May

5

The "book" on these elections is meager; there have only been only 43 people sworn into office as President and only 44 distinct administrations (Grover Cleveland got a do over).

The statistics for elections after a re-elected President is completing his second term in office are even fewer. Here are the 11 Presidents who were elected twice, in succession, and then left office:

George Washington

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

James Monroe

Andrew Jackson

Ulysses S. Grant

Woodrow Wilson

Dwight Eisenhower

Ronald Reagan

Bill Clinton

George W. Bush

How many of these Presidents saw their own political party's nominee win the succeeding election?

Washington - yes and no. Adams claimed to be Washington's party successor; but Washington never participated in Federalist politics and thought Adams was precisely the kind of lawyer/faction-monger the country did not need for President. (Of course, he held the same opinion of Adams' successor Jefferson.)

Jefferson - yes. Madison - yes. Monroe - no. Jackson - yes. Grant - yes. Wilson - no Eisenhower - no Reagan - yes Clinton - no Bush - no

The American people have not been reluctant to elect a party to the White House more than 2 times in a row, but they only seem to do it if they can think they are re-electing the person already in the White House. Madison was Jefferson's protege; Monroe has literally the anointed one of all of Virginia's previously-elected Presidents. from Virginia. (Monroe is the only President besides Washington to be re-elected by acclamation; neither man had any formal opposition to their second run.)

Van Buren was Jackson's Vice-President. Grant was, for everywhere except the die-hard South, as popular as Washington had been. Like Washington he established a national dominance for his party and its "home" region that lasted for decades. (Ohio was for the last quarter of the 19th century what Virginia had been for the first quarter.)

But after Grant and his mid-Western Republican successors, the odds turn against people seeking to put their party in the White House for a 3rd consecutive term. in the last century and a third only two people have done it: Truman, who ran and won a 5th consecutive term for the Democrats (but was already in office as Roosevelt's Constitutional successor) and G. H. W. Bush, a sitting Vice-President.

The assumption that Mrs. Clinton will win easily seems to be based on the presumption that Donald Trump will do his best to follow Michael Dukakis' example and that her term as Secretary of State gives her the status of President Obama's formal successor.


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