As I started looking at betting on the 2022 and 2024 American elections I thought I’d look at Donald Trump’s performances in 2016 and 2020 and see if he might be a help or a hindrance for the GOP going forward purely in electoral terms.
As we can see Trump has the two of the three lowest shares of the vote this millennium for the GOP. In defence of Trump, the GOP have only won the popular vote once in the last thirty two years although Mitt Romney will be amused he managed a higher share of the vote than Trump.
Trump probably would have the two lowest figures but for 2008 being the end of Bush 43’s term which featured the second Iraq war, replete with insurgency, and the beginning of the great financial crisis. John McCain did well to keep the GOP share up that high. If Trump was awesome as he and his supporters think he is he’d be atop this chart.
But if you subscribe to the school of thought that says ‘statistics are a lot like bikinis, what they reveal is interesting but what they hide is much more fascinating’ and looking at actual number of voters is a better pointer. But is it?
I prefer share of the vote analysis because populations generally increase share of the votes means more usually in the electoral college votes distribution. That’s why Reagan’s 1984 performance is much more impressive than say Trump’s performance in 2016 even though Reagan received nearly twenty million fewer votes than Trump.
For the Democratic Party I’d say what this shows is choosing your candidate is important given the electoral college vagaries. Choose a decent candidate who doesn’t enrage opponents and the long term trends favour your chances of winning the Presidency.