General Question

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Has an American election ever been this close?

Asked by Mama_Cakes (9289 points ) October 17th, 2012

Looks as though Obama has a slight lead. A Canadian here, just wondering if it has ever been this close.

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15 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Yes. Here is a list of past presidential elections and the margin the president won or lost by in the popular vote. You’ll notice a few times the winner actually lost the popular vote.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Thank-you!

janbb's avatar

Think of the 2000 election alone which was not settled for weeks and went to the Supreme Court.

JLeslie's avatar

If you have HBO the movie Recount has been playing. It is about the 2,000 election, but mostly dwells on the Florida screw up, and it is mainly told from the Democrats point-of-view. You can see from the link Bush actually lost the popular vote by a mini bit, but still won the election.

wundayatta's avatar

When you consider the number of close elections, you realize the parties are calculating it just about right. They are positioning themselves to get 50% plus 1 of the electoral votes. It’s amazing they can calculate it so closely and target themselves so well.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

The best example of US presidential race was Dewey Defeats Truman. The Chicago Tribune went ahead and printed the front page headline before the final count was in. Truman won, 303 electoral votes to Dewey’s 189. Classic photo.

CWOTUS's avatar

I don’t think that it will be as close as it has been made to appear.

filmfann's avatar

@CWOTUS I agree. The media is trying to make a game of it.

tom_g's avatar

@CWOTUS & @filmfann – I sure hope you guys (and 538) are correct. These numbers are making me nervous. Among likely voters, Romney has a fairly big lead. How is this even possible? Who are these people?

glacial's avatar

I’m not sure I trust any polls any more, unless they can find a way to stop relying on land lines. Does anyone know what progress has been made on that, or if pollsters are even trying?

Edit: nm, I’ll ask it as a separate question.

FutureMemory's avatar

Huff Post has the electoral #‘s more in Obama’s favor.

link

jerv's avatar

@tom_g Popular vote, yes. Electoral votes? Not that close, and rather tilted in Obama’s favor. The Republicans are strongest in rural states with few electoral votes while the big states (with the exception of Texas) are a bit bluer.

While not quite true any more, when I was in school out was possible for 13 states to very 50%+1 for one candidate and win even if the other person got 100% in the other 37. Candidates campaign accordingly.

GracieT's avatar

@jerv,
And that’s why this Ohioan wants this all to be over. NOW! With the right outcome, 4 more years of Obama, of course. :0)

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