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Memories of the 28th Century

Winning with 43%

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Could Trump win the election with only forty-three percent of the popular vote? Someone could easily win with 48%, but the votes would come from many places to get his vote total down to 43%. I will have to look at the state by state numbers to figure it out in detail, but if Trump fails to take several states that he took in 2016, then his popular vote total will be even lower this time, and he will be losing some states. People have won with less than 43 % of the popular vote, but there were unusual circumstances. For example, in 1860 Lincoln got 39.65% of the popular vote, but there were four major parties, including the new Republican Party and a divided Democrat Party. In 1912, Wilson won with 41.84 % of the popular vote, because Teddy Roosevelt tried for another tern in the Progressive Party, and William Taft was the Republican. In 1968, Nixon won with only 43.4% of the popular vote, but George Wallace ran as a third-party candidate and pulled 13.5% of the popular vote. In 1992, Clinton only got 43.0%, because H. Ross Perot pulled 13.9% of the popular vote. And then there was 1824.

So, someone could win with only 43 % of the popular vote, but only if the votes were split among two or more opponents, and that isn't happening, yet. The Libertarians haven't made much of a pitch this year, but they may. Another possibility is that Bernie will lose in the convention and decided to go back to being an independent socialist and take his adherents with him. The present information doesn't tell us how Sanders might do as an independent, and the answer to that question also depends on whom the Democrats nominate.

The speculation will become more interesting and reasonable over time, but if my thought about Trump dying of a massive heart attack in September is correct, then it will be even more interesting from then on. If my thought about Sanders is right, and the Dems select Biden to win for them, and the Republicans can't hold things together after Trump, then we might end up with Sanders, Biden, Weld, and Pence (or another Trumpist) on the ballot, and we don't know what that will result in. If it ends up going to the House, then we can expect Biden to win, but something like the 1824 election might result, but I think the end might be more complicated now, and it might take a little longer.

The betting odds strongly favor Sanders, with Bloomberg ranking second, so I don't think we can use the betting odds as a guide. This is a fluid situation, and there might be a huge change after the Super Tuesday primaries next week (I might edit this post then).

There's only one way to know for sure.

That was a few days ago, and it is now the afternoon of 3/3/2020. Amy Klobachar, and Pete Buttigieg have dropped out and endorsed Biden. Lizzie hasn't dropped out, but she may, but the one who should drop out is Bloomberg. Things will be clearer tomorrow morning. In an absolutely perfect world, there would be two Dems left tomorrow, and Trump would have dropped out, leaving Bill Weld with a clear path to the nomination.

Allan Lichtman

Presidential election results

Updated 03-03-2020 at 04:33 PM by PeterL