few other gems which for obvious reasons won’t be featured by the Internet-media-academe cabal:

    – Since Obama took office the federal budget deficit has ranged from 10.1% of GDP to 7.0% of GDP. At no point since the 1940’s have we had a deficit-to-GDP ratio even of 7.0%. Not during the Vietnam War. Not during the Carter malaise. Not after the bursting of the dot com bubble and 9/11. Not even close. Not even in the ballpark.

    – Since Obama took office the labor force participation rate not only has declined it’s declined substantially (as far as labor stats are concerned). From 65.7 down to 63.6. The government has been tracking that metric since 1948. No Prez during the ensuing 60-plus years has experienced such a material decline in labor force participation. Again, misery loves company.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 15

  8. Rob in CT says:

    Internet-media-academe cabal

    You’re so cute, Nicky.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  9. gVOR08 says:

    @Kylopod: Agree. I see no reason polarization would produce balance. Unless the Republicans reverse the trend of becoming a rural party it’s hard to see how they don’t decline. As things are going, they’re losing FL, VA, and eventually TX.

    Romney can think what he wants about the advantage of being minority, but the most thorough study I saw cited said that being black cost Obama 6%. Think about what we’d be saying if the Dem had just won with 57%.

    And Doug, please repeat that Romney got 47% every chance you get. I love it. Whoever shot that video deserves a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  10. michael reynolds says:

    @Rob in CT:

    It’s the BuzzFeed – Fox News – Harvard cabal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  11. Liberty60 says:

    Since Obama took office the federal budget deficit has ranged from 10.1% of GDP to 7.0% of GDP.

    Are you sure of your facts?

    Because in order for this to be true, something massive would have had to have happened in 2008 to reduce GDP and increase federal spending.

    It would have had to be something huge, an economic shift of seismic proportions.

    I’m sure we would have heard about it in the papers or something.

    Check with your friendly neighborhood Internet-media-academe cabal.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Liberty60: It’s all Obama’s fault. He’s had 4 years, magic ponies and fairy dust and still the economy only improves incrementally despite the collective efforts of the entire GOP to destroy his Presidency, even if it means destroying the country.

    ‘Cause he’s a socialist, ya know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  13. stonetools says:

    But remember, the USA is always a center-right country.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  14. Geek, Esq. says:

    The real cliff the Republicans are facing is this:

    What if Democrats start winning 43-45% of the white vote?

    Because that’s when they start losing a whole bunch of House races. The country as a whole is more diverse, but that diversity is concentrated in urban congressional districts. If instead of Republicans making inroads with the Democrats’ urban coalition, Democrats start doing better with Republican exurban base then it’s ballgame.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  15. de stijl says:

    @Liberty60:

    Because in order for this to be true, something massive would have had to have happened in 2008 to reduce GDP and increase federal spending.

    Be kind. If you had an eight year gap in your memories, context would elude you, too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  16. al-Ameda says:

    @edmondo:

    You can’t fool all the people all of the time but apparently you can fool 51% of America twice.

    But … I had no idea he was a socialist marxist Kenyan. I thought you guys were joking!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. al-Ameda says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Obama also is the first Prez since FDR in the 40′s to be reelected with a lower percentage of the national vote than that with which he was elected. Ditto for a smaller number of electoral votes. And since FDR started out in the 30′s with such a crushing landslide and won four terms even that analogy falls short. But obviously none of that fits in with the narrative.

    And not only that, he’s a Kenyan marxist.

    Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, shame on me – it’s a win/win situation as far as I can see.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0