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Thursday, December 02, 2004
The Presidential difference

Since the elections of November 2nd, Steve Sailer has done a sterling job analysing the electoral and opinion poll statistics, in particular by debunking the myth that Bush's share of the Hispanic vote rose substantially.

One consistent theme he has been arguing is that for all the changes and events that have taken place since 2000 - 9/11, a bad recession, big tax cuts and budget deficits, Afghanistan, Iraq, numerous Court diktats, Kerry being the Democrat candidate instead of Gore - the election went very much the same way both times, save for a swing of about 3% to the Right. Today he demonstrates that by showing just how closely the two results correlate at the state level: 0.98 as against 0.78 in the elections of 1952 and 1956, when Eisenhower fought Stevenson both times.

It's interesting in its own right, but what strikes me when looking at his table of the contenders from each party is how much better the Republicans seem to be at winning the White House. Usually this success is expressed in terms of the party winning seven of the ten Presidential Elections that have taken place since Nixon's Southern Strategy transformed the American political map. But if you really want to get the difference across, put it this way. Ask someone to name the last three Democratic Presidential candidates who failed ever to become President, and then ask them to do the same for the Republicans.

The Democrats are easy enough, recent enough: John Kerry, Al Gore and - in 1988 - Michael Dukakis. But to do the same for the Republicans requires a firmer grasp of history: Bob Dole ... Barry Goldwater, back in 1964, and ... - in 1948 - ... Thomas Dewey.

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