History favors John Edwards for Democratic Winner

A friend of mine was discussing this with me the other day. He brought up an interesting fact. If you look at the last 40 years of presidential elections, the winning democrat has had attributes that only belong to one of the front runners. Let's examine further...

First off, let's review why we picked 40 years. First off, it's slightly longer than a generation is considered to last. I've also heard that there are more people born since JFK was killed than before his election. I would like to point out though that since John F. Kennedy was elected, the percentage of eligible voters participating in presidential elections has declined in almost every election. I've also heard that society has a hard time remembering after 20 years.

Anyway, in 1967 Lyndon B. Johnson was president. He was from the South (Texas). He was considered liberal. Because he's president, we'll chalk him up as a winner.

The next election was in '68 and had Hubert Humphery loosing to Nixon. Humphery was from the North (Minnesota), and was considered an anti-communist liberal.

After that, George McGovern lost (big-time) to Nixon. Again, he was from the North (South Dakota) and had a reputation as a dovish liberal.

Now we get to the first election I was alive for ('76) and have Mr. Peanut beating out Ford. Jimmy was from the South (Georgia), and ran as a moderate favorite son. While he did win, we also need to keep in mind that he lost the re-election. Whether this bucks our trend or is because he's a victim of outside events is beyond the scope of this blog. We'll still consider him a winner for our purposes.

The next few elections were not nice to the democratic party, with both Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis losing. Both were Northern liberals.

The democrats struck gold with their next winner, Slick Willie. You'll see our pattern emerging when I point out that he is a Southern (Arkansas) moderate. He also was awarded with the re-election and the honor of presiding over the longest period of peace-time economic expansion in American history. We are also now within a time frame where society can now remember this.

Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. is the next democrat contender. While I know he "lost," I'm still going to put another Southern (Tennessee) moderate in the winner category.

The next Northern liberal is our good buddy and owner of three purple hearts, John Kerry. We all know how that one turned out.

So there we have it, history showing it's predominately Southern moderates that win for the democrats, while Northern liberals bring them shame. So let's look at the current field...

Barack Obama (Northern liberal)
Hillary Rodham Clinton (another Northern liberal)

and finally John Edwards coming from his home state of North Carolina (which is below the Mason-Dixon line) with a relatively moderate view.

Now, I'm not trying to insinuate that history is dictating Edwards will win. However, remember that those that ignore history are doomed to repeat it. If it's right, let's hope the party we've focused on learns from the past.

BTW, I still have some bamboo available. Anyone want it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. What a really big conclusion from a really small sample.

If you look just a little harder, I'm sure you'll be able to find lots of things that all past presidential winners have in common with any one particular current candidate.

See Nelson Goodman on the topic of infinite similarites and dissimilarities.