Monday, November 22, 2004

Democrats: Go for the Gov

The Democrats should select a governor for their candidate in 2008. When looking at the position the candidate held prior to running for office, governors have the 2nd highest success rate. Running from the position of President is the best. Here is a break down the positions candidates held before running for office since 1948 and how they fared:

.............................No. of........................Avg No.
Prior Position ........Times Wins Rep Dem Electors
President ................10......7......4......3.......341
Governor ..................8......4......2......2.......236
Vice-President ..........6......2......2......0.......236
Senator ....................5......1......0......1.......155
Commanding General 1......1......1......0.......442

While it’s true Eisenhower had retired from the army and Nixon’s second attempt was that of a private citizen, their previous public positions were what voters remembered. Running from the position of President has a 70 percent chance of winning, while running from the position of Senator has only a 20 percent chance of winning. It would seem the nations just doesn’t care for Senators. Maybe it’s too much exposure, and their record in the Senate works against them, I’ll leave that up to the pundits.

Before John Kennedy was elected President, the last senator to win was Warren G. Hardy in 1920. While Kerry got a respectable showing of 252 electors, generally senators don’t do well as is shown by their average number of electors.

One would think that the political atmosphere during the run up to the election would affect the outcome, and that is probably the most important factor in determining which candidate would win. But if political position dominated the election, the table above would show more random statistics. Running from the position of President or governor benefits both Democrats and Republicans. Running from the position of Vice-President has only benefited Republicans, and one of those successes, the election of Nixon over Humphrey in 1968, pitted two Vice-Presidents against each other.

Certainly, third party candidates can affect the out come. With our winner take all electors in most states, third party candidates only need pull a small percentage of votes in close state elections to make a difference in who is the eventual winner. President Bush, the senior one, may have beaten Clinton had it not been for Perot and Vice-President Gore certainly would have won if Nader had not been a candidate. Had that occurred, the winning statistic for the position of President would be even stronger, and that of Vice-President would have improved, both at the cost to the position of governor. However, that still would not have had any effect on the dismal showing of senators.


So, Democrats start looking at you governors for a candidate in 2008. It would boost you chances for President if he (or she) ran from the position of governor. Remember, W can’t run next year, so that takes care of the problem of running against a president. And, even if Cheney retires and lets the Republicans put their hopeful in his place, governors can hold their own against VP’s . So, go for the gov.

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