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Tuesday, June 24, 2008
USA Presidential Election statistics
Nixonland - Rick Perlstein - Book Review - New York Times
Bring Us Apart
by George F. Will
Published: May 11, 2008
"Perlstein considers it significant that before the 1972 election, in which Nixon carried 49 states, James Reston wrote that “barely over one in four adult Americans will have voted for the winner in 1972. ... The consequences of that kind of a minority presidency are hard to foretell.” Actually, such “minority” presidents are not unusual. In 1980, when Ronald Reagan carried 44 states and defeated President Jimmy Carter 489-49 in electoral votes, Reagan won the votes of 26.9 percent of American adults. The winners of the 1996, 2000 and 2004 elections received 24 percent, 24.1 percent and 28.2 percent, respectively."
Perlstein’s thesis is that America became Nixonland because of “the rise of two American identities” in the 1960s — actually between 1964, when Johnson won 61.1 percent of the vote, and 1968, when the combined votes for Nixon and George Wallace were 56.9 percent. Perlstein says Nixon’s legacy is the “notion that there are two kinds of Americans. …”
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