Thursday, November 03, 2011

November 3 Elections

Five dead presidents (and one living one) were elected or re-elected to the office on November 3: Grant, McKinley, Taft, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson (and Clinton).

In 1868, the Republican ticket of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Schulyer Colfax prevailed over the Democratic ticket of Horatio Seymour and Francis Preston Blair.

The Republicans received 52.7 percent of the popular vote and 214 electoral votes, while the Democrats received 47.3 percent of the popular vote and 80 electoral votes.

In 1896, the Republicans again took the prize, with William McKinley and Garret Hobart outpolling Democrats William Jennings Bryan and Arthur Sewall, despite Bryan's impassioned oratory, mostly famously the Cross of Gold speech.

McKinley-Hobart took 51.1 percent of the popular vote and 271 electoral votes, versus 45.8 percent and 176 for Bryan-Sewall. Bryan, nicknamed "the Great Commoner," did however invent the national stump tour in this election, traveling about 18,000 miles in the months before voting day.

In 1908, William Jennings Bryan lost again (his third and final defeat), with John W. Kern as his running mate. The victors were the Republicans William Howard Taft and James S. Sherman.

This time around, Bryan captured 43 percent of the popular vote and 162 electoral votes; Taft got 51.6 percent of the popular votes and 321 electoral votes.

In 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Vice President John Nance Garner crushed Republican challengers Alf Landon and Frank Knox, with the Democrats winning 60.8 percent of the popular vote and 523 electoral votes. The Republicans took 36.5 percent of the popular vote and eight electoral votes, those of Maine and Vermont. Landon, incidentally, long outlived everyone else running in '36, finally passing away at the age of 100 in 1987, though Garner lived almost to 99 years of age, dying in 1967. Knox, later FDR's Secretary of the Navy, died in '44 and FDR himself died in '45.

In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey were also the beneficiaries of a Democratic landslide, collecting 61.1 percent of the popular vote and 486 electoral votes, versus Barry Goldwater and William E. Miller's 38.5 percent and 52 electoral votes.

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