Key Dates In Republican Party History 52 Years Apart-1860, 1912, 1964, 2016!

The Republican Party has had its key elections which transform the party on a regular basis 52 years apart, and we are on the way to that occurring yet again!

In 1860, just six short years after the founding of the party in the upper Midwest, the Republican Party won its first national victory, gaining control of both houses of Congress, and electing Abraham Lincoln, even though he won slightly less than 40 percent of the total national popular vote. The party went on to dominate American politics for the next 52 years, only losing the Presidency twice to Grover Cleveland, in 1884 and 1892.

Then in 1912, the split between former President Theodore Roosevelt and incumbent President William Howard Taft, a conflict between conservatives and progressives, led to a disastrous defeat for Taft, the worst defeated President running for reelection ever in American history before and after 1912. This put the opposition Democrats in control of both houses of Congress, and gave Democrat Woodrow Wilson two terms in the White House, although coming close to losing in 1916. He proceeded to promote programs known as the New Freedom and the New Nationalism, stealing the second slogan from TR.

The Republican Party went on to revive itself from 1920-1932, but was then made the minority party in voter registration after 1932, due to the Great Depression, and only won two terms in the White House under Dwight D. Eisenhower, and two separate two year terms in Congress over the next 32 years.

After years of establishment Republicans losing, except for Eisenhower, the conservatives took over the party in 1964, again 52 years after the 1912 split, and nominated Senator Barry Goldwater, and suffered a massive defeat, insuring the biggest landslide victory in history for Lyndon B. Johnson, and the promotion of the Great Society.

While the Goldwater mentality in broad outline became the government under Ronald Reagan in 1980, the split between conservatives and progressives revived under the two Bush Presidents, as well as criticism of the Gerald Ford, Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney Presidential runs.

And here we are again with the right wing striving to take over the party, with Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, along with some others, trying to move the party to an extreme, more so than Barry Goldwater represented.

And one can be sure that 2016, 52 years after 1964, we will see another massive defeat, for the GOP, probably to Hillary Clinton, but with no certainty that the party, 160 years old in 2014, can survive as a viable political party opposition!

10 comments on “Key Dates In Republican Party History 52 Years Apart-1860, 1912, 1964, 2016!

  1. Eugene October 7, 2013 10:49 am

    This post mentions LBJ landslide but conveniently forget to mention Reagan’s 2 landslides! So if a real conservative led the Republicans to not one but two landslides, why on earth should Republicans keep nominating “moderate” establishmet “turtle speed” progressives such as the Ford,Bush Senior, Dole, McCain and Romney type who always manage to bring the biggest smiles onto Democrats faces? Why should Republicans continue with a losing formula? I mean even though Bush W ( a big government neocon)was legitimately elected by the electoral college he still lost the popular vote in 2000 and won the 2004 election againts an unelectable disasterous John Kerry. Why should Republicans continue with the losing big government spender anticonservative antiReaganite Karl Rove type? The party with Cruz, Paul, Lee and Rubio is not moving to the extreme, it’s just moving the party back to Reagan conservatism. That is they are moving towards the winning formula. And that is something that evidently brings panic within the progressive socialist leftist extreme radical Democrat Party, as theirs as well as this blogs venomous post (along with the always present hateful comments of the Karl Rove big government Republican establishment Engineer of…) towards conservative Reaganites clearly demonstrate.

  2. Jane Doe October 7, 2013 2:15 pm

    LOL! The Rethugs/Baggers are moving towards a losing formula!

  3. Princess Leia October 7, 2013 2:23 pm

    LOL @ Eugene! By today’s crazy Republican party standards Reagan would be considered a flaming liberal!

  4. Ronald October 7, 2013 2:33 pm

    Princess Leia, you are absolutely correct, as Reagan would NOT have supported the Tea Party or John Boehner in any way. He was a responsible political leader, unlike the Tea Party or Boehner. The Reagan years, which are the source of most of our problems today, is a distant memory, and the GOP will not gain national power again for a long time, with their demonstration of anarchism and extremism and recklessness in 2013!

