No One Has Ever Been Elected President . . .

Earlier, I saw on Twitter that no candidate has ever lost a presidential election when leading Gallup’s tracking poll this close to the election. (Mitt Romney currently holds a 1-point lead.) I haven’t bothered to investigate whether that’s true because, as Randall Munroe illustrates, there’s a wee problem with statements like “No candidate has ever been elected president” under some set of circumstances:

The fact of the matter is that presidential elections are rare events and are rendered even harder to study because the electoral climate has changed so much over the years that it’s almost pointless to compare elections held more than half a century apart.

FILED UNDER: Humor, US Politics, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. No President have ever been re-elected in a year when the blogosphere was talking about the number of circumstances under which Presidents have been elected.

  2. Mr. Replica says:

    Off-topic comment deleted.

  3. Anderson says:

    Xkcd is a national treasure. Munro deserves a MacArthur fellowship.

  4. Mikey says:

    Always click the link to the comic, because the alt-texts for XKCD are always fantastic.

    For this one: “No white guy who’s been mentioned on Twitter has gone on to win.”

  5. A black nominee has never lost an election. -and- No Morman nominees have ever lost an election.

  6. Mr. Replica says:

    Off-topic comment deleted.

  7. Mr. Replica says:

    Off-topic comment deleted.

  8. John Burgess says:

    @Anderson: But does the MacArthur Fellowship deserve Munro?

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @John Peabody:

    A black nominee has never lost an election.

    Correction: No black Muslim from Kenya nominee has ever lost a US Presidential election. And if Obama loses, that will still be true.