Some helpful history to remember on election night
Tuesday evening, after Election Day's tranquility, new clamors will erupt as analysts with agendas tickle portents and lessons from the torrent of election returns. Herewith some developments to watch.Comment: I'll be tuning in but probably not until 9:00. This is not pro-Clinton, but I expect a big win for her.
- In the 17 elections since World War II, the winner has averaged 385.4 electoral votes, the loser 145.1. In six elections (1952, 1956, 1964, 1972, 1980, 1984), a major-party candidate won fewer than 100. In the seven elections after 1984, no Democrat has received fewer than 111 (Michael Dukakis in 1988) and no Republican fewer than 159 (Bob Dole in 1996). Measure Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump accordingly.
- Republican nominees' popular-vote totals this century are: 2000 (George W. Bush) 50,455,156; 2004 (Bush) 62,040,610; 2008 (John McCain) 59,934,814; 2012 ( Mitt Romney) 60,932,152. Measure Trump's total accordingly, bearing in mind that there are 10 million more eligible voters in 2016 than in 2012 and nearly 20 million more than in 2008.
- In 2012, Romney's totals in 10 swing states were: Texas, 4,569,843 (57 percent); Florida, 4,163,447 (49 percent); Pennsylvania, 2,680,434 (47 percent); Ohio, 2,661,407 (48 percent); Michigan, 2,115,256 (45 percent); Virginia, 1,822,522 (47 percent); Arizona, 1,233,654 (54 percent); Colorado, 1,185,243 (46 percent); Nevada, 463,567 (46 percent); New Hampshire, 329,918 (47 percent). Use these numbers to measure Trump's success at enlarging the Republican electorate.
- The "blue wall" consists of 18 states and the District of Columbia (totaling 242 electoral votes) that have voted Democratic in at least six consecutive elections: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington state, Wisconsin. Will Trump, who vowed to expand the battlefield, carry any of these?
- The Republicans' "red wall" (in at least six consecutive elections) consists of 13 states with 102 electoral votes: Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming. Will Clinton come close to carrying Texas? Will she lose any age cohort there other than voters over 65?