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Obama Mandate? – I don’t know

November 7, 2008

This was posted by Aziz at Dean’s World today and my response follows:

With the axiom that the popular vote is the best metric for gauging the existence of a mandate, I look at the numbers and conclude that Obama has a clearer mandate from the people than any President in recent history.

I’m not sure what you mean by recent history, but I’ll go back to the first election after I was born – 1972.  The following presidents had either a greater popular vote margin or greater percentage of the popular vote than Obama or a greater number of electoral votes (from infoplease):

1972 – Nixon by 18 million –       60.1% – 520 EV
1980 – Reagan by 7.4 million –    51% –    489 EV
1984 – Reagan by 16.9 million –  59.2% – 525 EV
1988 – Bush by 7.1 million –        53.9% – 426 EV
1992 – Clinton by 5.8 million –    43.3% – 370 EV
1996 – Clinton by 8.2 million –    50.1% – 379 EV

2008 – Obama by 7.2 million –    53% –  364 EV

Four presidents in the last 36 years have won by a greater number of votes and three have won with a greater percentage of the popular vote and six have received more electoral votes (unless Obama takes Missouri, then five will have had more).  That doesn’t look like “a clearer mandate from the people than any President in recent history” to me.

He may very well have a mandate, but I don’t think it’s any clearer than some other recent presidents

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From → Election, Obama, Politics

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