  5. D October 8, 2013 2:17 pm

    Ronald writes, “And one can be sure that 2016, 52 years after 1964, we will see [another massive defeat], for the GOP, probably to Hillary Clinton, but with no certainty that the party, 160 years old in 2014, can survive as a viable political party opposition!”

    I agree with Walter Dean Burnham’s theory of a 30- to 36-year period of realigning [presidential] election [periods]. Ones that spring to mind: 1800 (Thomas Jefferson of the Democratic-Republican party, having unseated John Adams and the Federalists); 1828 (Andrew Jackson with the split of the Democratic-Republican party, having manifest into Democratic, along with his unseating of John Quincy Adams following the corrupt election of 1824); 1860 (Abraham Lincoln of the then-new Republican party—his party’s first—and, perhaps, with delivering the most historically transforming presidency); 1896 (William McKinley and the Republicans, following the Panic of 1893, and who brought business contributions to the funding of political campaigns); 1932 (Franklin Roosevelt and the Democratic party, along with his epic unseating of Herbert Hoover, whose Republican party had won two realigning periods which combined for 14 of 18 election cycles won); 1968 (Richard Nixon, the Republican pickup winner, in an open-seat race, just after seven of nine cycles won by the Democrats and an incumbent president weighted down by Vietnam). And add to this 2008 (with Barack Obama—the U.S.’s first African-American president—and the Democrats boasting an electoral-map and demographics advantage, just after the Republicans enjoyed seven of ten cycles won; and, of course, following the debacle of an incumbent Republican president who brought the U.S. to unnecessary war, in Iraq, followed by an economic meltdown).

    During all of these realignments, the party at a disadvantage could not stop the advantaged party from winning at least three consecutive presidential-election cycles. The Republicans won their three-peat during all cycles from the 1980s. That is actually the fewest consecutively won among previous realigning presidential periods. And it is no wonder many already believe the coming 2016 United States presidential election will result in a threepeat for the Democratic party.

    A big problem with the Republicans is the realigning of the electoral map. (Counter-realignments: Ronald Reagan in the 1980s; Bill Cinton in the 1990s.) That the Republicans’ base of states are now in the south. In fact, I posted here that—since the Republicans first competed in 1856—there were less, not more, presidential elections won by candidates whose party’s base states came from the south.

    I am doing research lately. It addresses two things: 1) Overall voting history of each of the 50 states—and which ones have cumulatively been [more or less] prominent with having carried for presidential-election winners (hint: they are not necessarily the latest, perceived “bellwethers”; but some standouts are among today’s blues); 2) More focus of the overall percentages—and averages—of available/participating states carried. That’s one election after the next. And, of course, the overall picture from the 57 U.S. presidential elections had from 1789 to 2012. (One may want to adjust that to 56…given Election 1824.)

    I was encouraged to look into such past performances because I was disappointed Barack Obama’s elections were just 28 (in 2008) and 26 (in 2012) states carried for percentages of 56 and 52. (Given the climate, he should have had landslides with both.) That’s because, as a child of the 1970s and 1980s, all the Republican wins were with carriage of at least 40 (in 1988) states for a percentage of 80. I miss the landslides…or perhaps I should say ‘blowouts.’ There were eleven [11] presidential-election cycles with at least 80 percent of available states that ended up carried during the 25 cycles of 1912 to 2008. The year 1912 was when New Mexico and Arizona joined the union and first participated. It was at that point we achieved our 48 contiguous United States. (By the way: those 80-percent-of-states were carried in the elections of 1912, 1928, 1932, 1936, 1952, 1956, 1964, 1972, 1980, 1984, and 1988.)

    It turns out that Obama, the president of the latest realigning election [2008], is on par with William McKinley who carried just 23 of 45 states, in 1896, which accounted for 51 percent of then-available/participating states. A very low bar, sure—but, to repeat, we have had 57 presidential elections (56, if you cast aside 1824). The average percent of carried states, I can say right now, has been at 69/70. (That “69” is with 1824; the “70” is minus 1824.) No one presidential winner after the 1980s has since reached more than the carriage of 32 states (64 percent) with the first election, from 1992, than Bill Clinton. We, as a country, are lately underperforming the average of our overall history of supporting commanders in chief.

