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October 17, 2012

#1122: Electoral Precedent

Electoral Precedent

The Problem with Statements Like

“No candidate has won the election without

or

“No President has been reelected under

[[Each panel is a variation on the others, with the date in a small box at the top left, a stick figure speaking the line in the main panel, and the concluding sentence underneath.]]

1788…

No one has been elected President before.

…but Washington was.

1792…

No incumbent has ever been selected.

…until Washington.

1796…

No one without false teeth has become President.

…but Adams did.

1800…

No challenger has beaten an incumbent.

…but Jefferson did.

1804…

No incumbent has beaten a challenger.

…until Jefferson.

1808…

No congressman has ever become President.

…until Madison.

1812…

No one can win without New York.

…but Madison did.

1816…

No candidate who doesn’t wear a wig can get elected.

…until Monroe was.

1820…

No one who wears pants instead of breeches can be reelected.

…but Monroe was.

1824…

No one has ever won without a popular majority.

…J.Q. Adams did.

1828…

Only people from Massachusetts and Virginia can win.

…until Jackson did.

1832…

The only Presidents who get reelected are Virginians.

…until Jackson.

1836…

New Yorkers always lose.

…until Van Buren.

1840…

No one over 65 has won the Presidency.

…until Harrison did.

1844…

No one who’s lost his home state has won.

…but Polk did.

1848…

The Democrats don’t lose when they win Pennsylvania.

…but they did in 1848.

1852…

New England Democrats can’t win.

…until Pierce did.

1856…

No one can become President without getting married.

…until Buchanan did.

1860…

No one over 6'5" can get elected.

…until Lincoln.

1864…

No one with a beard has been reelected.

…but Lincoln was.

1868…

No one can be President if their parents are alive.

…until Grant.

1872…

No one with a beard has been reelected in peacetime.

…until Grant was.

1876…

No one can win a majority of the popular vote and still lose.

…Tilden did.

1880…

As goes California, so goes the nation.

…until it went Hancock.

1884…

Candidates named ‘James’ can’t lose.

…until James Blaine.

1888…

No sitting President has been beaten since the Civil War.

…Cleveland was.

1892…

No former President has been elected.

…until Cleveland.

1896…

Tall Midwesterners are unbeatable.

…Bryan wasn’t.

1900…

No Republican shorter than 5'8" has been reelected.

…until McKinley was.

1904…

No one under 45 has been elected.

…Roosevelt was.

1908…

No Republican who hasn’t served in the military has won.

…until Taft.

1912…

After Lincoln beat the Deocrats while sporting a beard with no mustache, the only Democrats who can win have a mustache with no beard.

…Wilson had neither.

1916…

No Democrat has won without Indiana.

…Wilson did.

1920…

No incumbent senator has won.

…until Harding.

1924…

No one with two Cs in their name has become President.

…until Calvin Coolidge.

1928…

No one who got ten million votes has lost.

…until Al Smith.

1932…

No Democrat has won since women secured the right to vote.

…until FDR did.

1936…

No President’s been reelected with double-digit unemployment.

…until FDR was.

1940…

No one has won a third term.

…until FDR did.

1944…

No Democrat has won during wartime.

…until FDR did.

1948…

Democrats can’t win without Alabama.

…Truman did.

1952…

No Republican has won without winning the House or Senate.

…Eisenhower did.

1956…

No Republican has won without Missouri.

…until Eisenhower.

1960…

Republicans without facial hare are unbeatable.

…Kennedy beat Nixon.

1964…

No Democrat has won without Georgia.

…Johnson did.

1968…

No Republican Vice President has risen to the Presidency through an election.

…until Nixon.

1972…

No wartime candidate has won without Massachusetts.

…until Nixon did.

1976…

No one who lost New Mexico has won.

…but Carter did.

1980…

No one has been elected President after a divorce.

…until Reagan was.

1984…

No left-handed President has been reelected.

…until Reagan was.

1988…

No Democrat who has won Wisconsin (without being from there) has lost.

…until Dukakis did.

1992…

No Democrat has won without a majority of the Catholic vote.

…until Clinton did.

1996…

No Dem. incumbent without combat experience has beaten someone whose first name is worth more in Scrabble.

…until Bill beat Bob.

2000…

No Republican has won without Vermont.

…until Bush did.

2004…

No Republican without combat experience has beaten someone two inches taller.

…until Bush did.

2008…

No Democrat can win without Missouri.

…until Obama did.

[[The next two panels share a date and ending caption.]]

2012…

Panel 1: Alliterative tickets (e.g. Romney

Ryan) are undefeated.

Panel 2: No nominee whose first name contains a “K” has lost.

Which streak will break?