Monday, March 26, 2012

Who wins elections?

Rick Santorum's biggest argument for the nomination is that only a true conservative can win. He claims that moderates like Dole and Ford lose. I think that he is overlooking a more important point - resume. Here's a breakdown of the elections since 1960:

Nixon/VP&senate vs Kennedy/Senator - Kennedy
Goldwater/senator vs Johnson/president - Johnson
Nixon/VP vs Humpfrey/VP&senate - Nixon
Nixon/president vs McGovern/senator - Nixon
Ford/president&house vs Carter/governor - Carter
Reagan/governor vs Carter/governor - Reagan
Reagan/president vs Mondale/VP&senate - Reagan
Bush(41)/VP&senate vs Dukakis/governor - Bush
Bush(41)/president&senate vs Clinton/governor - Clinton
Dole/Senator vs Clinton/president - Clinton
Bush(43)/governor vs Gore/VP&senate - Bush
Bush(43)/governor vs Kerry/senator - Bush
McCain/senator vs Obama/senator - Obama

There is a pattern here. The losers all have their roots in Congress. In 13 elections, a challenger from Congress has never defeated an incumbent. The two incumbent presidents who were defeated were defeated by governors. What is more, an incumbent VP with roots in Congress does poorly against a governor.

This should come as no surprise. Governors have executive experience, members of Congress do not.

It also demolished Santorum's argument about moderates.

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