Speaking of American Elections-10-20-16

Speaking of American Elections!

Richard J. Garfunkel


From 1900 through 2012 there have been 29 presidential elections. In those 29 elections, the average winning percentage was 52.86%. In the first 15 elections, from 1900 thru 1956 the average winning % was 54%. In those 29 elections, the 10 highest winning percentages were: 61.1%, 60.8%, 60.7%, 60.3%, 58.8%, 58.2%, 57.4%, 56.4%, and 55.2%. Of the top 10 winning races, the average was 58.6%.

In the first 15 elections from 1900 through 1956, seven of these “landslides” happened, with largest of them by FDR in 1936 and 1932, Harding in 1920, Hoover in 1928, and T. Roosevelt in 1904. From 1960 through 2012, in 14 elections, the average victory was 51.6%. Since 1960, three of the top 10% victories, were LBJ in 1964, Nixon in 1972 and Reagan in 1984.

Since 1988, the winning percentages, in the last seven elections, or approximately 25% of our elections since the beginning of the 20th Century, has been 49.74%. Therefore, on an average, there were more votes, collectively, against the seven winners.

As for incumbents since 1900, there have been 19 elections when there was an incumbent, either by winning the election, succeeding the incumbent because of the death of the president, or in the case of Gerald Ford, the resignation of Richard Nixon. In those 19 elections, the incumbents (including FDR’s three races as an incumbent) received 50.3% of the vote. This included the defeat of Taft in 1912 (23%), Hoover in 1932 (39.7%), Carter in 1980 (41%), and Bush #41 in 1992 (37.4%). Where there has not been an incumbent, there have been ten races. The average victory since 1900 in those races has been 52.46%. Barack Obama, in 2008, won with 52.9% of the vote.

Of course, there are issues of whether 3rd party races have affected the outcome of some races or whether there have been questionable results in a state, or states, which have affected the outcome of a specific election. In the case of two of the four elections, where an incumbent lost, the 3rd party challenge had a significant affect. In 1912, with Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Party, his vote certainly helped Woodrow Wilson (41.8%) defeat WH Taft with 23% of the total vote. In 1992, the 3rd Party challenge of Ross Perot (18.9%) helped Clinton, who defeated G HW Bush with 43% of vote. Perot also drew 8.4% in 1996, but that would not of affected Clinton’s victory.  In 1980, Jimmy Carter received only 41%, and 3rd party candidate, John Anderson’s 6.6% vote would not affected the outcome.  In other races, as 1968, where Nixon beat Humphrey by less than 1% of the popular vote and won the Electoral College vote 301 to 191, George Wallace polled 13.5%. Neither candidate was an incumbent, both were former Vice-Presidents, and the Wallace vote was a Southern, segregationist, anti-northern Democratic vote. One could assume, that if Wallace was not in the race, the majority of that vote probably would have stayed home or gone to Nixon. In 1960, John F. Kennedy won a very close race by less than .5%. Some people claim that his 8,858 vote victory in Illinois was questionable. Interestingly, the Social Labor candidate had 10,560 votes in that state, approximately 22% of his national total of 47,522 votes. Who is to say whether that the 8, 858 votes were fraudulent, or whether the 3rd party candidate took votes from Kennedy! He also won Texas by 46, 257, a much larger number. If he had lost the electoral votes (27) in Illinois or Texas (24), he still would have just over the 270 Electoral College vote, winning threshold.

In 2000, GW Bush lost the popular vote .5% against Al Gore and won the Electoral College vote with 271 votes. Most experts believe that the 500+ vote margin in Florida was affected by the infamous hanging “chads,” and the idea that these votes would have been cast for Pat Buchanan, in a heavily Democratic and Jewish precinct is quite questionable. By the way, the 3rd party candidacy of Ralph Nader only polled 465,000 vote or less than a 3rd of a percent, but in Florida he polled 32,971, or about 7% of his national total, and the most votes he received in any state of the Union. More concerns were expressed in 2004 when GW Bush won re-election by 2.5%, but, only edged Gore in Ohio by 14,676 votes. There were many questions about that vote, and if those 20 Electoral votes would have been shifted to John Kerry, he would have with the same 271 Electoral College votes.

