Thursday, January 20, 2005

"51% is Not a Mandate"

I just saw a sign that read "51% is Not a Mandate". (Actually I think Bush won 50.73% but that's close enough.) Ok. What is a mandate? Did Bush Sr. have a mandate in 1988 when he won with 53.4%. Clinton certainly never had a mandate. In 1996 he only won 49.24% of the vote. In 1992 he won a laughable 42.93%.

Did you get that? Bush won a higher percent of the vote in both 2000 and 2004 than Clinton did in either of his elections. Let's dig a little further back.

1980, Reagan: 50.7%.
1976, Carter: 50.1%.
1968, Nixon: 43.2%
1964: JFK, the 60s Saint, Camelot and all that: 49.72%.
1948: Truman: 49.7%.

Granted, for a re-election Bush did historically low. Eisenhower in 56 (57.4%), Nixon in 72 (60.7%) and Reagan in 84 (58.77%) did better. But keep in mind that these are Republicans. No Democrat has won an election, first or second, with a percentage greater than Bush's since 1944 when FDR won a fourth term with 53.5%.

People who say that Bush does not have a mandate based on his margin of victory are saying that no Democrat has had a mandata since 1944. Somehow I don't think people really believe that.

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