While this year's presidential campaign has been marked by historic firsts, the nominations of senators McCain and Obama will renew one surprising trend: For the fifth time in the last 35 years, America will have a lefty in the White House.
Both major party candidates are southpaws, contributing to a largely unexplained phenomenon that has vexed researchers and historians -- and drawn notice from a federal judge destined for the Supreme Court. Though left-handers comprise just 10% of the population, they are dominating presidential politics.
Their recent success transcends ideology. Since 1974, presidents Ford, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton have all favored their left hands, while President Carter and the current President Bush are righties. The trait is also not exclusive to winning candidates: Vice President Gore is left-handed, as are past presidential contenders Robert Dole, John Edwards, Bill Bradley, and Ross Perot. A prominent New Yorker who flirted with a White House bid, Mayor Bloomberg, is a lefty.