The bottom line with most of these races are that they are usually pretty close. In fact, except for a few cases in the last 66 years, most races (11 out of 14) have been decided by a majority vote of less than 53.5%.

I am voting for Hillary!



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About admin

A lifelong New Yorker, who now lives full-time in Palm Beach County, Richard was raised in Mount Vernon, New York and he was educated in the Mount Vernon public schools He graduated from Boston University with a BA in American History. After spending a year on Wall Street as a research analyst with Bache & Co., he joined a manufacturing and importing firm, where over the next twenty-five years he rose to the position of chief operating officer. After the sale of that business, Richard entered into the financial services field with Metropolitan Life and is a Registered Representative, who has been associated with Acorn Financial Services which is affiliated with John Hancock Life Insurance Company of Boston, Ma. Today, he is a retired broker who had specialized in long-term care insurance and financial planning. One of Richard’s recent activities was to advise and encourage communities to seek ways to incorporate “sustainability and resiliency” into their future infrastructure planning. After a lifetime in politics, with many years working as a district leader, which involved party organizational work, campaign chair activity and numerous other political tasks, Richard has been involved with numerous civic and social causes. In recent years, Richard served in 2005 as the campaign coordinator of the Re-Elect Paul Feiner Campaign in Greenburgh, NY and he again chaired Supervisor Feiner’s successful landslide victory in 2007. Over the next few years, he advised a number of political candidates. He has served as an appointed Deputy Supervisor of the Town of Greenburgh, with responsibilities regarding the town’s “liaison program.” He was a member of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board of the Town of Greenburgh, NY. Richard has lectured on FDR, The New Deal and 20th century American history in the Mount Vernon schools, at the Westchester Council of Social Studies annual conference in White Plains, and at many senior citizen groups, which include appearances at the Old Guard of White Plains, the Rotary Clubs of Elmsford and White Plains, and various synagogue groups around Westchester. In the winter of 2006 Richard was the leader of the VOCAL forum, sponsored by the Westchester County Office of Aging, which addresses the concerns of Westchester County’s Intergenerational Advocacy Educational Speak-out forums for senior citizens. Richard has given lectures for the Active Retirement Project, which is co-sponsored by the Jewish Community Center on the Hudson, the Greenburgh Hebrew Center, and other groups around Westchester County. Richard also is the founder and Chairperson of the Jon Breen Memorial Fund, that judges and grants annual prizes to students at Mount Vernon High School who submit essays on public policy themes. He also sponsors the Henry M. Littlefield History Prize for the leading MVHS history student. Richard serves on the Student College Scholarship Committee of Mount Vernon High School. In past years Richard chaired and moderated the Jon Breen Fund Award’s cablecast program with the Mayor and local and school officials. Richard has been a member of Blythedale Children’s Hospital’s Planned Giving Professional Advisory Board, and was a founding member of the committee to re-new the FDR Birthday Balls of the 1930’s and 1940’s with the March of Dimes’ effort to eliminate birth defects. Their renewal dinner was held at Hyde Park on January 30, 2003. Richard is currently an active contributor to the Roosevelt Institute, which is involved in many pursuits which included the opening of the Henry A. Wallace Center at Hyde Park, and the Eleanor Roosevelt – Val-Kill Foundation. In 2007, he proposed to the City of Mount Vernon an effort to develop an arts, educational, and cultural center as part of a