Forum… Or Against ’em

By Count Friedrich von Olsen
With next week’s New Hampshire Primary approaching, I’m getting a little nervous. I read somewhere, I’m not quite sure where, that going back probably as long as there have been primaries, there has never been a successful presidential candidate who did not win either the Iowa Caucus or the New Hampshire Primary. I can’t vow for the accuracy of that statement, but I read it somewhere. This means, if the pattern of history holds, that by next week we will have narrowed down to at least four people who our next president will be…
I am not quite certain that I have assimilated all of this, or at least assimilated it properly. So, with your permission, gentle reader, I will herewith engage in an exercise designed to enlighten myself as much as you…
Going back to 1952, the winners on the Republican side of the New Hampshire Primary were:
2012 Mitt Romney with 39 percent
2008 John McCain with 37 percent
2004 President George Bush with 81 percent
2000 John McCain with 49 percent
1996 Pat Buchanan with 27 percent
1992 George H.W. Bush with 53 percent
1988 George H.W. Bush with 38 percent
1984 Ronald Reagan with 84 percent
1980 Ronald Reagan with 50 percent
1976 Gerald Ford with 50 percent
1972 Richard Nixon with 68 percent
1968 Richard Nixon with 78 percent
1964 Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr with 36 percent
1960 Richard Nixon with 89 percent
1956 Dwight Eisenhower with 94 percent
1952 Dwight Eisenhower with 56 percent
Again going back to 1952, the winners on the Democratic side of the New Hampshire Primary were:
2012 Barack Obama with81 percent
2008 Hillary Clinton with 39 percent
2004 John Kerry with 38 percent
2000 Al Gore with 50 percent
1996 Bill Clinton with 84 percent
1992 Paul Tsongas with 33 percent
1988 Michael Dukakis with 36 percent
1984 Gary Hart with 39 percent
1980 Jimmy Carter with 48 percent
1976 Jimmy Carter with 29 percent
1972 Edmund Muskie with 46 percent
1968 Lyndon Johnson with 50 percent
1964 Lyndon Johnson with 95 percent
1960 John Kennedy with 85 percent
1956 Estes Kefauver with 85 percent
1952 Estes Kefauver with 55 percent
As I said, I’m not entirely sure what to make out of this. A few longshots who never panned out did well some of those years. Sometimes the obvious favorite won. Someone with more candlepower than I have might be able to see a pattern or two…
One thing that strikes me is that in the years where an incumbent was in the race, the outcome was pretty much preordained. It seems at this point the race could go in a lot of different directions. We’ll have a clearer picture and a few less variables Tuesday night…

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