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November 05, 2008 08:46 PM UTC

Landslide or not?

  • 7 Comments
  • by: Aristotle

Right now, per CNN, Obama has 349 electoral votes in his column. The only two undeclared states are Missouri which appears to be a McCain win with 11 electoral votes, and North Carolina which appears to be an Obama victory for 15 more votes. That would make Obama’s total of 364.

Now, assuming that holds Obama has won more than 2/3 of the EC. I think that constitutes a landslide. You may not – maybe you think it should be 75% of the EC, or even something like Reagan’s 49-state victory. Or perhaps “landslide” should be more an expression of the national popular vote.

What do you think?

Did Obama win in a landslide?

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7 thoughts on “Landslide or not?

  1. because of context.  This wasn’t Reagan’s 49-state victory… but such a victory is not possible in today’s political world.  Were Reagan running against Mondale today, Mondale would have won Massachussetts by default.  And Vermont, and Rhode Island, and much of the rest of New England; most likely Illinois, even California, Washington.  He may have ended up about where McCain is.

    Why?  A more sharply divided political climate than we’ve seen in most of a century.  In Reagan’s time, “liberal” was still a dirty word, and America saw itself as having a lot in common.  It was a contest to appear in touch with that common America.  This year, Obama ran the same kind of campaign, but we learned that Americans don’t see themselves as having that kind of common thread.  We’ve become a nation of proud liberals, and proud conservatives.  We have different news sources (Fox, of course, and increasingly MSNBC for the liberal folks).  We talk to different people, and we try not to run into the “other” folks.

    On top of that, this election exposed the blatant racism that’s been hiding beneath the surface of American politics for some time.  That’s not a bad thing; it’s in some sense a windfall of its own right.  People got to look at those McCain and (especially) Palin rallies, and recognize the look of an angry mob in search of spare pitchforks…. and some joined in, while others ran the other way.  It had been a generation since Americans have been asked to make a stark moral choice on where they stand.

    Given that context, what Barack Obama did in this election was remarkable.  But the deep divisions that have built up in America could not, and therefore did not, completely pass away in the course of one campaign season.  It’s still a landslide.

  2. But a solid, solid win.  A strong vote for a new direction for the country.  But not a landslide.

    A landslide in my opinion would have included a wider margin in the popular vote.  The percentages show the country is still divided, although not as much as before.

    Does anyone know if in previous presidential landslide elections, did the state and local races mirror the national races?  

  3. Reagan’s 49 state victory was a total rout – and this was not at that level.

    But the electoral vote margin plus the 5% point difference – that is an amazing landside for a presidential election, especially in today’s climate.

  4. One of the networks was holding 350 as the “landslide” benchmark, and I agree.  The current reported popular vote totals have him at 52.4 – 46.3, which is a 6.1% margin of victory, and the highest percentage of voters voting for a candidate since Bush-Dukakis.  That contest, a 426-111 blowout, only gave Bush 53.4% of the vote.

    So it’s not a total rout, but it’s a significant sea change and what in today’s electoral climate must pass as a landslide.

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