downtown re-development effort. Richard was a team partner with the Infrastructure & Energy Solutions Group. IEFG which has developed innovative strategies for the 21st Century. Richard hosted a weekly program on WVOX-1460 AM radio, called “The Advocates,” which was concerned with “public policy” issues. The show, which was aired from 2007 until May 15, 2013, has had amongst its guests; Representative Charles Rangel, Chairperson of the House Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Jonathan Alter of Newsweek, along with hundreds of others. All the 300 shows are archived at http://advocates-wvox.com. Richard currently gives lectures on Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, FDR and the Jewish Community, The New Deal, FDR and Douglas MacArthur, 20th Century American Foreign Policy Resulting in Conflict, and Israel’s Right to Exist. Richard lives in Boynton Beach, Fl, with his wife Linda of 44 years. They have two married children. Their daughter Dana is a Rutgers College graduate, with a MS from Boston University, and is the Assistant Director of Recruitment at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Their son Jon is an electrical engineering graduate of Princeton University and a senior software architect at NY/Mellon Bank in NYC. Richard J. Garfunkel rjg727@comcast.net Recent Appearances: KTI Synagogue, Rye Brook, NY- Long Term Care & Estate Conservation- Anshe Shalom Synagogue, New Rochelle, NY- Long Term Care- American Legion Post, Valhalla, NY- Long Term Care and Asset Protection- Doyle Senior Ctr, New Rochelle, NY-Long Term Care and Asset Protection- AME Methodist Ministers, New Rochelle, NY, LTC and Charitable Giving- Profession Women in Construction, Elmsford, NY, LTC and Business Benefits- Kol Ami Synagogue- White Plains, NY, Long Term Care and Disability - Beth El Men's Club-New Rochelle, NY-Long Term Care-Is it Necessary- Greater NY Dental Meeting Javits Ctr, NY, NY- LTC and Disability- IBEW Local #3 , White Plains, NY, Long Term Care and Asset Protection, Health Fair -Bethel Synagogue, New Rochelle, NY-LTC and Disability, Heath Fair- Riverdale Mens Club CSAIR- Riverdale, NY- LTC- Life Weight Watchers of Westchester and the Bronx-LTC and Tax Implications Sunrise Assisted Living of Fleetwood, Mount Vernon, NY-LTC Sprain Brook Manor of Scarsdale-LTC- November 15, 2001 Sunrise Assisted Living of Stamford, Connecticut, February 2002 Kol Ami Synagogue, White Plains, NY, February, 2002 The Old Guard Society of White Plains, NY, April, 2002 The Westchester Meadows, Valhalla, NY August, 2002 Kol Ami Synagogue, White Plains, NY, October, 2002 JCC of Scarsdale, Scarsdale, NY, November, 2002 The Westchester Meadows, Valhalla, NY, January, 2003 The Rotary Club of White Plains, NY January, 2003 The Westchester Meadows, Valhalla, NY April, 2003 Westchester Reform Temple, Scarsdale, NY January, 2004 Mount Vernon High School, Mount Vernon, NY March 2004 Kol Ami/JCC of White Plains, NY November, 2004 The Westchester Reform Temple, Scarsdale, January 2005 The Sunrise of Fleetwood, Mount Vernon, April, 2005 The Woodlands of Ardsley, assisted living, November, 2005 The Woodlands of Ardsley, assisted living, December, 2005 The Woodlands of Ardsley, assisted living, January, 2005 Rotary Club of Elmsford, April, 2006 Kiwanis Club of Yonkers, June, 2006 Greenburgh Jewish Center, November, 2006 Temple Kol Ami, White Plains, February, 2007 Hebrew Institute, White Plains, March, 2007 Temple Kol Ami, White Plains, NY, April, 2007 Westchester Meadows. Valhalla, November, 2007 Hebrew Institute. White Plains, November, 2007 Art Zuckerman Radio Show- January, 2008 JCC of the Hudson, Tarrytown, February, 2008 Matt O’Shaughnessy Radio Show, March, 2008 WVOX –Election Night Coverage, November, 2008 WVOX – Inaugural Coverage, January 20, 2009 The Advocates-host of the WVOX Radio Show, 2007- 2010 Rotary Club of Pleasantville, February, 2009 Hebrew Institute of White Plains, May, 2009 JCC Hudson, Tarrytown, December, 2009-10-11-12 Brandeis Club, Yonkers, March 25, 2010

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