    I think we are due for at least one landslide election. Yes, that is what I would call a “massive defeat.” I am more than ready for it. And not from even one election cycle, with any of the past realigning presidential periods, was the disadvantaged party able to completely avoid—or prevent—a ‘landslide/massive defeat,’ which favored the dominant party. So, let us see that happen! Again.

  6. Ronald October 8, 2013 2:25 pm

    Again, D, I love your deep analysis of Presidential elections, and I hope, as much as you, that we have a landslide for the Democratic Party in 2016 and beyond. Certainly, the Republican Party is helping that along with their reckless, irresponsible statements and actions. The question is whether the GOP can survive as the opposition party, or if it will be replaced by a moderate, conservative party with the understanding of mainstream compromise, similar to the Whig Party of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster.

  7. D October 8, 2013 2:49 pm

    Ronald writes, “The question is whether the GOP can survive as the opposition party, or if it will be replaced by a moderate, conservative party with the understanding of mainstream compromise, similar to the Whig Party of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster.”

    The Republicans will lose presidential elections enough that it becomes too much. For their party. For their business of being a political party. Which has to compete.

    That is what it takes for a party, at a disadvantage, to “reinvent” and to “rebrand” their way back to relevance and electability at they level of political power they want most: the presidency.

    This current form of the Republican party has lost touch. With the electorate that makes the difference in delivering them defeat. They have really lost women (who outnumber men nationally and, if I’m correct, in every state plus District of Columbia)—and the Republicans haven’t carried women nationally since George Bush won them by a single percentage point in 1988. (His gender support was essentially the opposite of Barack Obama’s in 2008.) The Republicans have lost Hispanics by more than 2-to-1 nationally. (George W. Bush reached 40 percent nationally with their supports for his re-election in 2004.) They lost further ground, over the last two cycles, with Asians. And add to this futher shifting away from the GOP of Cubans. They have also shown that, despite Mitt Romney having carried the white vote nationally by 20 percentage points in the election of 2012 (a similar margin to Bush from 1988), they can no longer use racial (or coded) speak to win presidential elections. So there is a lost of support from both minorities (non-whites) and majorities (women, over men).

    A lot of what we are seeing is a party—the Republican party—that is caught in their own web. Of their own making. So, what they have now is just tricks. And attacks. How can the Republican party *f* with the American people—those ungrateful American people, who vote Democratic, by a rate of at least ’47 percent,’ because the Democrats give them ‘free stuff?'” They have two sources of help: the Koch brothers and “Citizens United.” That’s good enough for congressional seats and state legislatures. Which is something the Democrats need to counter. But they are not good enough for presidential elections.

    In April 2009, the now-late Gore Vidal appeared on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.” He was asked about the Republicans’ presidential future. He basically said the Republicans will have to find a star, like a modern version of Dwight Eisenhower, in order to prevail.

    Yes, in that case, a modern-day Eisenhower would bring respectability. And electability.

    If that turns out to be the case…I wouldn’t be surprised.

    But it won’t likely happen by 2016.

  8. D October 8, 2013 3:00 pm

    Another answer to Ronald’s question…

    Ronald writes, “The question is whether the GOP [can] survive as the opposition party, or if it will be replaced by a moderate, conservative party with the understanding of mainstream compromise, similar to the Whig Party of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster.”

    Reference the line from the 2011 Oscar-nominated “Moneyball,” when Brad Pitt’s Oakland Athletics vice president/general manager Billy Beane speaks to the reality of the necessity to change.

    “Adapt or die.”

    The Republicans have no choice.

    It’s in the “how” that is their concern.

  9. Ronald October 8, 2013 7:23 pm

    Again, D, great analysis and assessment! Thanks!

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