We’re in the middle of a presidential campaign year. There have been many before 2020. Some blowouts, some close ones. Here are the blowouts and the guys who suffered in the process.
First President George Washington had no opposition and won two terms without a challenger. Fifth U.S. President James Monroe won his second term unopposed. That was the end of that smooth sail. In the future, the knives came out.
We’ll focus on modern shellackings.
1936— Incumbent Democrat President Franklin D. Roosevelt vs GOP palooka Governor Alf Landon of Kansas. FDR was making the depression worse by his every move. But like today, the Left owned the popular culture. That and a weak Republican effort gave FDR an Electoral College win of 523-8. Ouch.
1952— Popular victorious WWII general Dwight Eisenhower for the GOP against milquetoast Illinois Democrat Governor Adlai Stevenson. As the nation still wanted to be run by competent grownups then, Ike romps to a 442-89 massacre of Adlai. That left a mark. But not enough to stop Adlai from trying it again in 1956. Same result.
1964— Less than a year prior to Election Day, President John F. Kennedy had been murdered and his veep was going to win on the feelings on that alone. Lyndon Johnson was the former veep and incumbent Democrat president against GOP conservative Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona. Johnson, as usual, played dirty. But he would have won anyway. He toasted Goldwater 486-52.
1972— Incumbent GOP President Richard Nixon was up for re-election. He was hated by the press and his opponent, Democrat leftist Senator George McGovern of South Dakota, tried to put together a coalition of kids and leftists to win. Sound familiar? All the usual suspects came out for McGovern and the press prayed for his victory. The result? Nixon wins 520-17. Uh huh, oh yeah.
1984—The Gipper, incumbent GOP President Ronald Reagan, pulled a Trump before Trump. He brought a weak and economically hurting nation back from the brink and into the sunshine of strength and prosperity.
Of course, the Democrats hate him for it. They run liberal (but not a jerk) Senator Walter Mondale of Minnesota. The press thinks they can beat the Gipper on his age. He famously turns it around on them at a debate and soon after cuts through the Democrats like a chainsaw through daisies. Reagan wins 525-13. Makes you want to salute the flag.