‘Landslide’ Victories in US Presidential Elections: Obama vs Reagan


I’ve covered Obama compared to Reagan before at here:

As well as other mentions of that great President.

Now I’ll rehash an old comment of mine that was in response to a naive Obama worshipper who mistakenly thought that Obama’s 2008 victory was anything close to a ‘landslide’.

———————–

First, we look at the percentage of votes as follows. Wikipedia: United States presidential election, 2008:

Barack Obama vs John McCain
Electoral vote 365 vs 173
States carried 28 + DC + NE-02 vs 22
Popular vote 69,456,897 vs 59,934,814 (116:100 ratio)
Percentage 52.9% vs 45.7%

Not a very impressive map, really.

Compared to Wikipedia: United States presidential election, 1980:

Ronald Reagan vs Jimmy Carter vs John B. Anderson
Electoral vote 489 vs 49 vs 0
States carried 44 vs 6 + DC vs 0
Popular vote 43,903,230 vs 35,480,115 vs 5,719,850 (124:100:16 ratio)
Percentage 51.6% vs 41.7% vs 6.70%

Lookit that sea of red!

1980 Reagan’s 489 electoral votes clearly outstrips Obama’s 365 electoral votes. But fair enough, Reagan got 51.6% of the popular vote against Obama’s 52.9% – though one could argue that the Independent contender John B. Anderson’s 6.70% would other wise have gone to Reagan (using Anderson’s 0 electoral votes as precedent) to give the Gipper a total of 58.30%.

And a 58.30% is not a wild fantasy, because now let’s look at the even more incredible Wikipedia: United States presidential election, 1984:

Ronald Reagan vs Walter Mondale
Electoral vote 525 vs 13
States carried 49 vs 1 + DC (Head to the link and look at the map! It’s almost entirely red!)
Popular vote 54,455,472 vs 37,577,352 (145:100 ratio)
Percentage 58.8% vs 40.6%

Now even the last few blue holdouts have almost all surrendered!

So in 1984, Reagan got a far higher ratio of the electoral vote, states and popular vote than Obama in 2008. Obama is a featherweight compared to what Reagan achieved!

And note that Reagan was running for a second term, which means people voted for his 4 years of proven policies – very different from the untested Obama benefiting from anti-Bush sentiment and a crony media that refused to vet him.

In fact, adjusting for total votes cast (2008′s 129,391,711 which is 40.59% more than 1984′s 92,032,824 or 52.04% more than 1980′s 85,103,195) due to expanding population, if Reagan’s popular votes percentages were adjusted to 2008′s voting population, 1984 Reagan would have gotten 76,558,948 votes – 7,102,051 more than Obama ever managed!

Via Dan Mitchell:

——————–

And if the 2010 elections are anything to judge by:

Then 2012 will see an even more massive landslide for the Republican nominee – just as 1980 saw Reagan first elected on the back of Carter’s failed Democrat policies!


8 Responses to “‘Landslide’ Victories in US Presidential Elections: Obama vs Reagan”

  1. adagioforstrings (@adagioforstring) Says:

    “Then 2012 will see an even more massive landslide for the Republican nominee” From your fingers to God’s eyeballs!

  2. Ron Says:

    The latest poll from the Pew Research Center shows President Barack Obama not only leads Mitt Romney by seven points overall, but he also leads on every single issue (dealing with poverty, views on abortion and gay rights, defending against terrorism, national energy policy, health care, foreign policy, taxation, improving economic conditions, selecting Supreme Court justices, handling immigration), except for improving the job situation and reducing the federal budget deficit.

  3. Scott Thong Says:

    So let me get this straight…

    Obama is driving jobs off a cliff, and he’s a shoe-in to win another 4 years of his kick-butt economic policies, and you are happy about this?

    Did you escape to Estonia or something?

    (PS. Don’t expect you to answer that directly… To my knowledge, you’ve carefully avoided doing so every time I asked if you’re actually pleased with the way Obama runs the economy, really believe he’s doing a better job than some alternative, etc. Am I wrong?)

  4. Ron Says:

    Scott, I have answered directly here (see paragraph 4) (and elsewhere).

    The short answer is that economic recovery is dependent on investor confidence, no matter who’s at the helm. And neither of the two presidential candidates inspires much confidence in their leadership capabilities.

    And sure, Eastonia’s (along with Latvia’s and Lithuania’s) austerity measures were a resounding success… for those who aren’t standing in the unemployment line. But to members of the Cato Institute the numbers on that graph are only a trifling detail.

  5. Scott Thong Says:

    Scott, I have answered directly here (see paragraph 4) (and elsewhere).

    Okay, I guess that counts. My bad.

    The short answer is that economic recovery is dependent on investor confidence, no matter who’s at the helm. And neither of the two presidential candidates inspires much confidence in their leadership capabilities.

    But if the economy runs only or mainly on investor confidence, then explain the completely opposite nature of Reagan’s and Obama’s respective ‘recovery’.

    Oh wait, I guess you could put that down to investor confidence too… Seeing as how investors run screaming from Obama.

    So if that’s the case, you’re telling me you SERIOUSLY believe that Romney’s experience running a state and keeping close tabs on economic factors at Bain are no better proof/qualifications than Obama’s coddled lifetime in non-private enterprise (including a starting job granted by unrepentant terrorists), disastrous community organizing, do-nothing Senatorship and train wreck Presidency?

    Really?

    I mean, the guy was elected to fix the economy. He had the Presidency and supermajorities in both Houses, and what did he do with it? Waste months on a barely-pushed-through, much hated and job-killing Obamacare. Throw Stimulus money that goes to cronies, doomed-to-fail pipe dreams, worthless number padding, and wouldn’t even work if it went to the right places: Policymakers can’t manipulate the economy by systematically ‘tricking’ people with policy surprises.”

    And sure, Eastonia’s (along with Latvia’s and Lithuania’s) austerity measures were a resounding success… for those who aren’t standing in the unemployment line. But to members of the Cato Institute the numbers on that graph are only a trifling detail.

    It’s either take a minor hit now and survive in the long term, or pretend that everything is dandy until the entire economy implodes along with government jobs (*cough* GREECE SPAIN EXPONENTIAL INCREASE *cough*)

    But to Keynesians like Paul Krugman, the only cure is ever more debt and Stimulus.

  6. gipper Says:

    Obama won by 10 milion vote and that’s a landslide baby

  7. Scott Thong Says:

    Depends on the definition of ‘landslide’

    Obama didn’t take 96% of the states with Reagan’s 50 million vote win, if that’s what you mean.

    In fact, Obama is the only re-elected President who got a SMALLER victory to gain his second term – he only won by 5 million votes against Romney!

    (Thanks for spurring the memory – I’ll add Obama’s lacklustre performance to the main post!)

  8. Ron Says:

    That’s strange. I seem to recall another recent president who won his second term to office by a very meager three million votes. And FDR’s second victory still outshines Reagan’s, both in terms of electoral votes (523:8 vs. 518:13) and popularity (60.8% vs. 58.8%).

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