Barack Obama as James Monroe
In 1820, James Monroe won reelection, becoming the third consecutive two-term president after Jefferson and Madison. This would not happen again for 192 years with Barack Obama. The similarities with Monroe, for the most part, end there. However, what does this say about the 2016 election? Could any Democrat or Republican make it a 4th two-term presidency in a row?
Barack Obama as Andrew Jackson
In 1832, Andrew Jackson won reelection with 54.2 percent of the popular vote. This was 1.8 percent less than he had won in his first victory. If you do not count Grover Cleveland's non-consecutive reelection victory or FDR's third and fourth term victories, then Barack Obama becomes the first president since Old Hickory to have decreased in the popular vote in a reelection victory. Both presidents won their first elections with their charisma and idealism. For Jackson, the Bank War was probably the major issue in diminishing his popularity among former supporters. What do you think was Obama's major issue?
Barack Obama (almost) as Martin Van Buren
In 1840, Van Buren lost the election, largely for the recession caused by his predecessor, Andrew Jackson. Some believed that Bush's recession would have cost Obama his reelection. With Obama's victory, he does not mimic Van Buren; likewise, Romney will not mimic William Henry Harrison.
Barack Obama as Abraham Lincoln
In 1864, the election was looking bleak for Mr. Lincoln. He fully anticipated George B. McClellan, and the Peace Democrats, to win the White House. However, the capture of Atlanta, Georgia turned the election towards Lincoln. Did Obama have his own "Atlanta" moment? If so, what was it?
Barack Obama as Woodrow Wilson
In 1916, Woodrow Wilson won reelection, but did not carry the same electoral college majority as he had carried in 1912. It would take almost 100 years for another president to not improve his electoral college majority. For Wilson, the decrease occurred because of the Republican party had unified after the Conservative and Progressive breakup within that party during the 1912 election. Did any sort of political unity prevent Obama from improving his electoral vote gains from 2008 to 2012?
Barack Obama as George W. Bush (or Mitt Romney as John Kerry)
Unlike many incumbents (none since Wilson) who eventually won reelection, Bush had to fight like a first-time candidate to win his second term. Some attribute Bush's victory to John Kerry's lack of charisma, rather than to any accomplishments that Bush may have had by 2004. Did Romney's demeanor have anything to do with Obama's 2012 victory? If so, did the Republicans have any possible candidates that could have been more charismatic in 2012?
Barack Obama as Barack Obama
Despite these similarities to the past, Obama's elections have had one facet that is uniquely his own; he has inspired minorities more than any previous president. In the 2012 election, according to the NY Times, Obama improved his numbers among Hispanics. This is quite an accomplishment when considering that the amount of 2008 Hispanic voters had dwarfed Kerry's 2004 Hispanic supporters. This demographic is now critical to electoral victory and seems to be firmly with the Democratic Party. Undoubtedly, the Republican Party will have to win as many Hispanic votes in 2016 as they can if they wish to win the next election. How do you think their party will evolve to win over this demographic?