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Executive Privilege: The 2012 Election and the Power of Incumbency

james55 Wrote: Nov 14, 2012 1:32 PM
Conventional wisdom tells us that the 2010 elections were a strong repudiation of Obama's agenda and 2012 was going to be a continuation of that theme. We kept hearing the similarities to Carter but Carter did not posess the cultic persona of Obama. Much like Clinton, who posessed some of that charisma was impervious to criticism much like Obama. With the MSM on his side and a intensely negative campaign strategy, poor Romney whose favorability ratings were never above 50% was helplessly vulnerable in spite of a stagnant economy. Unfortunately in our American Idol culture sound policy takes a back seat to a candidate's favorability.
Mitt Romney lost the presidential race by only two percentage points. If the election had been held just a week earlier, when he was up in the polls, things might have been different. Nonetheless, Mitt Romney lost, and now a bitter debate has ensued over the future of the Republican Party, with liberal Democrats happily plunging into the debate.

What is being lost in this debate, however, is just how hard it is to defeat an incumbent president—any incumbent president. Here’s a history lesson from the last 100 years:

There have been 19 incumbent...