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Unique History in the 2012 Election

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It is almost impossible for a presidential election to not be unique in some way. For example, the 2008 election pitted the first two major candidates not born in the continental United States, a Hawaiian and a Panamanian (but on an U.S. airbase). The Hawaiian was also the first major candidate of African-American descent. The Panamanian would have been the oldest elected president in our history if he had been elected.

Here are some of the unique historical possibilities for the upcoming election.

If Obama wins:

1. Three two-term presidents for the first time in 192 years.
In 1820, James Monroe won reelection, joining his immediate predecessors, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, as a two-term president. If reelected, Obama will likewise join his immediate predecessors, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, as two-term presidents.

2. First back-to-back-to-back two-term presidents not of the same party.
Unlike Monroe's reelection, the more recent three two-term presidents will not be of the same party. In fact, the previous triplets won their terms when the opposing party, the Federalists, were in serious decline. America was virtually a one-party state with many former Federalists, such as John Quincy Adams, joining the Democrat-Republican Party (actually called the Republican Party then).

3. Obama as the next Andrew Jackson.
According to every projection that I have seen, Obama is expected to receive fewer electoral votes than he received against McCain. This probably also means that he will receive slightly less than 52.9% of the popular vote he received in 2008. If reelected with less than 52.9% of the vote, Obama will be the first president since Andrew Jackson to record a deficit in the popular vote percentage on reelection. Jackson won 56% of the vote in 1828 and 54.2% in 1832. (Note: Is this the only president Obama has not been compared to?)

If Romney wins:

4. First Mormon president; 2nd non-protestant president
Joseph Smith, the founder of the religion, ran for president as a 3rd party candidate. Additionally, Mitt Romney's father, George Romney (born in Mexico!), ran unsuccessfully for the Republican ticket 1968. Therefore, the idea of a Mormon running for president is not unusual. However, if elected, Romney will be the 1st Mormon president and only the 2nd non-protestant president.

5. First former religious leader as president
There have been many religious leaders as candidates for president, such as Reverend Al Sharpton and Joseph Smith. However, Mitt Romney, who served as a Mormon bishop from 1981-1986, is the first former religious leader to become nominee of a major party.

6. First Republican president from a consistent blue state.
Since the realignment of the political parties in the 1960s, the Republicans have never nominated a president residing in a consistent blue state. It is worth noting, that Reagan, although residing in California, won the presidency when that state was still a red state. California did not make the permanent switch until 1992. Romney's state, Massachusetts, has only voted Republican twice since the 1960s.

7. Five First Sons
If elected, Romney will have the most surviving sons (5) of any president in history. John Tyler eventually had the most sons, and 15 children in all, but most of his sons were born after his term in office.

  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Holdover
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
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